More 'Caracas blues' and 'fake fights' with the US

As you may know, the US and Venezuela have been expelling diplomats:

"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 U.S., the same time frame set by Venezuela for the U.S. envoys.   

"It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel U.S. diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action. It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries," the State Department said.  

Maduro said earlier Tuesday that socialist-led Venezuela will not have cordial relations with the United States as long as U.S. diplomats continue what he alleges are attempts to destabilize his country. 

Speaking from the government palace, Maduro said that "while the government of the United States does not understand that it has to respect our country's sovereignty there will be simply be no cordial relations nor cordial communication."

"The day that the government of President (Barack) Obama rectifies the situation we will establish new points of contact to discuss common issues," said Maduro, the hand-picked successor to late President Hugo Chavez.  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the allegations were related to the U.S. Embassy workers' travel to Bolivar state, which is home to troubled state-owned foundries and Venezuela's main hydroelectric plant.  "They were there conducting normal diplomatic engagement, as we've said in the past and should come as no surprise," Psaki said."

Of course, this is all a big distraction.  President Maduro is trying to stir a little nationalism to distract people from a collapsing economy, from mass shortages, and a devalued currency.

We did hear from friends in Venezuela that the diplomats were not happy with President Maduro creating this little "problem" at this time. They wanted to stay in the US. One of these diplomats apparently got into a huge shouting match with President Maduro.

It has to be the baseball playoffs. Maybe they had tickets to watch their countryman Miguel Cabrera swing the bat. 

In the meantime, Venezuela keeps deteriorating on a second by second basis.


P.S. You can hear my chat with Comandante Cazorla, an opposition leader here

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