Venezuela withdraws top diplomat in United States

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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s top diplomat in Washington was called back to Caracas on Wednesday after U.S. President Barack Obama renewed a decree imposing sanctions on several top Venezuelan officials.

Maximilien Arvelaiz acted as Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Washington and had been waiting for months to be allowed to act as ambassador to the United States.

The two countries have not shared ambassadorial ties since 2010. The United States imposed the sanctions and declared Venezuela a national security threat 12 months ago.

“Enough of the arrogance, prepotency and intrigue,” said President Nicolas Maduro on state television.

Maduro has accused the United States of plotting to overthrow his government.

Venezuela has had a tumultuous and often acrimonious relationship with the United States since Chavez became president in 1999.

“Sometimes I feel I’m in a plane and every five minutes I need to put my seatbelt on because of the turbulence,” Arvelaiz said in an interview in December.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Corina Pons; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Sandra Maler