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The Last American Diplomats Have Left Venezuela. It’s the Lowest Point in 20 Years of Fraught Relations.

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View of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.

The months-long stand-off between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and United States diplomats stationed in the country ended abruptly late on Monday night with a tweet from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

For the last two months, since the Trump administration broke diplomatic ties with Maduro’s government, U.S. diplomats in Venezuela have lived in a tense limbo. Though the U.S. government recognizes Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as the country’s rightful president, Maduro still controls Venezuela, and, on January 23rd, Maduro ordered all U.S. diplomats expelled from the country within 72 hours. Declaring that only Guaidó had the right to expel diplomats, the Department of State ignored Maduro’s order, and refused to close the embassy. Hours before the deadline he had set for U.S. personnel to exit the country, Maduro backed down, opening up a 30-day window for negotiations with the U.S.

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