Nicolás Maduro Expels Top U.S. Diplomats from Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro Expels Top U.S. Diplomats from Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela — Fresh off his re-election in what critics called a rigged vote, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela on Tuesday ordered the top American diplomat and his deputy expelled, describing them as conspirators against his government.

In a televised address, Mr. Maduro gave the diplomats, Todd D. Robinson, who is the American Embassy’s chargé d’affaires, and Mr. Robinson’s No. 2, Brian Naranjo, 48 hours to leave the country.

“This is in protest, in defense of Venezuelan dignity!” Mr. Maduro said. “Enough with the conspiracies!”

There was no immediate comment from the State Department.

Venezuela and the United States have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010, a reflection of the worsening state of relations between the two countries.

Those relations have been further tested over Mr. Maduro’s victory in disputed presidential elections on Sunday. The Trump administration has described the elections as a farce and has accused Mr. Maduro of running a repressive government that is driving Venezuela toward economic ruin.

Mr. Robinson, a career State Department diplomat, previously served as ambassador to Guatemala.

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