US urges Venezuela’s Maduro to ‘open these bridges’
More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages and a political crisis in their homeland.
What Pompeo said
- Imitating US President Ronald Reagan’s famous “Tear down this wall” speech in Berlin at the end of the Cold War, Pompeo called on Maduro to “open these bridges, open these borders. You can end this today.”
- “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 added
- He said that the United States, which has instituted sanctions on Venezuela, “will continue to use every economic and political means at our disposal to help the Venezuelan people.”
- Pompeo also issued warnings to Russia and Cuba, who have remained supporters of Maduro’s government. “Cubans must understand that there will be a cost with continued support of Nicolas Maduro, and we’re going to have the same conversation with Russia as well.”
Read more: Venezuela explained: Who backs Maduro, who backs Guaido?
Maduro has imposed a blockade along Venezuela’s borders to prevent humanitarian aid from Colombia, Brazil and the Dutch Caribbean from entering the country. The Venezuelan president associate the aid with a US invasion and has cited US sanctions as the reason for the country’s economic woes. Authorities in Venezuela have also accused Washington of attempting to overthrow Maduro and even blamed it for an electrical grid failure last month that left the country without power for days. Read more: US’ Mike Pence urges UN to recognize Venezuela’s Guaido