CARACAS, Venezuela — The United States on Tuesday pushed back against Venezuela’s demand for a dramatic cut in the American diplomatic mission in Caracas.
During a rare meeting Monday with the top American diplomat in Caracas, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez gave the U.S. two weeks to come up with a plan to slash the size of its embassy from around 100 diplomats to 17.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had said over the weekend that he would seek parity between the number of U.S. diplomats in his country and Venezuelans in the United States. “They have 100 functionaries here. We have 17 there,” told what was billed as “The Great Anti-Imperialist March.”
On Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. had noted in the meeting that Venezuela was wrong about the number of diplomats it has working in the U.S.
“The numbers the Venezuelan government has offered regarding the size of its mission in the United States dramatically understates the number of Venezuelan diplomats,” she said.