US withdraws diplomats from Venezuela for safety considerations – Pompeo

WASHINGTON, US State Secretary Michael Pompeo said the decision to withdraw the remaining personnel from the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, was made due to the “deteriorated conditions” there.

“The conditions on the ground have deteriorated over the last days and weeks,” and the decision aimed to enable working with Brazil and Columbia without “further risk to American diplomats,” he said in an interview with multiple US media outlets.

“Our mission has been to restore democracy and help the Venezuelan people. Our embassy was an important part of that; the people there have done great work. But it was time for them to come back. Their security is always paramount. And it’s just gotten very difficult,” he added.

“It’s also the case that when you’re making decisions about how to proceed, you have to consider the fact that there are still many Americans there on the ground.

“We wanted to get our diplomatic team back so that our capacity to work with Brazil and Colombia, and all the countries who have joined this enormous coalition to try to benefit the people of Venezuela, can be made in a way that doesn’t create further risk to American diplomats,” he maintained.

In the interview, Pompeo also addressed the US-North Korea talks, US energy production and the proposed wall with Mexico.

He said that the process toward attaining denuclearization in North Korea “is a long journey,” asserting that the sanctions on Pyongyang are “UN Security Council resolutions; they’re not American sanctions, they’re global sanctions.” He said that during last month’s US-North Korean Summit, that was held in Vietnam “President (Donald) Trump understood that what was offered wasn’t sufficient, so more work to do.” On the domestic level, Pompeo voiced support for the Trump-Proposed wall with Mexico.

“As the chief diplomat for the United States of America, I understand that we need to know who’s coming into our country.

“We need to make sure we can control the flow of not only people but drugs and other contraband across the border. So, securing that border’s important,” he said.

Pompeo underscored the importance of enhancing energy production in the US by maintaining that “demand for energy is only growing, and those who can produce and provide it have an enormous advantage when it comes to security around the world.” “We’re getting close to where we’ll have true American energy dominance. It’s a global market; it’s a complicated market. But the more energy that we produce here in America, so the more we can do.” Pompeo announced Monday evening that the US will withdraw all remaining US personnel from its Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela “this week,” in a decision that “reflects the deteriorating situation in Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of US diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on US policy.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency