Three Venezuelan diplomats were ordered out of the United States (US) on Tuesday in response to their government's decision to boot three US officials from Venezuela, including the highest-ranking US envoy in the country.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of US Chargé d'affaires Kelly Keiderling and two other diplomats Monday, accusing them of conspiring with "the extreme right" to sabotage the South American country's economy and power grid.
US officials vigorously denied the allegation and had hinted Tuesday afternoon there might be a retaliatory expulsion of Venezuelan envoys.
Late Tuesday, the State Department said it was expelling Venezuelan Charge d'affaires Calixto Ortega Rios and Second Secretary Monica Alejandra Sanchez Morales at the Washington embassy, and Consul Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida at the Houston consulate. It gave them 48 hours to leave the US, the same time frame set by Venezuela for the US envoys.