Switzerland will represent US interests in Venezuela after the American embassy was closed in Caracas, according to the US State Department.
"The United States and Switzerland reached an arrangement on April 5, 2019 regarding the Swiss acting as a protecting power for US interests in Venezuela," the release said.
The arrangement doesn’t stipulate that Swiss diplomats "will be able to provide services" to American citizens in Venezuela, according to the statement. The department emphasised that US nationals in Venezuela have to turn to a US embassy or consulate in any other country apart from Venezuela.
Tensions in Venezuela have been running high since January, when opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. The declaration was followed by immediate US recognition. Since then, Washington has imposed sanctions on Caracas and seized Venezuelan state property, claiming that the government of Nicolas Maduro is illegitimate.