CARACAS, Venezuela – For years, the hulking reinforced-concrete U.S. Embassy here has been a target of Venezuela’s socialist leaders, who have expelled numerous senior American envoys. But the tension has perhaps never been higher than now, with authorities ordering diplomats out of the country by this weekend.
President Nicolás Maduro severed relations with Washington after the Trump administration on Wednesday recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president. The U.S. government has defied Maduro’s order to vacate the embassy, saying it has Guaidó’s permission to stay.
The standoff raised the possibility that Maduro could use force to expel the remaining diplomats.