All American diplomats have left Venezuela, says Pompeo

15 March, 2019, 22:00 | Author: Wade Massey
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Pompeo released a statement Thursday, soon after the last diplomats were reported to have left. The U.S. flag outside the embassy had been taken down.

"I know it is a hard moment for them", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of the departing diplomats. "They are fully dedicated to our mission of supporting the Venezuelan people's aspirations to live in a democracy and build a better future for their families".

"We look forward to resuming our presence once the transition to democracy begins". On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country.

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. Palladino urged any US citizens left in Venezuela to leave.

Palladino also warned followers of the embattled Nicolas Maduro not to harass USA -backed leader Juan Guaido.

Pompeo tweeted earlier in the week that the USA diplomats were being withdrawn because their continued presence in Caracas had become a "constraint" on US policy.

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"Since this Monday. we have revoked 340 visas, 107 of which include visas of Maduro's former diplomats and their families", Palladino told reporters.

Venezuela is gripped by an acute economic crisis that has fueled the rise of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the national assembly speaker who in late January declared himself to be the interim leader.

"I congratulate him for the work he did", Maduro said in a speech Tuesday night.

Power was restored Thursday after a weeklong blackout that Maduro blamed on the United States. Meanwhile, Venezuela's attorney general Tarek William Saab announced on Tuesday that he had launched an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaidó over suspicions that he had been involved in the power blackout. 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.

Morales, who is on a visit to Greece, said meddling in the domestic affairs of another country never bodes well.

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