US Withdrawing Last of Embassy Staff From Venezuela

Pompeo: Last diplomats will be gone by end of the week

The Venezuelan government has demanded that all United States diplomatic staff withdraw from Venezuela, and the State Department has confirmed they will do so. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the last diplomats will be withdrawn by week’s end.

Though this is clearly a response to Venezuela demanding the withdrawal of the diplomats, Pompeo is presenting it as though it were a choice the US made unilaterally, saying it was because of the “deteriorating situation” in Venezuela.

This follows months of the US cutting back staff in Venezuela, and relocating families of diplomatic personnel. The Maduro government initially ordered them out in January, though that appears to have been withdrawn.

US diplomats in Venezuela have had seemingly limited responsibility in recent months, with the US recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the rightful ruler of Venezuela, and virtually cutting off contact with the existing government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.