The Obama administration has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats, further setting back U.S. efforts to repair relations with the Latin American country after Hugo Chavez's death.
The move is in retaliation for Venezuela's expulsion of two American military attaches after Chavez died last week.
U.S. officials say junior diplomats Orlando Jose Montanez Olivares and Victor Camacaro Mata were told to return home over the weekend and left the U.S. Sunday.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Washington wants to repair ties with Venezuela but has made little headway so far.
Beyond the diplomatic tit-for-tat, Venezuelan officials have accused the U.S. of being responsible for Chavez's cancer and sought to rally anti-U.S. sentiment ahead of an April election for a new leader.
© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.