Three American diplomats were kicked out of Caracas on Tuesday for “plotting to sabotage the economy” according to President Nicolas Maduro. And, in good old eye for an eye tactics, the U.S. government has now told three Venezuelan officials to leave American soil. According to the BBC:

[Maduro] said he had evidence [the American officials] took part in a power-grid sabotage in September and had bribed firms to cut production.

He gave the three — charge d’affaires Kelly Keiderling, David Moo and Elizabeth Hoffman — 48 hours to leave, saying: ‘Yankees, go home!’

However, the US State Department rejected the allegations.

An official told the BBC: “It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government has again decided to expel US diplomatic officials based on groundless allegations, which require reciprocal action.

“It is counterproductive to the interests of both our countries and not a serious way for a country to conduct its foreign policy.”

As well as Calixto Ortega Rios, the Venezuelan diplomats being expelled are Second Secretary Monica Alejandra Sanchez Morales at the Washington embassy, and Consul Marisol Gutierrez de Almeida at the Houston consulate.

But this isn’t the only incidence of pettiness between the two countries. When Hugo Chavez denied the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela a visa in 2010, Americans retaliated by expelling the Venezuelan ambassador. Since then, there haven’t been ambassadors representing the countries in either capital.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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