Juan Guaido takes control of Venezuelan diplomatic properties in the U.S.

Carlos Vecchio and Gustav Marcano have taken control of three of Venezuela’s diplomatic properties in the US

Carlos Vecchio and Gustav Marcano have taken control of three of Venezuela’s diplomatic properties in the US

United States Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov are due to meet in Rome this week to discuss the situation in Venezuela, diplomats from the two countries said.

Spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that Guaido's supporters were in possession of two military attache installations in Washington D.C. and the Venezuelan consulate in NY.

More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years, about one-third of them finding refuge in Colombia.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino revealed the government has revoked hundred of visas from "Maduro-aligned" Venezuelans over the last four days.

The embassy closure is set to worsen already tattered relations with US President Donald Trump, who has not ruled out military intervention to oust President Nicolas Maduro as Washington monitors rapidly unfolding events in the oil-rich but crippled South American nation.

In a statement on Twitter, the Venezuelan government branded the action an "extremely serious violation of the United States government's global obligations", and threatened to take reciprocal action in Venezuela.

Maduro, who has branded Guaido a US puppet seeking to oust him in a coup, broke off relations with Washington after it recognized Guaido, calling diplomatic and consular staff back to Caracas.

"The United States government, at all levels, remains firm in its resolve and support for the people of Venezuela and Interim President Juan Guaido", Pompeo added.

Vecchio added that Venezuela's military attache in Washington, Colonel Jose Luis Silva Silva, would remain in his post. Few other high-ranking members of the military have heeded Guaido's call to break with Maduro, who retains the support of the armed forces and control of state functions. Vecchio said he was confident that Venezuela, which is undergoing an economic and humanitarian crisis, was in "an irreversible process of change" but that "it won't come easily". On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the last remaining American diplomats have left the country.

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