All US diplomats have left Venezuela: Mike Pompeo

All US diplomats have left Venezuela: Mike Pompeo

US companies doing oil business with Venezuela have been ordered to divert payments to special blocked accounts.

Earlier this week, Pompeo explained the decision to withdraw all diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, "reflects the deteriorating situation" and said their presence has "become a constraint on U.S. policy".

"The members of the Venezuela delegation here today represent the illegitimate government of Nicolas Maduro, and thus can not be considered as speaking on behalf of the Venezuelan people", a US Mission to International Organizations spokesman declared after storming out of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs trailed by officials from several Latin American countries, Canada, and a few European nations, including France.

The United States is one of about 50 countries that have thrown their support behind opposition leader Guaido, who has announced himself "interim president" after last year's disputed election.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said power had been restored in the "vast majority" of the country. While Maduro pointed the finger at Washington, critics have long blamed the government for failing to maintain the power grid.

He said "anarchy" reigned in Venezuela's second city of Maracaibo during the power outage, with "generalised looting". USA officials and Guaido said the allegation is absurd and that government corruption and mismanagement caused the infrastructure collapse in a country already suffering hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods.

He gave no details
He gave no details

Pompeo addressed the Venezuelan people directly in a video tweet, saying the U.S.is eager to provide them desperately needed humanitarian assistance, including food and medicine. He did not clarify what he meant by that remark. Maduro claims Guiado is the chief operative in a "cyberattack" by the United States that caused Venezuela's electrical grid to collapse completely.

The potential financial sanctions are modeled after similar ones imposed by the Trump's administration on Iran, North Korea, Syria and, to a lesser extent, Russia, the official said.

The situation has worsened with successive rounds of U.S. sanctions against Maduro's government, including steps that have severely curbed its oil exports. Since Monday, the USA has revoked 340 visas, 107 of which were for Venezuelan diplomats and their families, according to Palladino.

Arreaza called for a multilateral approach to fighting the scourge of drugs, declaring US' "unilateral economic steps" had depleted the nation's coffers and deprived it of money it could better use to actually fight drugs.

The Venezuelan National Assembly, dominated by the opposition, has declared a state of alarm over the blackout that the Maduro government blamed on a US cyber-attack and that plunged the struggling country into darkness and chaos for five days.

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