Last remaining United States diplomats leave Venezuela amid worsening tensions

Postado Março 17, 2019

Pompeo explained the presence of diplomats in Venezuela at this time has put constraints on USA policy.

"U.S. diplomats will now continue that mission from other locations where they will continue to help manage the flow of humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people and support the democratic actors bravely resisting tyranny", Pompeo said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro created a military unit on Friday charged with protecting basic installations and services such as electricity and water just over a week after the country was hit with a massive blackout.

"Today, all US diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the country", he said in a statement, adding that it is "a hard moment for them".

Maduro repeated his claim that the blackout, which lasted nearly a week, was due to "successive attacks" against the country's major hydroelectric facility at Guri in Bolivar state, "directed" by U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that all U.S. diplomats assigned to Venezuela have departed, in an exit the State Department calls "temporary".

As of late 2018, the US has revoked more than 600 Venezuelan visas.

They and others now recognise Guaido, the leader of the country's opposition-controlled legislative body, as Venezuela's rightful interim president. He said staffers look forward to resuming their presence in Venezuela "once the transition to democracy begins". Despite this, he said the USA will continue to stand with self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido.

The New York Times on Thursday quoted Palladino saying, "We hold former President Maduro and those surrounding him fully responsible for the safety and welfare of interim president Juan Guaido and his family".

He said it was part of an ongoing strategy to impose visa restrictions "on corrupt individuals who enable Maduro's theft of Venezuela's assets for their own personal gain".