Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. will respond reciprocally to President Nicolas Maduro’s expulsion of the top American diplomat in Venezuela.
Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the State Department received formal notice Wednesday that charge d’affaires Todd Robinson had been declared persona non grata. He said the U.S. would act in kind, suggesting it would remove Venezuela’s top diplomat in Washington as well.
Maduro said Tuesday he was expelling Robinson and his deputy Brian Naranjo for allegedly conspiring against his government by pressuring opposition groups to boycott Sunday’s presidential election that he won by a landslide. He gave the two career diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.
Venezuela and the U.S. haven’t exchanged ambassadors since 2010.