Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

U.S. pulling all staff out of embassy in Venezuala

U.S. pulling all staff out of embassy in Venezuala

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says no military action from inside or outside Venezuela would be acceptable to resolve the "dramatically" deteriorating situation in the country. On Monday, schools and businesses were closed, long lines of cars waited at the few gasoline stations with electricity and hospitals cared for many patients without power.

Venezuela is in the grips of an acute economic crisis that has helped the rise of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the national assembly speaker who in late January declared himself to be the interim leader.

"Maduro, along with Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, continue to provide evidence that Pompeo and the US 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, "reported teleSUR English Tuesday". Generators have alleviated conditions for some critically ill. Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez appeared on national television to condemn "Guaido and his gang" for their alleged attempt to cut the power as a way of fomenting chaos and toppling President Nicolas Maduro.

Mr Guaido, who heads the opposition-controlled congress, and the United States say Mr Maduro's claims that the USA sabotaged the power grid with a "cyberattack" are an attempt to divert attention from the government's own failings.

"The situation there is deteriorating", he said.

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That could have exposed US diplomats to retaliatory action by Maduro's government, especially as it grows more desperate amid the declining humanitarian situation. It is also hard to confirm reports of deaths and looting coming out of Venezuela because of communication difficulties.

Secretary Pompeo said the decision to shut down the embassy "reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela" as well as the conclusion that the presence of the diplomatic staff "has become a constraint on US policy". The majority of the country's Internet network remained offline. Guaido and the US blame years of mismanagement and corruption for allowing the once-wealthy country's infrastructure crumble.

"This is a technology that only the government of the United States possesses".

The 35-year-old National Assembly leader has challenged President Nicolas Maduro by calling on the opposition-dominated assembly to decree a "state of alarm" in the country.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on a Moscow-based bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state-owned companies, for allegedly trying to circumvent U.S. sanctions on the South American country.

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