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Venezuela’s Maduro expels 3 US consular officials, alleging conspiracy

 Maduro did not identify the US officials, but pledged that the Venezuelan foreign minister would give more details later.

"It's a group of US functionaries who are in the universities. We've been watching them having meetings in the private universities for two months. They work in visas," Maduro stated in a nationally televised broadcast.

It's believed that the expulsion has been provoked by the Obama administration's support for the Harvard-educated opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whom Maduro accuses of leading a US-backed "fascist" plot to oust the socialist government.

Forty-two-year-old Lopez (who was the mayor of the Chacao Municipality of Caracas from 2000 until 2008) has led the biggest demonstration yet against Maduro's 10-month-old government, when over 10,000 people poured onto the streets on Wednesday to peacefully protest their growing worries, such as the country's high murder rate and a record-breaking 56 percent inflation.

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