Despite the personnel evacuation, Pompeo said the Trump administration maintains its support of opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his effort to oust authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S.no longer recognizes as the country's rightful leader.
This Sept. 12, 2008 photo shows the USA embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.
The US-backed "interim president" of Venezuela Juan Guaido isn't violating the 30-day constitutional limit because the legislature backing him voted to make it not apply, "explained" the US special envoy Elliott Abrams. He added, the US will resume its presence in the country "once the transition to democracy begins", though he declined to offer a specific timeline.
The U.S. flag outside the embassy had been taken down.
"US diplomats will now continue that mission from other locations where they will continue to help manage the flow of humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people and support the democratic actors bravely resisting tyranny", Pompeo said.
"Soon, I will announce new powerful changes in ways of the national government's work", Maduro said in a speech at the presidential palace in Caracas on Friday, as aired by his Periscope channel.
The country began returning to normal 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. Maduro claims Guiado is the chief operative in a "cyberattack" by the United States that caused Venezuela's electrical grid to collapse completely. 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.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the release of the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at the Department of State in Washington, March 13, 2019. Since Monday, the US has revoked 340 visas, 107 of which were for Venezuelan diplomats and their families, according to Palladino.
Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales, a supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, said on Friday that European nations should support a dialogue within the country.