Monday, February 17, 2014

Venezuelan Opposition Free Politician Mid-Arrest, Maduro Expels U.S. Diplomats

Venezuelan anti-government protesters witnessed an attempt at a political arrest today and took matters into their own hands. An opposition politician was being carried away by police when a group of protesters attacked them and freed him.
Dario Ramirez, a city councilman, shouted ‘‘I'm an elected official’’ as national guardsmen, surrounded by journalists and party activists, frantically looked for an escape route from the Caracas shopping mall where they took him into custody. Once outside, dozens of activists banging pots and pans in protest attacked the squad, freeing Ramirez by force and speeding him away on a motorcycle.

And now the U.S. is no longer welcome in the country:
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.

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