MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – A convoy of about 15 U.S. Embassy vehicles were seen heading to Venezuela’s International Airport Simon Bolivar on Thursday, as they left the embassy.
The U.S. Embassy staff convoy was escorted by Venezuelan police cars and motorcycles.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet:
All remaining U.S. diplomats in #Venezuela have departed for the time being. We remain firm in our support for Venezuelan people and @jguaido and look forward to returning to a free & democratic Venezuela. #EstamosUnidosVE
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 14, 2019
Earlier this week, Pompeo had announced that all personnel would be removed from the embassy.
Venezuela has been deteriorating in recent months due to growing political strife and a recent nationwide power outage.
The week-long outage left many homes without running water and caused chaos in hospitals, schools, and the looting of businesses across the nation.
Earlier this week, Nicolas Maduro, who controls the military, called the outage an “electric coup” carried out by “criminal minds.” Maduro blamed the US for an attack on the power structure and said: “The imperialist government of the United States ordered this attack.”
Maduro offered no evidence for his assertions.
(©2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)