"America is expelling Venezuela's consul general in Miami amid allegations she discussed possible cyber attacks against the US while she was stationed at her country's embassy in Mexico."
From yesterday's TheGuardian, also available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/us-expels-venezuelan-diplomat-cyber , FYI,
US expels Venezuelan diplomat who 'discussed cyber war on America'
Livia Acosta Noguera sought information about US nuclear power plant servers, according to documentary
Monday 9 January 2012 03.40 GMT
Livia Acosta Noguera
Livia Acosta Noguera discussed cyber attacks on the US and sought information on servers at its nuclear power stations, according to a documentary that has led to her expulsion as Venezuelan consul general in Miama. Photograph: Javier Caceres/AP
America is expelling Venezuela's consul general in Miami amid allegations she discussed possible cyber attacks against the US while she was stationed at her country's embassy in Mexico.
The US state department said it had declared Livia Acosta Noguera persona non grata and given her until Tuesday to leave the country. A spokesman, Mark Toner, said the Venezuelan government was notified of the decision on Friday, giving her 72 hours to depart under standard diplomatic procedure.
There was no immediate reaction from the Venezuelan government. Toner would not discuss the reason for the expulsion and said it was done in accordance with article 23 of the Vienna convention on consular relations. That article does not require the expelling state to explain its decision.
The FBI investigated claims contained in a documentary aired by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision last month. According to the documentary, The Iranian Threat, Acosta discussed a possible cyber attack against the US government when she was previously assigned as a diplomat in the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico.
The documentary was based on recordings of conversations with her and other officials, and also alleged that Cuban and Iranian diplomatic missions were involved. Citing audio and video obtained by the students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Univision said Acosta had been seeking information about the servers of nuclear power plants in the US.
After the documentary aired, the state department said the allegations were "very disturbing" and the FBI had opened an investigation.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the US House or Representatives foreign affairs committee, said: "This is the appropriate step to take against the Venezuelan general consul in Miami and highlights the threat posed by Iranian influence in Latin America.
"This administration must be more proactive and engaged against the serious threat of Iranian activity in the region and this is a first step in that direction."