United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. “will withdraw all remaining personnel from the (Venezuelan) embassy this week,” effectively breaking diplomatic ties with the country on part of the U.S.
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In a tweet late Monday night Pompeo wrote: “The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from @usembassyve this week,” adding that “the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S.”
Most U.S. embassy officials were removed in late January when opposition member Juan Guaido proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president.
President Nicolas Maduro at that time said he was breaking diplomatic ties with the U.S. because the North American country had long been orchestrating an overthrow of his democratically elected government in order to install a "puppet government" headed by Guaido and elite interest groups in Venezuela and the U.S.
Maduro said then: "They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We say to them: these riches are not yours. They belong to the people of Venezuela and that is how it will be forever," emphasized the country’s leader.
In Pompeo’s Monday night announcement the U.S. official said the decision “reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela.” The "situation" Pompeo refers to is the nationwide electrical blackouts that hit the country last Thursday.
However, Maduro along with Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez continue to provide evidence that Pompeo and the U.S. authorities were the masterminds behind this very 'situation', pulling off a cyber attack on the state electric company’s computer system at the El Guri hydroelectric plant resulting in the near nationwide power outage.
Rodriguez pointed out that March 7, just minutes after the electrical attacks, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted about the energy outage, indicating he had prior knowledge the major blackout would take place.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the next day: "There is no food, there are no medicines, now there is no energy," adding Maduro would be next to fall.
Despite the diplomatic strains Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has continually tried to work with U.S. officials in order to resolve the U.S. aggressions toward his country, meeting with diplomatic authorities in Washington in late February, which U.S. official Elliot Abrams has denied.
"We'll continue to dialogue, even with the devil, to defend Venezuela's sovereignty," Arreaza told teleSUR reporters Feb. 23.
Electrical power has slowly been returning to Venezuela and as of Sunday was 70 percent restored.