Venezuela expels top American diplomat

The department said it has not received any official notification of the expulsions. 

The expulsions further erode hopes for closer ties between the United States and Venezuela following the death of Hugo Chavez earlier this year. Maduro expelled two American officials in March, accusing them of seeking to destabilize the country.

“I don’t care what actions Barack Obama’s government may take,” Maduro said in a live speech to soldiers commemorating the country's independence. “We’re not going to allow an imperial government to bring money and see how they shut down the basic industries, how they turn off electricity to black out all Venezuela. What is that?”

This post was updated at 8:30 p.m.

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