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March 2019
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International News
US to pull last embassy staff from Venezuela
 
Washington: The United States has said it will withdraw all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro accused US President Donald Trump of masterminding a plot to force him from power by crippling the country''s electricity system. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision to vacate the US embassy in the crisis-stricken country''s capital, Caracas, late on Monday. ?This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on US policy,? Pompeo tweeted, according to the media reports.

On January 24 the US State Department ordered all non-emergency government employees to depart Venezuela, where Maduro is facing a stiff challenge for power from opposition leader Juan Guaido amid an acute economic crisis. That day, the department also urged Americans living in Venezuela to consider leaving. Pompeo''s announcement came after another day of chaos as power cuts that began Thursday evening continued to cause problems for Venezuelans, leaving them with little power, water and communications. People converged on a polluted river to fill water bottles in Caracas, and scattered protests erupted in several cities.

Maduro''s political foes and many specialists believe the calamitous nationwide blackout that has yet to be resolved is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence. ?We are in the middle of a catastrophe that is not the result of a hurricane, that is not the result of a tsunami,? Guaido told CNN on Sunday. ?It''s the product of the inefficiency, the incapability, the corruption of a regime that doesn''t care about the lives of Venezuelans.? But in a televised nationwide address on Monday night Maduro pointed the finger of blame at the White House in what critics condemned as a cynical attempt to deflect criticism of his regime''s responsibility.


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