U.S. Asks Venezuelan Diplomats in Houston to Leave

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The State Department is asking officials at the Venezuelan consulate in Houston to leave the country.

The State Department says the South American country's government violated international protocol by moving its offices in that city before receiving permission.

The State Department ordered Venezuela to cease operations on Oct. 2 , and when it didn't, Washington revoked its privileges Oct. 31. One consular officer is allowed to remain in Houston temporarily so Venezuela can continue to operate a consulate until a permanent location is approved.

The Houston Chronicle reports the consular office was locked Friday and a notice taped in the window said it would remain closed until further notice for reasons "beyond our control." A similar notice was posted on the consulate Web site Saturday.