All US diplomats have left Venezuela: Mike Pompeo

26 January 2019 Venezuela Caracas Numerous demonstrators raise their hands in support of the self-proclaimed interim president Guaido at a rally of the opposition in the Venezuelan capital

Venezuela's Latest Nightmare: Crude Oil In The Tap Water

USA diplomats began the exodus from the Caracas, Venezuela, embassy earlier this week.

Russia, China, Cuba and Mexico are among the countries that recognize Maduro as Venezuela's president.

"I know it is a hard moment for them", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of the departing diplomats. The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry as well as individuals linked to Maduro's government, and U.S. President Donald Trump has said "all options are on the table" in his administration's support for Guaido.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that all U.S. diplomats assigned to Venezuela have departed, in an exit the State Department calls "temporary".

In his statement, Pompeo praised the diplomats on an emotional day as they abandoned the embassy. "They are fully dedicated to our mission of supporting the Venezuelan people's aspirations to live in a democracy and build a better future for their families". He said staffers look forward to resuming their presence in Venezuela "once the transition to democracy begins".

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He said the USA remains committed to supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido, who wants to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections.

"I congratulate him for the work he did", Maduro said in a speech Tuesday night. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country.

Power was restored Thursday after a weeklong blackout that Maduro blamed on the United States. Faced with questions about the recognition amounting to only a quarter of the world's countries, the State Department has repeatedly argued that the number doesn't matter, because the countries that sided with the U.S. are "democracies" and that is supposed to count for more somehow.

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. Guaido has declared himself interim president and demands new elections, arguing that President Nicolas Maduro's re-election previous year was invalid. 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.

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