Maduro’s government on Monday gave three U.S. Embassy officials 48 hours to leave the country, charging that the Obama administration is siding with opposition protesters.
Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said the senior U.S. consular officers were trying to infiltrate Venezuelan universities, the hotbed of the recent unrest, under the cover of doing visa outreach.
The three expelled officials — Breeann Marie McCusker, Jeffrey Gordon Elsen and Kristofer Lee Clark — all enjoyed the rank of second secretary, and two of them were vice consuls, Jaua said.
Phi Beta Iota: In 2013 the Charge d’Affairs Kelly Keideerling, Political Officer Elizabeth Hoffman, and Consular Officer David Moo were ordered to leave Venezuela, allegedly for causing power black-outs. There is no such thing as “visa out-reach.” Other than visiting US citizens in jail, consular officers are supposed to focus on issuing visas. As second secretaries they all have one prior tour. We have no doubt the Venezuelan government is quite certain that all three are CIA officers, and they probably have — with help from the Cubans — ample photographic and audio evidence of their non-consular activities.