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Last remaining US diplomats leave Venezuela

16 March 2019

"I know it is a hard moment for them", he said, referencing the USA diplomats.

"US 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.

"We look forward to resuming our presence once the transition to democracy begins".

The United States has withdrawn all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas as the crisis in Venezuela deepens, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday. Venezuela later allowed a skeletal staff to remain at the hilltop U.S. Embassy until Thursday's withdrawal. Despite this, he said the USA will continue to stand with self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido.

National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by several nations including the United States as the interim leader of Venezuela, said Friday has distributed aid in the country.

The labor action came days after the State Department issued a new warning that urged Americans to avoid the country, which was most recently gripped by a days-long nationwide power outage that further battered its economy. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that the USA has revoked more than 600 visas from Venezuelans since late a year ago.

"Soon, I will announce new powerful changes in ways of the national government's work", Maduro said in a speech at the presidential palace in Caracas on Friday, as aired by his Periscope channel.

As of late 2018, the USA has revoked more than 600 Venezuelan visas. He has also promised an investigation into Guaido for "alleged involvement in the sabotage of the Venezuelan electricity system".

Maduro has dubbed Guaido a puppet of the United States and said Washington has attempted a coup d'etat to exact a change in government. But he was remarkably complimentary of the charge d'affaires, James "Jimmy" Story, whom he described as professional, though he said they had not met.

Maduro tried Tuesday to send a group of his relatives to Colombia, but Colombian authorities stopped them at the border, saying they do not recognize Maduro as president and will now allow his family to flee the discomfort suffered by other Venezuelans.

Last remaining US diplomats leave Venezuela