'Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a revision of diplomatic relations with the US after the White House has openly urged the opposition to unite and overthrow the “dictator with no legitimate claim to power.”
Ahead of the mass street protests against Maduro on Wednesday, called by the opposition-led National Assembly, US Vice President Mike Pence released a video message reaffirming unwavering support for a regime change in Venezuela. Denouncing Maduro as “a dictator with no legitimate claim to power” who has “never won the presidency in a free and fair election,” Pence declared that time has come for the Venezuelan people to take the matters into their own hands, in a speech peppered with Spanish phrases.
“The United States supports the courageous decision by Juan Guaidó, the president of National Assembly, to assert that body’s constitutional powers, declare Maduro a usurper and call for the establishment of a transitional government,” Pence said.
.@POTUS & the US stand w/ the Venezuelan people as they seek to regain their liberty from dictator Nicolás Maduro. For the sake of our vital interests & the sake of the Venezuelan people, we will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. Read my op-ed in @WSJ: https://t.co/CRNMxlNIJM
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 23, 2019
Slamming the speech as shameless US meddling in his country’s internal affairs, Maduro in response promised his supporters to announce specific measures against Washington in the coming hours.
“Enough of aggressions and conspiracies, enough is enough!” said Maduro, rejecting the “imperialist interventionism” and open calls for coup d'état that he called unprecedented in the 200-year history of US-Venezuela relations.
"Mr. Pence doesn't have a job. Now he wants to come and run Venezuela, handing out instructions on what should happen" at the anti-government protests on Wednesday, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez noted, accusing the White House of openly "promoting instability and violence" in the Latin American country.'
Read more: Maduro orders ‘total revision’ of Venezuela-US diplomatic ties after Pence calls for regime change