The State Department has reportedly called all personnel from the United States’ embassy in Venezuela to return to the U.S. amid growing hostilities in the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move over Twitter where he said the decision was based on the “deteriorating situation in Venezuela.” He also said the move opens up negotiations with the country’s government.
“The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from @usembassyve this week,” Pompeo tweeted. “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.”
The South American country has suffered considerably under the rule of Nicolas Maduro and, despite humanitarian aid from the Trump administration and others, the situation has not allayed.
The call to bring home the state department officials could prelude a larger move by the Trump administration to pressure the country to change its leadership over to internationally recognized leader Juan Guaido.
“Amid an economic and humanitarian crisis in the South American country, the U.S. and other allies have demanded the ousting of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Here’s more from the report:
White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that momentum is building against Maduro, and members of the Venezuelan military and National Assembly are talking about ways to transition to a government headed by Guaido.
“There are countless conversations going on between members of the National Assembly and members of the military in Venezuela talking about what might come, how they might move to support the opposition,” Bolton told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz.
Venezuela is currently experiencing a massive power outage, which Pompeo attributed earlier Monday to “the Communists in Havana.” Maduro pins the power outage on “multiple cyber-attacks,” which U.S. officials denied and cited years of mismanagement by the regime. The blackout is exacerbating food shortages in the country and leading to the deaths of babies and other vulnerable patients in hospitals without electricity.