Thursday, November 19, 2015

Venezuela president orders review of relationship with U.S over spying

President Nicolas Maduro said he'll file a formal protest and review relations with Washington following a report of U.S. spying on Venezuela's state oil company, including intercepting the calls and emails of ex-Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez.

Maduro cited a report published Wednesday by the news outlet "The Intercept" based on a March 2011 article in an internal U.S. National Security Agency newsletter it said was obtained by leaker Edward Snowden.

Maduro said on national television that he was ordering an investigation and that U.S. charge d'affaires Lee McClenny would be called in to file a formal protest. The U.S. and Venezuela have not had ambassadors in each others capitals since 2010.

"I have ordered our foreign minister to begin an integral review of our relation with the U.S. government," said Maduro, a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy.

Telesur, a regional television network financed by Venezuela, said it obtained a copy of the NSA document, which purportedly shows that U.S. intelligence spied on internal communications of the state oil company PDVSA all the way up to Ramirez.

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