CARTAGENA, Colombia – US Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday in Cartagena, Colombia, that Venezuela is a failed state that threatens the security and prosperity of the entire hemisphere.
“A failed state in Venezuela threatens the security and prosperity of our entire hemisphere and the people of the United States,” Pence told reporters after meeting with a number of Venezuelans who had left their country to escape the ongoing crisis and migrated to Colombia.
In that sense, he repeated US President Donald Trump’s words that “the United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles” and slides into dictatorship.
Pence mentioned the Constituent Assembly, as well as the “poverty” that country is suffering, while noting that “more than 130 brave Venezuelans have already died in the desperate fight for democracy.”
For the vice president, the situation in Venezuela “will drive more illegal migration, compromising our borders, damaging our economies.”
“President Trump is absolutely determined to marshal all of the support of nations across this region to see democracy restored in Venezuela,” Pence said.
Finally, he said the United States has a long history of generosity toward refugees, and expressed US willingness to help a Colombia faced with a flood of Venezuelan migrants in order to avoid economic hardships and a tense political situation.
According to Migracion Colombia, some 50,000 people a day cross from Venezuela into Colombia looking to buy basic products that can’t be found back home.
In addition, between 300,000 and 350,000 Venezuelans have come to Colombia “determined to stay.”
Since April 1, Venezuela has been the scene of demonstrations for and against the government, and which have left a death toll of more than 120. However, recently appointed Attorney General Tarek William Saab said the number registered by his predecessor was too high because it included people who died in situations other than the demonstrations.