US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses a press conference in Budapest on February 11, 2019. - Pompeo is on his one-day official visit to Hungary, at the first station of his four-day official visit to Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Iran, China, North Korea, Venezuela mark series of conflicts heating up for Trump admin
03:03 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

More than a month after Switzerland agreed to be the caretaker of US embassy interests in Venezuela, the arrangement is still not operational.

The two nations signed a protecting powers agreement in early April. Once it is operational, the Swiss will be able to provide consular services to Americans in Venezuela.

However, Swiss Embassy spokesperson Andreas Ledergerber told CNN on Wednesday that the agreement has still not entered into force.

“In order for the arrangement to become operational, it needs to be formally accepted (by diplomatic note) by Venezuela. This has not happened yet,” he said.

CNN has reached out to the Maduro government for comment. The US does not recognize Nicolas Maduro’s government as legitimate.

The US has been without a diplomatic presence in Venezuela since mid-March, when the State Department ordered its remaining personnel to leave Caracas amid the ongoing political crisis. The State Department has urged US citizens to leave the country and has raised its advisory to the highest level – Level Four: Do Not Travel. At the time the agreement was signed, the State Department noted that until the agreement was operational, “US citizens in Venezuela who require emergency assistance should continue to visit the nearest US embassy or consulate in another country.”

The US has agreements with nations to serve as protecting powers in countries with which it does not have diplomatic relations. The Czech Republic is its protecting power in Syria, the Swedish are the protecting power in North Korea and the Swiss are in Iran.