Venezuela VP Expels US Diplomat, Claims ‘Historic Enemies’ Caused Chavez Cancer

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro looks at a portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the commemoration of the 1992 failed coup led by Chavez, who was an army lieutenant colonel, against then president Carlos Andres Perez, in Caracas, on Feb. 4, 2013. (credit: JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro looks at a portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the commemoration of the 1992 failed coup led by Chavez, who was an army lieutenant colonel, against then president Carlos Andres Perez, in Caracas, on Feb. 4, 2013. (credit: JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

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CARACAS, Venezuela (CBSDC/AP) — Venezuela’s vice president says a United States diplomat will be expelled from the country on claims he was trying to destabilize the country.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro says an American Air Force attaché had been spying on the Venezuelan military and that he has 24 hours to leave the country.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Greg Adams told The Associated Press that the attaché identified is David Delmonaco.

“I’m sure we will be formulating some sort of response from Washington,” Adams said.

Maduro also made claims that “historic enemies” of Venezuela were behind President Hugo Chavez’s cancer.

“Chavez was attacked with this disease,” Maduro said, according to Al Jazeera. “The historic enemies of this nation looked for how to harm the health of our commander.”

Maduro added that Chavez is in “very delicate” health following December’s cancer surgery.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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