Last remaining US diplomats leave Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the last remaining American diplomats in Venezuela have left the country.

Pompeo said in a statement Thursday that he knows it is a “difficult moment” for the diplomats. He says the United States remains committed to supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido, who wants to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and hold elections.

A convoy was seen leaving the U.S. Embassy in Caracas in the morning, and the American flag is no longer flying outside the embassy.

Pompeo tweeted earlier this week that the diplomats would be withdrawn because they had become a “constraint” on U.S. policy. The Venezuelan government disputed Pompeo’s account, saying it had instructed the U.S. diplomats to leave.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.