UPDATED 7:46 AM PT — Friday, March 15, 2019
The American flag flying outside the U.S. Embassy in the Venezuelan capital is lowered as the last remaining diplomats leave the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the diplomats will continue their “mission from other locations,” and said that the situation is only temporary. He added, the U.S. will resume its presence in the country “once the transition to democracy begins,” though he declined to offer a specific timeline.
Pompeo released a video statement directly to the Venezuelan people on Thursday to reassure them of U.S. support in the wake of the withdrawal.
.@SecPompeo: "I have a message for the Venezuelan people—the American people are with you." pic.twitter.com/RLNB0iRw5Q
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 14, 2019
Pompeo explained the presence of diplomats in Venezuela at this time has put constraints on U.S. policy. Despite this, he said the U.S. will continue to stand with self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido.