The last remaining US diplomats in Caracas have left Venezuela "for the time being", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday shortly after they and their Marine guards boarded a flight for the United States.
This Sept. 12, 2008 photo shows the USA embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. He added, the USA will resume its presence in the country "once the transition to democracy begins", though he declined to offer a specific timeline.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the diplomats will continue their "mission from other locations", and said that the situation is only temporary.
US diplomats began the exodus from the Caracas, Venezuela, embassy earlier this week.
James Story, who was the top-ranking USA diplomat in Venezuela, said in a video message that most Venezuelans don't support Maduro and that the government had used "the threat of armed gangs" against its people.
Power was restored Thursday after a weeklong blackout that Maduro blamed on the United States.
The president noted that the "cyberattack against the Venezuelan electric energy system was a terror act by the United States government against the Venezuelan people".
Maduro accuses Guaido and the United States of plotting an invasion. USA 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. 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.
Morales is one of a few Latin American leaders to support the embattled Maduro, whose country has been reeling from a humanitarian crisis.
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".
"Today, all U.S. diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the country".
Maduro was fiercely critical of national security adviser John Bolton and Elliott Abrams, the US special envoy for Venezuela.