Mar. 5, 2013 (TSR) – The foreign minister of Venezuela, Elías Jaua, announced Tuesday that an U.S. Embassy air force attaché will be expelled from Venezuela for participating in illegal acts that promoted the destabilization of the country.
Jaua announced that the attaché, David del Mónaco, along with Devil Costal, were declared “persona non grata” and should leave Venezuelan territory in the next 24 hours.
“We will not permit any foreign intervention in our country,” Jaua said. “Do not think that the situation of pain over President Chávez’s health is going to translate into weakness. Here there is a government and a dignified people, and we do this out of respect for those patriotic and loyal officials that came out and gave testimony regarding the acts of provocation and incitation.”
He spoke after a meeting of the political and military leadership of the national government at the Presidential Palace of Miraflores in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas. The meeting was broadcast live on television and radio.
Jaua recalled that Venezuela has made efforts to reestablish relations of mutual respect with the United States, through conversations with President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas held in Haiti and with other U.S. officials.
“The latest efforts were in November after a request by an official of the North American State Department, when a channel of communication was opened following instructions by President Chávez, and that was confirmed to me in January when I assumed leadership of the Foreign Ministry,” he said.
He added that these meetings have been taking place through the Ambassador of Venezuela to the Organization of American States, Roy Chaderton, “however, despite these conversations, the interventionist declarations by different officials have not ceased.”
Air Attaché David Delmonaco, and assistant Air Attaché Devlin Costal of the U.S. embassy were expelled for contacting active members of the military in Venezuela to propose destabilizing projects from within the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.
Jaua added that these attempts at destabilization by foreigners are not recent, saying “let’s not forget the active participation they had in the coup d’etat in 2002.”
Meanwhile, he announced that the investigations into the acts will seek to uncover connections with opposition groups in Venezuela.
“We will investigate their relationship with the corrupt and anti-patriotic right-wing, whose representative was in New York when contact was made with the Venezuela military,” he said.
He insisted that this and other measures taken against any similar situations will guarantee the willingness of the national government to defend the sovereignty, independence, peace and tranquility of the Venezuelan people.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro also reiterated and denounced destabilisation and “conspiracy plans” by the international and Venezuelan right wing, announcing the expulsion of two US officials for threatening military security just after midday, following a meeting this morning with Venezuela’s political military leadership.
“They have 24 hours to pack their bags and leave,” Maduro said.
He explained that Monaco had, for the last few weeks, been contacting members of the Venezuelan military in order to bring about a destabilisation plan in Venezuela.
“This official has been given the task of looking for active military members in Venezuela in order to propose destabilisation projects to the Armed Forces.”
“We want to denounce that we have certain clues of elements that make up this poisonous picture, which seek to disrupt the social life of our country and give it a beating,” he added.
“The enemies of the country, who aim to destroy democracy, have decided to go ahead with plans to destabilise Venezuela and damage the crux of a democracy…they have intensified the attacks against the economy and against goods and services,” Maduro said, referring to the scarcity of certain food and hygiene products that the country is currently experiencing.
Maduro argued that the “national and international right wing” were taking advantage of the “difficult circumstances” Venezuela is going through as a result of the “delicate state of health of President Chavez”.
Further, he said, “We don’t have any doubts that the historical enemies of the country have searched for a way to damage the health of President Chavez… that he was attacked with this illness,” alluding to the possibility of a “scientific attack”.
“Just like what happened to Yasser Arafat… Eventually there will be a scientific investigation into President Chavez’s illness,” he said.
There are different theories as to the cause of the former President of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat’s death in 2004. Last July Al Jazeera reported that traces of polonium-210, a rare and highly radioactive element, were found on Arafat’s belongings.
Other experts however claimed that polonium’s half life means it would be impossible to discover it now if it had been used for poisoning eight years ago, and that it must have been planted later. In 2005 the Palestinian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Attalah Quiba also alleged that Arafat had been poisoned by “high technology” such as a “high-tech laser”.
Continue fighting and working
Maduro concluded his public announcement by saying, “Men and women loyal to Chavez, we’re going to continue with our duties, so that no single program for the people is held back”.
“Venezuela’s political and military leadership is united, we call on the people to close ranks, to unite forces, and to pray for our comandante,” he said.
Referring to mainstream media lies and distortions about Chavez’s health and the situation in Venezuela, Maduro also expressed his appreciation to Venezuela for its “strength that there has been to face the psychological and dirty war against our people”.
The vice-president called for “respect for Chavez, for his family in these difficult times, respect for the pain and worry of our people”.
Venezuela Analysis also contributed to this report.