U.S. pulls remaining diplomats out of Venezuelan embassies as crisis worsens

Leroy Wright
March 13, 2019

"The United States' imperialist government ordered this attack", he said, without offering evidence. Desperate residents are fetching water from a polluted river and drainage pipes, with schools and businesses closed and stores unable to keep cold and fresh whatever food is on hand.

But the sudden reversal was announced late Monday night in a statement where Pompeo called embassy staff's presence a "constraint on USA policy". Generators have alleviated conditions for some of the critically ill.

Appearing on television Monday, Maduro stated that progress was being made in restoring power. He also said two people who were allegedly trying to sabotage power facilities were captured and were providing information to authorities, though he gave no details. Since then, relations between the two countries have grown increasingly strained and the Trump administration has repeatedly falsely blamed Maduro for the "deteriorating situation"-accusing him of burning aid trucks which were actually set ablaze by Guaido's supporters and calling him a "tyrant" for blocking so-called "humanitarian aid".

The pullout was ordered due to the "deteriorating situation" in the country, he said. Mr. Guaido tweeted about reports of looting in some cities, but details were hard to confirm.

"That is why we have the decree", said Guaido.

Following what many worldwide observers considered a sham election that gave Maduro another six-year term in office, Juan Guaido - leader of Venezuela's congress - declared himself the legitimate leader of the country and has pledged to hold new presidential elections.

US pulling all staff out of embassy in Venezuala

The U.S. reduced its diplomatic staff in Caracas in January after recognizing Guaido.

Winston Cabas, the head of Venezuela's electrical engineers union, which opposes the government, disputed government allegations that the country's main hydroelectric dam was sabotaged last week.

The United States expanded sanctions against Venezuela Monday to include a Moscow-based bank jointly owned by the Venezuelan and Russian governments. Guaido and the US blame years of mismanagement and corruption for allowing the once-wealthy country's infrastructure crumble.

The state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) said it had cancelled all flights to Venezuela on Monday following an electricity blackout that has hit the South American country where the opposition is seeking to force President Nicolas Maduro out of office.

Since recognizing Guaido, the USA has sanctioned the state-owned oil company and top Maduro-aligned officials, imposed visa bans or revocations on over 250 officials, and amassed around 200 metric tons of humanitarian aid across the border in Colombia and supported efforts by Guaido and his supporters to rush it across the border.

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