All US diplomats have left Venezuela, says Mike Pompeo

All US diplomats have left Venezuela, says Mike Pompeo

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country.

The U.S. flag outside the embassy had been taken down.

U.S. officials led allied diplomats in a huffy walkout as Venezuelan foreign minister Jorge Arreaza stood to address a United Nations convention on narcotics in Vienna, declaring he represented an "illegitimate government".

All United States diplomats remaining in Venezuela left the country on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, amid a political crisis over the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro's 2018 re-election.

President Nicolás Maduro said in a speech this week that he hoped the US and Venezuelan governments could continue negotiations to set up interest sections in each other's capital - even as he blamed Washington for a massive five-day blackout that began Thursday and brought the South American country to a virtual halt.

In his statement, Pompeo praised the diplomats on an emotional day as they abandoned the embassy.

"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. He said staffers look forward to resuming their presence in Venezuela "once the transition to democracy begins".

He gave no details
He gave no details

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.

Maduro was fiercely critical of national security adviser John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, the US special envoy for Venezuela.

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

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.

"This I'm afraid can only be clarified and explained by the party accused by President Maduro", Lu said.

The country began returning to normal Thursday following a near-total weeklong blackout that the government has blamed on what it calls sabotage encouraged by the US.

While most Venezuelans aren't suffering from such clearly contaminated water, nearly all Venezuelans are struggling to live without power, as the electrical grid system failure drags on into its second week. US 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 whole world knows who the saboteur is", he said.

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