All American diplomats have left Venezuela, says Pompeo

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"I know it is a hard moment for them", he said, referencing the USA diplomats.

"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", he added. Faced with questions about the recognition amounting to only a quarter of the world's countries, the State Department has repeatedly argued that the number doesn't matter, because the countries that sided with the USA are "democracies" and that is supposed to count for more somehow. He added, the USA will resume its presence in the country "once the transition to democracy begins", though he declined to offer a specific timeline. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that the USA has revoked more than 600 visas from Venezuelans since late previous year.

As of late 2018, the USA has revoked more than 600 Venezuelan visas.

Palladino also warned followers of the embattled Nicolas Maduro not to harass US -backed leader Juan Guaido.

Pompeo explained the presence of diplomats in Venezuela at this time has put constraints on US policy. Since Monday, the US has revoked 340 visas, 107 of which were for Venezuelan diplomats and their families, according to Palladino.

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The United States is one of about 50 countries that have thrown their support behind opposition leader Guaido, who has announced himself "interim president" after last year's disputed election.

The country began returning to normal Thursday following a near-total weeklong blackout that the government has blamed on what it calls sabotage encouraged by the US. On 7 March, almost the whole territory of Venezuela was swept by a blackout, caused by what the national electricity supplier Corpoelec called sabotage at a the Guri dam.

Maduro has dubbed Guaido a puppet of the United States and said Washington has attempted a coup d'etat to exact a change in government.

Abrams said the same thing on Friday, calling Guaido's backers "many of the most influential democracies in the world".

The move has put Venezuela at the heart of a geopolitical tussle, with the United States leading most Western nations in recognizing Guaido as the legitimate head of state, while Russia, China and others support Maduro.

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