Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the United States’ decision to expel the Venezuelan consul general in Miami as “arbitrary and unjustified” on January 9. Chavez derided the move as “another demonstration of the arrogance of ridiculous imperialism”.
Venezuelan diplomat Livia Acosta Noguera had reportedly been working in the US since March when she was ordered to leave on January 8 amid claims that she had discussed the possibility of orchestrating cyber attacks against the US government whilst serving as vice-secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico.
Chavez said: “She has been accused of I don’t know how many things by the US government, and above all, by sectors of the ultra right wing in Miami, including many Venezuelans who live there, counter-revolutionaries, not all of them, but a small group.”
Contrary to the accounts published by many mainstream news channels, Chavez said Noguera was already in Caracas, and had been since December.
“We already knew that this was going to happen, and so she has been in Caracas in order to avoid situations, possibly even dangerous ones,” said Chavez.
The US State Department has not commented on the reasons for Noguera’s expulsion.
However, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs Roger Noriega said in a post on Twitter before the US government’s official announcement: “Chavista terrorist spy consul general Livia Acosta expelled from the United States by the State Department! Acosta has 72 hours to leave the country.”
[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]