Venezuela ordered out three US diplomats on Monday, accusing them of recruiting students to lead protests that were the OPEC nation's most serious violence since President Nicolas Maduro's April election and in which three people were killed.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said the three consular staff had used visa visits to universities as cover for promoting opposition protests by students, adding they had 48 hours to leave the country.



The demonstrations, which have energized the opposition but show few signs they can oust Maduro, continued on Monday with scattered protests in Caracas and various provincial cities.



"They have been visiting universities with the pretext of granting visas," said Jaua, who often faced off against police during his own days as a student demonstrator.



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