Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the United States was withdrawing all the remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela this week due to the deteriorating political situation in the country.
“The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from
@usembassyve this week. This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy,” Pompeo tweeted.
This decision comes a few hours after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused President Donald Trump of plotting to remove him from power by crippling the nation’s power system. Much of Venezuela has been without power since last Thursday, resulting in the death of over 20 people.
“The United States’ imperialist government ordered this attack,” Maduro claimed, adding, “They came with a strategy of war of the kind that only these criminals – who have been to war and have destroyed the people of Iraq, of Libya, of Afghanistan and of Syria – think up,” the Guardian reported.
Maduro added that U.S. plotted this “attack” in collaboration with the opposition to create “a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict.”
Maduro, however, said that this attempt will be foiled.
“Victory belongs to us. What you can be certain of is that sooner rather later, in the coming days, we will win this battle definitively … We will win — and we will do it for Venezuela. We will do it for our homeland. We will do it for you … we will do it because of our people’s right to happiness,” he declared.
Calling the power outage a “catastrophe,” Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó said, “We are in the middle of a catastrophe that is not the result of a hurricane, that is not the result of a tsunami. It’s the product of the inefficiency, the incapability, the corruption of a regime that doesn’t care about the lives of Venezuelans,” CNN reported.
“There is no service in the hospitals. These were the best hospitals in the country. If we are in the capital, what is it like kilometers inside Venezuela where there hasn’t been or there has been very little gasoline with periodic cuts in electricity, without basic goods, with inefficient public transportation? You can say with all responsibility that Venezuela has already collapsed,” he added.
Mudaro has been fighting for political survival since January this year after elections in the South American nation was termed fraudulent by several countries, including the U.S., following which Guaido declared himself the interim president. The U.S. and several other countries recognized Guaido as the interim president, following which Maduro tried shutting down Venezuela’s diplomatic facilities in the U.S. In response, the U.S. too pulled out some diplomats from the country for security reasons.