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Hugo Chavez Orders Venezuelan Consulate Shuttered In Miami

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Thomas Coex/AFP

Thomas Coex/AFP

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campaign 2012 new2 Hugo Chavez Orders Venezuelan Consulate Shuttered In Miami

MIAMI (CBS4) – The Venezuelan consulate in Downtown Miami will undergo an “administrative shutdown” after the U.S. State Department’s decision to expel the consul in that diplomatic post, President Hugo Chavez announced Friday.

According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, Chavez made the announcement before the Venezuelan National Assembly.

“Foreign Minister Nicolás [Maduro] recommended that I close the consulate. We’ll shut it down, then. We’re going to shut it down. There will be no consulate in Miami,” the president said, to applause from the ruling party legislators.

“What we’re going to do is an administrative shutdown of the consulate while we study the situation, because it’s unfair, it’s abusive, it’s immoral, the expulsion of the lady consul who was doing her obligation, her job,” he added.

This week, U.S. State Department officials expelled consul Livia Acosta after uncovering a recording that linked the diplomat to an Iranian plot against the U.S. They also found documents that appear to certify that she is also part of Chavez’s secret police.

Chavez did not put a timetable on whenOP the consulate will close, but the move could leave hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans without a resource to deal with certificates, passports, legalizations and transfers from the country.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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