'DETERIORATING SITUATION': Mike Pompeo Orders Withdrawal of US Embassy Staff from Venezuela

Moscow slams new US sanctions on Russia Venezuela bank

US pulls remaining diplomats out of Venezuelan embassies as crisis worsens

Schools and businesses were closed, long lines of cars waited at the few petrol stations with electricity and hospitals cared for many patients without power.

In a tweet, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said having staff in Caracas had "become a constraint on U.S. policy". Generators have alleviated conditions for some critically ill.

Dimitris Pantoulas, a Caracas-based political analyst, said Maduro had appeared "worried, anxious and absolutely desperate" in his Monday night broadcast, suggesting the situation was dire. He also said two people who were allegedly trying to sabotage power facilities were captured and were providing information to authorities, though he gave no details.

Maduro's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Tuesday that they were behind the departure of remaining US diplomats, ordering them to leave after talks over their continued presence broke down Monday.

The pullout was ordered due to the "deteriorating situation" in the country, he said. China, Russia, Cuba and other governments, however, have continued to support Maduro.

"The presence on Venezuelan soil of these officials represents a risk for the peace, unity and stability of the country", the government said in a statement. It is also hard to confirm reports of deaths and looting coming out of Venezuela because of communication difficulties.

Mr Pompeo said that "India has been incredibly supportive of our efforts on Iran" where the United States has imposed strict sanctions after backing out of the multi-national agreement for Tehran to end its nuclear programme.

The U.S. and more than 50 governments recognize Guaido as interim president and say Maduro wasn't legitimately re-elected a year ago because opposition candidates weren't permitted to run. The majority of the country's Internet network remained offline. He has blamed the blackouts on government corruption and mismanagement.

The State Department ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave Venezuela back in January, days after President Nicolas Maduro ended diplomatic relations with Washington and ordered US diplomats to leave after President Donald Trump officially recognized Juan Guaido as interim president.

Since recognizing Guaido, the US has sanctioned the state-owned oil company and top Maduro-aligned officials, imposed visa bans or revocations on over 250 officials, and amassed around 200 metric tons of humanitarian aid across the border in Colombia and supported efforts by Guaido and his supporters to rush it across the border.

"The United States' imperialist government ordered this attack", Maduro claimed in his 35-minute speech, only his second significant intervention since the crisis began last week.

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