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Chavez slams 'arbitrary' US expulsion of envoy

President Hugo Chavez on Monday slammed as "unfair and arbitrary" the US expulsion of Venezuela's consul in Miami, who has been accused of involvement in a cyber-attack plot.

A documentary airing last month on the by Spanish-language Univision television channel indicated that in 2007, the Venezuelan diplomat, Livia Acosta, was involved in a plot to commit cyber-attacks against US nuclear facilities.

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"This is just one more sign of the overbearing nature of a ridiculous Imperial power," said Chavez, a leftist former paratrooper and staunch US critic, using his usual term for the United States.

Chavez, after meeting with the visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he was awaiting the return from Santigo of Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro to deliver the official Venezuelan response to this "unfair and arbitrary" expulsion.

The attacks allegedly were proposed to her by a Mexican computer expert, Juan Carlos Munoz, while she worked at the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico City.

Acosta assured Munoz she had direct access to advisers of President Hugo Chavez, who wanted to be kept informed of the alleged plot, Univision reported.

The report, based on an FBI investigation, said the Cuban and Iranian diplomatic missions also appeared to be involved.

The US State Department notified the Venezuelan government of the expulsion on Friday. Acosta was ordered to leave the United States by Tuesday.

by Steve Weizman © 2012 AFP

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Published on ASDNews: Jan 10, 2012


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