February 3, 2006

US expels Venezuelan diplomat in tit-for-tat move

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States expelled a senior
Venezuelan diplomat on Friday in a swift tit-for-tat move
against President Hugo Chavez, who has an increasingly
antagonistic relationship with the superpower.

The United States targeted for expulsion Jeny Figueredo,
describing her as the ambassador's chief-of-staff, after
Caracas did the same to a U.S. Embassy naval attache the day

"We don't like to do tit-for-tat but the Venezuelans
initiated it," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told

While Figueredo, whose title is minister-counselor, had
little contact with U.S. government officials, she was key to
the running of the embassy in Washington, overseeing most
personnel issues and providing constant advice to the