The Associated Press
November 10, 2008
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his former consul in Houston has been stripped of his post for moving the consulate in that city without permission.
The U.S. State Department says the Venezuelan consulate recently moved to new leased office space before receiving permission.
Chavez said in a speech Monday that the lead diplomat in Houston made a mistake and moved the consulate without approval from the U.S. or Venezuela's Embassy in Washington. Chavez says he removed the consul "and the situation was cleared up."
The State Department said the consulate remained open last month despite orders to close. Spokesman Robert Wood said as a result, the U.S. told Venezuela it intended to cancel staff members' diplomatic visas.