Pompeo tweeted earlier this week that the diplomats would be withdrawn because they had become a "constraint" on USA policy. "I know it is a hard moment for them", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Thursday.
A convoy was seen leaving the U.S. Embassy in Caracas on Thursday morning, and the American flag was no longer flying outside the embassy.
That could explain why, instead of dispatching crews to fix the problem, France24 reports that Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is dispatching prosecutors to find and charge opposition leader Juan Guaido with sabotaging the country's grid system by causing a major explosion at the Guiado dam.
This Sept. 12, 2008 photo shows the US embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.
Earlier this week, Maduro praised Story for his professional conduct.
Despite the resumption of shipments from Jose, Venezuela's oil industry remains troubled and is struggling with the impact of USA sanctions on state oil company PDVSA.
Venezuela's power grid troubles continue, and now, according to videos appearing on social media, citizens in one state of the poverty ravaged country are experiencing new troubles: tap water contaminated with what looks like crude oil.
He gave no details
Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said power had been restored in the "vast majority" of the country.
Some neighborhoods in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, where massive looting occurred during the outages, still didn't have power.
The country began returning to normal on Thursday following a near-total weeklong blackout that the government has blamed on what it calls sabotage encouraged by the US. US officials and Guaido said the allegation is absurd and that government corruption and mismanagement caused the infrastructure collapse in a country already suffering hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods. He did not clarify what he meant by that remark.
The Venezuelan National Assembly, dominated by the opposition, has declared a state of alarm over the blackout that the Maduro government blamed on a USA cyber-attack and that plunged the struggling country into darkness and chaos for five days.
The move has put Venezuela at the heart of a geopolitical tussle, with the United States leading most Western nations in recognising Guaidó as the legitimate head of state, while Russia, China and others support Maduro. The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry as well as individuals linked to Maduro's government, and U.S. President Donald Trump has said "all options are on the table" in his administration's support for Guaido. Since Monday, the USA has revoked 340 visas, 107 of which were for Venezuelan diplomats and their families, according to Palladino. Venezuela later allowed a skeletal staff to remain at the hilltop U.S. Embassy until Thursday's withdrawal.
Maduro's government in January cut ties with the US over its recognition of Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader, a stand taken by about 50 other countries that contend Maduro's re-election past year was rigged and that he has no legitimacy.