President Nicolas Maduro plans to limit the US diplomatic presence in Venezuela and require American tourists to obtain visas, amid growing tensions between the two countries. "In order to protect our country... I have decided to implement a system of compulsory visas for all Americans entering Venezuela," he told supporters. Under the new measures, Venezuela will start charging tourists the same visa fees the United States asks of Venezuelans, though it was unclear when the plan would be implemented. In his fiery speech outside the Miraflores presidential palace, Maduro noted that the Americans have 100 diplomatic staff in Caracas, compared to 17 Venezuelan diplomats in Washington.
By Diego Ore and Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Saturday his government had detained U.S. citizens, including a pilot, on suspicion of espionage, in a move likely to strain already tense relations between Washington and Caracas. Maduro also said his government would order a reduction in the number of U.S. embassy staff in Caracas and prohibit some U.S. officials from entering Venezuela in retaliation for a similar U.S. measure last year. Venezuela would also require U.S. citizens to obtain visas before visiting, he told a rally. The Venezuelan president, long at odds with Washington, has renewed accusations in recent weeks that the United States is seeking to topple him.