Two first secretaries and a second secretary from the embassy were given 48 hours to depart, the
The three expelled American diplomats were accused of fomenting civil unrest that has rocked the government of President
The government of Maduro and his predecessor,
The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said it had chosen Maximilien Arvelaiz, the former ambassador to Brazil, as its new envoy to the United States. But the State Department said it would agree to exchange ambassadors only when it saw a new spirit of cooperation from Caracas.
"We have indicated our openness to a more constructive relationship with Venezuela," said Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman. "But again, recent actions, including expelling three of our diplomats, continue to make that difficult."
Maduro claimed in a television broadcast Tuesday night that his foreign minister had sought to call U.S. Secretary of State
The death toll from more than two weeks of demonstrations rose to at least 15 after a man was reportedly shot to death inside a supermarket in central Aragua state during a looting incident. Twenty-four other retail establishments were reported looted Tuesday night in Aragua.
Residents complained that authorities made no effort to stop the looting. Aragua Gov. Tareck El Aissami confirmed the death and looting.
"The victims are Venezuelans, and we are all saddened," El Aissami said