U.S. pulls diplomats from Venezuela, blackout continues

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 12, 2019 - Duration: 01:48s

U.S. pulls diplomats from Venezuela, blackout continues

The United States will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela this week, the U.S. State Department said late on Monday, citing the deteriorating situation in the country after months of political unrest.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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U.S. pulls diplomats from Venezuela, blackout continues

Increasingly desperate scenes from caracas, where venezuelans collected water from sewage drains as a power blackout hit its 6th day.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PROTESTER, ROSSI, SAYING: "How do we tell our children that there is no water, there is no (cell) signal, there is no electricity?

There is nothing, really." A massive power outage starting thursday has forced Venezuela's government to suspend schools and business activities.

President Nicolas Maduro without evidence blamed the blackout on U.S.-backed sabotage.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido calls power failure the product of corruption and incompetence.

Maduro is facing an unprecedented political crisis, but refuses to give up power.

He's facing pressure from the U.S. And other western nations to step down.

(Soundbite) (English) U.S. Secretary of state mike pompeo, saying: "i'm very confident the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people." The U.S. Said monday it would withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in caracas this week, citing unrest in the country.

The same day, Venezuela's congress declared a "state of alarm" over the power blackout.

The blackout means there's no electricity to pump water to city residents.

Dozens could be seen swarming a pipe that feeds into the guaire river, which carries sewage through caracas.

And while the water looks clear, those collecting it told reuters they would only be using it to flush toilets or scrub floors.

The blackout has worsened the situation of a country already facing a hyper-inflationary economic collapse that has spurred a mass migration.

The crisis has turned basic staples such as flour and even toilet paper into unaffordable luxuries.

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