[USA], Mar 15 (ANI): All American diplomats have temporarily left Venezuela, amid a mounting political and economic turmoil in the South American nation, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Thursday.
"Today, all US diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the country. They are fully dedicated to our mission of supporting the Venezuelan people’s aspirations to live in a democracy and build a better future for their families," Pompeo was quoted by The Hill as saying.
"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," he added.
Pompeo further said that the people of the US stand with the Venezuelan citizens, adding that Washington is ready to provide the "richly deserved" humanitarian assistance.
“We are prepared to provide the humanitarian assistance that you so richly deserve. It’s the Maduro regime which has prevented that,” he said.
The US had, in January, ordered all of its non-emergency government employees to leave Venezuela, following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's decision to sever diplomatic ties with the nation due to the ongoing political crisis.
On January 23, Guaido declared himself as the President of Venezuela amidst major protests calling for Maduro to step down from his post. The US, while extending its support to Guaido, also rallied for other nations to side with Guaido.
Countries like Japan, UK, Spain recognised Guaido as the interim President, after their ultimatum to Maduro to hold fresh elections expired as the embattled President continues to hold on to his post.
Maduro has accused the US of plotting a coup to overthrow him by supporting Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela.
While Maduro is the elected President of Venezuela, most of the international community has decried the previous elections as rigged.
Making things worse, Venezuela's economy is currently grappling with US-imposed sanctions, as a major shortage of medicines and inflation is leading to growing public dissent against the Maduro-government.
Guaido has urged other countries to pump in relief supplies to the beleaguered nation in response to worsening food and medical shortages.
"The United States government, at all levels, remains firm in its resolve and support for the people of Venezuela and Interim President Juan Guaidó. We look forward to resuming our presence once the transition to democracy begins," Pompeo remarked. (ANI)