Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on “Fox News Sunday” for blocking international aid to citizens dying under his rule.
“The Venezuelan people are speaking loudly and clearly. They understand that Juan Guaido is the legitimate president of the country,” Pompeo said of the country’s opposition leader. “We are supporting that.”
“The Lima Group, the OAS, European countries all around the world have seen the devastation that’s been wrought in Venezuela by this sick tyrant Maduro who’s denying food to starving Venezuelans and medicine to sick Venezuelans. Burning trucks with — this is the worst of the worst of a tyrant, if, I think, the Venezuelan people are seeing that. We saw yesterday the military begin to see it as well,” Pompeo continued.
In a statement on Saturday, the secretary of state said the U.S. government would take action in the socialist country. Pompeo explained to host Chris Wallace that the U.S. already followed through on this pledge by helping the Venezuelan people, and would continue to do so.
Pompeo’s comments come after deadly clashes erupted in Venezuela on Saturday when Maduro’s government tried to block humanitarian aid from reaching the country’s border towns. At least two people were killed, including a 14-year-old boy, after Venezuelan troops loyal to Maduro’s socialist regime opened fire at people attempting to transport the food and other supplies to those affected by the crisis.
Maduro’s troops went so far as to burn trucks filled with aid for starving civilians.
The economic situation in Venezuela continues to decline as Maduro maintains his dictatorial grip on the South American country. The U.S. government, along with dozens of other countries, recognized Guiado as the legitimate leader. Guaido is set to meet with Vice President Mike Pence in Bogota, Colombia, on Monday.
“Some of this violence was clearly — these colectivos, these gangs, the military wasn’t as certain they wanted to lean into this violence. We are very hopeful in the days and weeks and months ahead, the Maduro regime will understand that the Venezuelan people have made its days numbered,” Pompeo said.
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