Venezuela has expelled three US consular officials accusing them of conspiring against the government.
In a televised broadcast President Nicolas Maduro said the three had been under surveillance for several months.
The move comes as Maduro is coming under increasing pressure from demonstrations calling on him to resign.
Opposition leader and outspoken Maduro critic, Leopoldo Lopez has vowed to continue holding rallies despite police threats to arrest him.
Although in hiding he said via social media he would risk arrest and would march through Caracas on Tuesday.
The authorities accuse Lopez of murder and terrorism in connection with violence around four days of anti-government protests that have left three people dead.
Both sides are blaming each other for the bloodshed.
Maduro has vowed not to let demonstrators cause chaos by blocking roads and has sent in the troops.
Protesters are angry over his handling of the economy, violent crime and corruption.
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