State Department Encourages US Citizens to Leave Venezuela

Lester Mason
March 15, 2019

Earlier this week, Pompeo explained the decision to withdraw all diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, "reflects the deteriorating situation" and said their presence has "become a constraint on U.S. policy".

"US citizens residing in Venezuela, traveling to Venezuela or traveling in Venezuela should strongly consider departing Venezuela", Palladino said.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, 35, is seeking to capitalise on public anger over the blackout, which has piled misery on a population suffering years of economic crisis and shortages of food and medicine under Maduro.

China offered today to help Venezuela restore its power grid, after President Nicolas Maduro accused USA counterpart Donald Trump of cyber "sabotage" that plunged the South American country into its worst blackout on record.

The escalating humanitarian crisis in Venezuela turned worse Thursday when the nation's tap water ran black with oil as starving residents scramble to find food and other basic supplies across the impoverished country.

The water supply, the outlet reports, has been intermittent "for months", and was almost non-existent this past week, as the country struggled with blackouts - the result of a "catastrophic failure" at one of the country's largest hydroelectric plants, which had a domino effect on the country's power grid.

Power returned to many parts of the country on Tuesday, including some areas that had not had electricity since last Thursday, according to witnesses and social media. The subway began operating in the capital, Caracas, though not all of its stations were open.

He gave no details
He gave no details

Pompeo tweeted earlier in the week that the USA diplomats were being withdrawn because their continued presence in Caracas had become a "constraint" on US policy.

The country began returning to normal on Thursday following a near-total weeklong blackout that the government has blamed on what it calls sabotage encouraged by the US. He did not clarify what he meant by that remark.

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

Maduro's critics have scoffed at the sabotage explanation, insisting that rampant corruption and a decade of incompetent management by state authorities were to blame. 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. 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 United States is preparing to withdraw its remaining diplomats in Venezuela, an effort that will not involve the US military, after Maduro on Tuesday ordered them to leave within 72 hours.

"Since this Monday. we have revoked 340 visas, 107 of which include visas of Maduro's former diplomats and their families", Palladino told reporters.

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Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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