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Washington Expels Venezuelan Diplomats In Retaliation

The State Department says three Venezuelan diplomats are being expelled from the United States in response to the expulsion of three U.S. officials from Venezuela.

The State Department said late on October 1 that two officials at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington and an official at the Venezuelan Consulate in the city of Houston, Texas, were given 48 hours to leave.

The statement added it was "regrettable" that Venezuela had expelled the U.S. officials over what it called "groundless allegations."

Earlier, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was not interested in "cordial relations" with the United States if American diplomats continued to conduct an alleged campaign to destabilize the country.

Maduro has accused U.S. officials of conspiring with "extreme right" Venezuelans to sabotage the South American country's economy and power supplies.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP