On a tour of four Latin American countries, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is has called for maintaining regional pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
In Lima, Peru, Pompeo met with President Martin Vizcarra to build support for U.S. President Donald Trump’s hardline stance on Venezuela’s Maduro, pressuring him to step down and urging countries to support opposition leader and self-declared ‘interim president’, Juan Guaido.
U.S. sanctions against Maduro’s government and threatened military action have hurt the Venezuelan economy as well as ordinary people, who are already suffering from hyperinflation and food and medicine shortages, triggering mass migration to neighboring countries, such as Peru and Colombia.
“From Venezuela, it is our deep hope that we can achieve our objectives quickly, timely so that these individuals will return to their home country,” Pompeo said after a private meeting with Vizcarra on Saturday.
“Our objective is to allow people to stay in their home countries, this is President Trump’s desire, we want to create conditions in these countries where they can stay in their own country,” said Pompeo.
On Friday, in Asuncion, Paraguay, Pompeo accused Maduro as “tyrant” and praised Paraguay’s support for Guaido.
Earlier in the day, in Santiago, Chile, Pompeo said, “The United States and its allies will not quit this fight (…) courageously standing up for democracy in their home country.”
Today, Sunday, he is set to visit Cucuta, the Colombian border city receiving significant numbers of Venezuelan migrants fleeing hunger and violence in their homeland.
All 4 countries on his itinerary are led by right-wing or center-right leaders favorable to Washington.