World News

U.S. & allied diplomats storm out as Venezuelan FM addresses United Nations drugs convention

U.S. & allied diplomats storm out as Venezuelan FM addresses United Nations drugs convention

Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was a sham. The diplomats left the country on a chartered civilian aircraft.

The OPEC nation suffered its worst blackout in history last week following technical problems that the government of President Nicolas Maduro called an act of US -backed sabotage but critics dismissed as the result of incompetence.

The water supply, the outlet reports, has been intermittent "for months", and was almost non-existent this past week, as the country struggled with blackouts - the result of a "catastrophic failure" at one of the country's largest hydroelectric plants, which had a domino effect on the country's power grid.

A retailers' association said some 500 stores in that city were pillaged during the power cut.

Maduro has blamed Washington for organising what he said was a sophisticated cyber attack on Venezuela's hydroelectric power operations. The subway began operating in the capital, Caracas, though not all of its stations were open.

Pompeo tweeted earlier in the week that the USA diplomats were being withdrawn because their continued presence in Caracas had become a "constraint" on US policy.

More than 300 people were arrested for protesting and looting during an unprecedented weeklong blackout across Venezuela, an NGO for detainees critical of President Nicolas Maduro's government said on Thursday. He did not clarify what he meant by that remark.

He gave no details
He gave no details

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in an address on state television Wednesday that Maduro decided the public sector would resume work on Thursday, although state schools would remain closed for an extra day.

Maduro accuses Guaido and the United States of plotting an invasion.

The sweeping financial sanctions against PDVSA, aimed at curbing crude exports to the United States and driving Maduro from power, were the strongest measures yet against Venezuela's vital oil sector.

More than 600 visas have been revoked since late 2018 as part of US efforts to pressure Maduro's government, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said.

Also Thursday, the State Department confirmed it has revoked 340 USA visas from Venezuelans, including more than 100 former diplomats and their families.

"Since this Monday. we have revoked 340 visas, 107 of which include visas of Maduro's former diplomats and their families", Palladino told reporters.

Maduro called for support from allies including Russian Federation and China as well as the United Nations in investigating the U.S. "cyber attack" he said was responsible for the blackout.

More news: Android 10 beta rolls out