Pompeo Says All U.S. Diplomats Have Left Venezuela

Pompeo Says All U.S. Diplomats Have Left Venezuela

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". "We look forward to resuming our presence once the transition to democracy begins", Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo released a video statement directly to the Venezuelan people on Thursday to reassure them of USA support in the wake of the withdrawal.

According to Reuters US official said the diplomats were flown out in a civilian charter aircraft.

Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales, a supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, said on Friday that European nations should support a dialogue within the country. The U.S. flag outside the embassy had been taken down.

Despite the personnel evacuation, Pompeo said the Trump administration maintains its support of opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his effort to oust authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S.no longer recognizes as the country's rightful leader. Bolivia's left-wing president on Thursday compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to an erstwhile colonial viceroy and spoke out against any military intervention in the troubled country.

Power was restored Thursday after a weeklong blackout that Maduro blamed on the United States. 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.

The US has already imposed sanctions created to choke off Venezuelan oil sales, the lifeblood of the leftist government in Caracas.

Maduro accuses Guaido and the United States of plotting an invasion. Despite this, he said the USA will continue to stand with self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido. Maduro, the incumbent president who is hanging on to power despite shortages of food, water and electricity, says he is the victim of a coup plot by the United States.

More than 600 visas have been revoked since late 2018 as part of US efforts to pressure Maduro's government, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said. Since Monday, the USA has revoked 340 visas, 107 of which were for Venezuelan diplomats and their families, according to Palladino. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country.

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