Venezuala crisis: Thousands of Nicolás Maduro supporters march through Caracas

Pompeo said the diplomatic staff would continue to work from outside Venezuela

Pompeo said the diplomatic staff would continue to work from outside Venezuela

"Today, all United States diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the country".

"Today, all USA diplomats remaining in Venezuela departed the country", he said in a statement, adding that it is "a hard moment for them".

The United States has withdrawn all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas as the crisis in Venezuela deepens, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday.

Maduro repeated his claim that the blackout, which lasted nearly a week, was due to "successive attacks" against the country's major hydroelectric facility at Guri in Bolivar state, "directed" by U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Pompeo addressed the Venezuelan people directly in a video tweet, saying the U.S.is eager to provide them desperately needed humanitarian assistance, including food and medicine.

The Inter-American Development Bank on Friday ousted the representative of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and replaced him with an economist backed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, a major setback for the Maduro government.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the diplomats will continue their "mission from other locations", and said that the situation is only temporary.

Speaking on television and radio, Maduro said the "Command for the Defense of Basic Strategic Services" would be tasked with ensuring "security, operability and maintenance".

It is unclear when American staff might return to the country, now mired in political and economic chaos.

Pompeo tweeted earlier this week that the diplomats would be withdrawn because they had become a "constraint" on U.S. policy.

He said it was part of an ongoing strategy to impose visa restrictions "on corrupt individuals who enable Maduro's theft of Venezuela's assets for their own personal gain".

The decision came after the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory urging Americans to avoid Venezuela "due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens".