Security forces are seen after looting during an ongoing blackout in Caracas, Venezuela March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
(Reuters) – The United States is to withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela this week, the U.S. State Department announced late on Thursday.
“Like the January 24 decision to withdraw all dependents and reduce embassy staff to a minimum, 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 U.S. policy,” the State Department said.
It did not say on what day the personnel would be withdrawn from the embassy in Caracas.
The South American nation has been in the throes of political unrest for months over its contested presidential election.
Venezuela is suspending school and business activities on Tuesday amid a continuing power blackout, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a televised broadcast on Monday.
It is the third such cancellation since power went out last week.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Darren Schuettler