NEWS

'US will use all economic, political means to hold Maduro accountable'

Reuters

Published
Modified 15 Apr 2019, 2:29 am

The United States will continue to use all economic and political tools at its disposal to hold Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accountable for a worsening crisis in his country, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

Pompeo made the comments in the Colombian border city of Cucuta, the final stop of a three-day trip to Chile, Paraguay and Peru, a clutch of fast-growing countries in a region where Washington’s concerns are focused on the Venezuelan crisis and China’s growing presence.

Maduro blames US sanctions for the country’s economic problems and dismisses opposition leader Juan Guaido – who in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate – as a US puppet.

More than three million Venezuelans have fled hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages and political crisis.

“The United States will continue to utilise every economic and political means at our disposal to help the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said after visiting with migrants at a Cucuta shelter and touring border bridges and a warehouse storing humanitarian aid.

“Using sanctions, visa revocations and other means, we pledge to hold the regime and those propping it up accountable for their corruption and their repression of democracy.”

Cucuta receives a significant portion of Venezuelan migrants arriving in Colombia, many of whom come with only what they can carry.

Though most Western nations have recognised Guaido as head of state, Russia, China and Cuba have stood by Maduro.

Washington has imposed a raft of sanctions against Maduro’s government in an attempt to dislodge him from power. On Friday, it added four firms and nine ships to its blacklist.

Critics have warned that heavy sanctions could hurt ordinary Venezuelans.

Pompeo urged Maduro to leave his post and Venezuela so the country can return to normalcy.

“I hope you will care now, when you see the horror, when you see the tragedy, to change your ways and to leave your country,” Pompeo said.

During his trip Pompeo has mirrored previous US criticism of China’s growing presence in Latin America, warning of “predatory” lending practices and “malign or nefarious” actions.

China, whose booming economy over the past two decades has driven up demand for raw materials, is the top trade partner for nations from tiny Uruguay to Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy and the world’s top soybean exporter.

- Reuters

Share this story

Comments

By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.

REPORT VIOLATORS

Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.