Pompeo: US to retaliate for Venezuela expulsion of diplomat

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 23, 2018

The US has not had an ambassador to Venezuela since 2010, but Robinson served as the mission's Chargé D'Affaires - a position that is akin to an acting ambassadorship.

Trump's order on Monday prohibits involvement in the purchase of any debt owed to the Venezuelan government, including accounts receivable, particularly related to oil sold by the OPEC member.

Robinson said nobody in the Venezuelan government would met with him, but socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello denied the snub, accusing the diplomat of staging a "show". A senior administration official likened the situation on Monday to the Syrian migrant crisis in 2015, noting the impact it is having on key USA allies in Latin America. Earlier in the month, the United States, and a number of Latin American countries along with Spain, said they would not recognize the outcome of Venezuela's election.

However, Russia, El Salvador, Cuba and China congratulated President Maduro on his election win.

"We will be the most powerful and largest political force in Venezuela for a long time", he told a festive crowd of supporters who poured into the grounds of the presidential palace to celebrate.

Opposition leaders said the lifeless voting centers were evidence that Venezuelans heeded their call to abstain from voting in an election they contended was certain to be rigged in Maduro's favor.

When socialist President Nicolas Maduro won re-election to a six-year term on Sunday in a vote the opposition and foreign governments called illegitimate, Casique made a decision to leave, first for the western city of San Cristobal and from there to Cucuta, Colombia.

US President Donald Trump imposed the latest sanctions, which prevent the sale of Venezuelan assets or those of its state oil company to US citizens or corporations, on Monday.

But North Korea, at least, sent Maduro a hearty congratulations.

The Venezuelan government used ample state resources to get voters out on Sunday and public workers were pressured to vote.

The vote was marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of fraud, which led the U.S. to tighten sanctions.

He rejected the result soon after polls closed and called for a repeat election.

"Never have we witnessed an global attack as bad as the one that characterized this process", she said.

"Neither with conspiracies nor with sanctions will you hold Venezuela back", Mr Maduro said. The bolivar currency is down well over 99 percent over the past year and annual inflation is at almost 14,000 percent, according to the opposition-led National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the European Union said it will consider imposing new sanctions on Venezuela as a result of Sunday's vote.

The latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela appeared to target in part Citgo, a US-based oil refinery owned by Venezuela state oil company PDVSA. "The Venezuelan crisis is not only a national issue, a national crisis created only by Venezuela".

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