Venezuela Sends Miami Consulate Personnel Home

Published January 16, 2012 2:36PM (EST)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan officials say they are withdrawing personnel from the country's consulate in Miami more quickly than planned because personnel have been threatened by exiles with links to terrorism.

The decision comes shortly after President Hugo Chavez said his government would close the consulate in response to Washington's expulsion of a diplomat. The accused exiles reject the terrorism charges.

Venezuela's consul general in Miami was ordered out of the United States last weekend following an FBI investigation into allegations that she discussed a possible cyber-attack on the U.S. government.

The foreign ministry announced on Monday the consulate will cease functioning once its personnel have returned to Venezuela.

By Salon Staff

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