U.S. withdraws remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela

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Guaido, who is trying to oust President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections, blames corruption and incompetence for almost a week of nationwide blackouts that deprived most of the already struggling population not just of electricity, but also water and communications.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Venezuelan government ordered United States diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours, after talks broke down over maintaining diplomatic "interest sections" in the two countries.

Last month, Manuel Quevedo, Venezuela's oil minister and head of the state-run oil company PDVSA, told reporters that his country wants to sell more crude oil to India, PTI said.

"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 USA policy", tweeted Pompeo. "They provide physical protection and other critical material and political support to Maduro and to those around him".

Maduro is facing a challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself acting president in January and was recognized by the us and other countries. "When there's no water, thank the excellent hydrologists from Cuba". He criticized "Cuban Communist overlords" and the "deeply corrupt ruling class" protecting Maduro.

Last weekend mass pro-regime demonstrations were held in support of Maduro, despite public opinion of the President decreasing.

Two large tankers are sitting empty at the Jose offshore oil-loading dock, and at least 19 other ships are waiting their turns there, Dallen said.

"The two nations also share a feature: a deeply corrupt ruling class", Pomepo said.

Even some relatives of Maduro couldn't stand the power outages, according to authorities in Colombia.

"Russia, too, has created this crisis. Its solution needs to be peaceful, political and democratic", said Mogherini.

The opposition has accused Maduro of going after his opponents, and amid signs of a crackdown on the media, the National Press Workers' Union said that prominent radio journalist Luis Carlos Diaz was arrested on Monday by intelligence agents at his home in Caracas. USA officials rejected that on the rationale that Maduro had no authority to take such a step.

Russian Federation has investments in Venezuela totaling more than $17 billion, including in the country's lucrative oil and gold markets.

The United States says it is removing all remaining personnel from its embassy in Venezuela.

Most recently, a power outage that has gone on for five days has led the U.S.to accuse Maduro of failing to run his country effectively-even amid reports in the New York Times that the sanctions the USA has imposed in recent weeks are to blame for the blackouts, as Venezuela's access to fuel for power plant operations has been cut off.

"These are the same officials that have systematically lied to the world about Venezuela's reality and personally have directed fake, flag-waving operations to justify an intervention", he said in a statement.

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