USA withdrawing all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela - State Department

Juan Guaido seeks to sell out Venezuela’s oil industry report

US pulls remaining diplomats out of Venezuelan embassies as crisis worsens

According to Bloomberg, India became the largest customer for Venezuelan oil last month, buying about 55 per cent of that country's oil production.

The outage has added to discontent in a country already suffering from hyperinflation and a political crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido assumed the interim presidency in January after declaring President Nicolas Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud.

A U.S. flag flies outside the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela in January.

The country has been beset by a major power outage in recent days, and drivers wait in line for hours at the few gas stations that are still operational, NPR's Philip Reeves has reported.

Venezuela on Monday suspended schools and businesses as a result of the blackout that began on Thursday last week with President Maduro blaming "an worldwide cyber-attack" for the blackout. Guaido is backed by some 50 countries, while Maduro maintains support from countries such as China, Russia and Cuba.

The United States announced late Monday that it is pulling the remaining staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation in the South American nation.

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"I'm very confident that the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people", Pompeo said.

"This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on USA policy".

The Treasury Department clamped sanctions on Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state-owned companies for helping PDVSA, the government oil company, evade Washington's restrictions.

"We are in the process of investigation and correcting it all because there are many infiltrators attacking the electrical company from within", he said, telling supporters that his administration has "defeated their coup" a, reference to the efforts by the United States to topple his socialist administration.

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.

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

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