Friday, September 12, 2008

Alleging Coup Plot, Chávez Ousts U.S. Envoy


By SIMON ROMERO | Published: September 11, 2008 | New York Times

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said Thursday that he was expelling the American ambassador, Patrick Duddy, giving him 72 hours to leave the country. Mr. Chávez took this step after he said his government had discovered an American-supported plot by military officers to topple him.

He also recalled his ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Álvarez, and explained his decision by expressing solidarity with Bolivia’s embattled president, Evo Morales, who on Wednesday expelled the American ambassador there, Philip S. Goldberg, accusing him of supporting rebellious groups in eastern Bolivia..

“When there is a new government in the United States, we’ll send an ambassador,” Mr. Chávez said, using an expletive to refer to Americans.

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