Venezuela's UN ambassador resigns on orders from Maduro

Venezuela's Ambassador to the United Nations is resigning after a rare and bitter feud with President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle.

Rafael Ramirez said on social media that he had tendered his resignation at the request of Maduro for publicly expressing his opinions on economic issues. In a four-page letter posted on Twitter, the former oil czar said he was heartbroken to be abandoning his position after more than a decade of service to the socialist revolution started by the late President Hugo Chavez.

He said he would remain loyal to Chavez's ideals and gave no indication about his next moves.

Ramirez's resignation ends a week of speculation about his standing in the government after his cousin and several of his one-time acolytes were arrested on corruption charges.