Jan 27, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Venezuela will allow U.S. diplomats to stay

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela suspended its demand for all for U.S. diplomatic personnel to leave the country this weekend amid continued efforts by Washington and its allies to oust embattled President Nicolás Maduro, AP reports.

Why it matters: The move, which came just days after Maduro severed relations with the U.S. due to President Trump's decision to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president, reduces the most immediate risk of a confrontation between the two nations.

Details: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Maduro’s government and the U.S. agreed on a 30-day window to negotiate replacing the embassies with an "interests office," per AP. For decades, the U.S. and Cuba had a similar arrangement before former President Barack Obama restored relations in 2015.

  • But the State Department did not corroborate the Venezuelan government’s account, AP notes. The agency said it has no plans to close its embassy in Caracas, and that the safety of American diplomats remains its top priority.

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