All American diplomats have left Venezuela, says Pompeo

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

President Nicolás Maduro said in a speech this week that he hoped the USA 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.

Power has been restored to some areas in Venezuela since the weekend, but the supply has been intermittent and often drops out.

USA companies doing oil business with Venezuela have been ordered to divert payments to special blocked accounts.

He said "anarchy" reigned in Venezuela's second city of Maracaibo during the power outage, with "generalised looting".

He said the U.S. remains committed to supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido, who wants to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections. The subway began operating in the capital, Caracas, though not all of its stations were open.

Venezuela's public employees were called to return to work Thursday after the government ended a almost week-long hiatus caused by an unprecedented nationwide blackout that deepened widespread anger against President Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido denied the allegations at an anti-Maduro protest Tuesday.

He gave no details
He gave no details

Pompeo addressed the Venezuelan people directly in a video tweet, saying the eager to provide them desperately needed humanitarian assistance, including food and medicine.

The Venezuelan government disputed Pompeo's account, saying it had instructed the United States diplomats to leave.

Maduro accuses Guaido and the United States of plotting an invasion. Russian Federation is an ally of Maduro, but its oil interests in Venezuela have been jeopardized since the Trump administration hit PDVSA with sanctions in January.

The sweeping financial sanctions against PDVSA, aimed at curbing crude exports to the United States and driving Maduro from power, were the strongest measures yet against Venezuela's vital oil sector.

The latest revocations - which include visas for 107 former diplomats and their families - brings the total to more than 600 since late 2018, spokesman Robert Palladino said.

Arreaza called for a multilateral approach to fighting the scourge of drugs, declaring US' "unilateral economic steps" had depleted the nation's coffers and deprived it of money it could better use to actually fight drugs. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced on Monday, March 11, 2019, that it will withdraw all remaining U.S. personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas this week.

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