The most surprising thing about Israel's expulsion of Venezuela's ambassador today is not that Jerusalem took that action in response to Caracas' breaking diplomatic relations on Jan. 14 but that the two countries were getting along at all. Israel said it gave Roland Betancourt, the head of Venezuela's diplomatic mission, and two other diplomats until Friday to leave the country. "Due to the decision of Venezuela to cut relations with us a few weeks ago, we told the Venezuelan charge d'affaires that he and his staff should leave Israel," said Lior Hayat, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official, according to Cable News Network (CNN). "We told them they are declared persona non grata in Israel." Venezuela kicked out Israel's ambassador Shlomo Cohen and his staff on Jan. 6, ostensibly over the attack on Gaza. Caracas formally broke diplomatic relations on Jan. 14. Bolivia also cut relations with Israel on Jan. 14. "Our decisions were just, correct, aligned with and adjusted with the spirit of our constitution, which mandates that we seek international peace," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said in a statement on the foreign ministry's Web site. Madura said his country's actions were compatible with its support for a Palestinian state and that Israel's attack violated basic human rights. But tensions between Israel and Venezuela's high-maintenance president, Hugo Chavez, have been lousy before. Israel recalled its ambassador to Venezuela in 2006 to protest his rhetoric, which has been inflamed at times. Chavez famously called U.S. President George W. Bush the "devil" in a speech at the United Nations in 2006 and, equally famously, was told to "shut up" by Spain's King Juan Carlos at a regional conference in 2007.