US diplomats are undermining Venezuelan peace and stability, the nation’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said, setting a deadline for them to vacate the embassy in Caracas. Washington vowed to hurry the evacuation of its mission.
American diplomats must “abandon Venezuelan territory in the next 72 hours,” with the countdown starting at the “zero hour” on Tuesday, Arreaza wrote on Twitter.
Venezuela had earlier demanded that Washington clear the embassy in Caracas of any remaining personnel. The presence of American diplomats “entails risks to the country’s peace, integrity and stability,” the minister explained.
He accused the US of threatening the nation with military intervention and said that officials in Washington “have systematically lied to the world regarding Venezuelan reality.”
At the same time, Jorge Arreaza stressed that Venezuela stands ready to restart dialogue with the US, as long as the communication is based on “equality and mutual respect.”
As the deadline was issued, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the evacuation of the embassy in Caracas, which is set to be completed within a week.
The pullout was ordered due to the “deteriorating situation” in the country, he said.
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