July 27, 2017 / 11:58 PM / a year ago

U.S. orders family members of Caracas embassy staff to leave Venezuela

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the U.S. embassy building in Caracas March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Thursday ordered family members of U.S. government employees at the American embassy in Caracas to leave Venezuela ahead of a weekend vote that has sparked violent protests.

The department said in a statement it also authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees at the Caracas embassy.

Reporting by Eric Beech

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