MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Venezuela’s authorities have given US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country’s territory, the Bolivarian Republic’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Tuesday.
"US diplomatic personnel must leave Venezuela in the coming 72 hours," Arreaza tweeted, stressing that the US diplomats’ presence "threatens stability in the country."
The foreign minister also emphasized that Venezuela was halting its talks with the US on opening interest sections in each capital. Caracas and Washington started discussing the plan after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on January 24 severing diplomatic ties with the US.
At the same time, the top Venezuelan diplomat showed interest in "maintaining dialogue with the US but only on the basis of mutual respect."
Late on Monday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated that Washington would withdraw the remaining US personnel from its embassy in Venezuela this week. There is no information about the number of US diplomats in Caracas. On January 24, the US State Department removed some diplomatic personnel.
The crisis in Venezuela further deteriorated after on January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas.
Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), the Organization of American States and a number of European countries recognized him. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro condemned this as an attempted coup d’etat. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.