US Diplomats Leave Venezuela 'For The Time Being'

Pompeo said the diplomatic staff would continue to work from outside Venezuela

Pompeo said the diplomatic staff would continue to work from outside Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the diplomats will continue their "mission from other locations", and said that the situation is only temporary.

He said the United States remains committed to supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido, who wants to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections.

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday announced that all remaining USA diplomats have left Venezuela "for the time being", as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate. The U.S. flag outside the embassy had been taken down. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country. He said staffers look forward to resuming their presence in Venezuela "once the transition to democracy begins".

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino revealed the government has revoked hundred of visas from "Maduro-aligned" Venezuelans over the last four days.

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".

In February, the USA office of Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela in January and was swiftly recognized by Washington, announced CITGO's new board of directors.

China on Wednesday offered to help Venezuela as it faces a crippling multi-day power blackout that President Nicolas Maduro has blamed on the United States.

The country began returning to normal on Thursday following a near-total weeklong blackout that the government has blamed on what it calls sabotage encouraged by the US. "The whole world knows who the saboteur is", he said.

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