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Montevideo, September 19th 2018 - 18:50 UTC

Pence urges Latin America to isolate Venezuela which is falling to “dictatorship, deprivation and despair”

Saturday, June 30th 2018 - 14:54 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Pence met with Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno as part of a tour of Latin America that has included meetings with Venezuelans Pence met with Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno as part of a tour of Latin America that has included meetings with Venezuelans
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed Pence in response, accusing him of currying favor with conservative Latino voters in Florida. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed Pence in response, accusing him of currying favor with conservative Latino voters in Florida.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Latin American countries to help isolate crisis-stricken Venezuela, an ideological adversary of Washington that is struggling under a severe and prolonged economic crisis.

Pence met with Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno as part of a tour of Latin America that has included meetings with Venezuelans who left the disrupted country because it is so difficult to obtain food or medicine.

“One specific threat to our collective security that is on (our minds) ... is the ongoing collapse of Venezuela into dictatorship, deprivation and despair,” Pence said during a news conference with Moreno.

“We respectfully urge Ecuador and all of our allies across the region to take steps to further isolate the Maduro regime.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed Pence in response, accusing him of currying favor with conservative Latino voters in Florida.

“The sick and obsessive Mike Pence is going around Latin America, he’s campaigning,” Maduro said in a televised broadcast. “He has failed on this mini-tour of South America.”

On Wednesday, Maduro called Pence a “poisonous viper” and vowed to defeat what he called Washington’s attempts to force him from power.

Pence said the United States offered to provide US$ 2 million in assistance to Ecuador to handle the growing influx of migrants from Venezuela, whose numbers are overwhelming social services agencies in countries all over Latin America.

Washington has already levied sanctions against Venezuela, including barring American citizens from working with a group of high-ranking Venezuelan officials and blocking U.S. investors from acquiring newly issued bonds.

Moreno stopped short of agreeing to isolate Caracas, instead urging involvement by the secretary-general of the United Nations.

“We believe that the solution for Venezuela can only be provided by Venezuelans,” he said.

Moreno said Ecuador had taken in nearly 150,000 Venezuelan citizens and was concerned about the “humanitarian crisis” there.

The United Nations has estimated that close to 1 million Venezuelans left their country from 2015 to 2017, driven by hunger, joblessness and the rising incidence of preventable disease.

Maduro has said the country’s situation is the result of an “economic war” being waged against it by opposition politicians with the help of Washington.

Moreno also said that Ecuador was seeking to improve relations with the United States, which were tense during the decade-long government of Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, a socialist ally of Maduro. The two countries agreed to exchange information regarding drug trafficking and international organized crime, cooperation that Correa halted while in office.

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  • Eric Ehrmann

    This is, I think, the third visit VP Pence has made to “Latin America” on behalf of President Trump since taking office. Add to that all the security arrangements that need put in place and the cost of those trips likely adds up to more than the $2 million in assistance being offered to Ecuador. It seems somewhat ironic that LatAm nations are being asked to isolate one of their own when, according to the US EIA, United States is still importing between 650 thousand and 700 thousand barrels of Venezuela oil per week. Here is link https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=w_epc0_im0_nus-nve_mbbld&f=w Let's split the diff and say that amounts to 2.6 million barrels per month. Using Wednesday's OPEC basket price of $74.31 as a yardstick of sorts, the ball park figure US interests are paying Venezuela or its proxies for crude oil on a monthly basis is around $1.58 billion. I flunked algebra in 9th grade but I think these numbers are good enough for gubmint or non gubmint work. Why ask 'where's the beef' when you can ask 'where's the isolation.' Delcy Rodriguez won't be using a Ouija board when she becomes the nation's first female leader...

    Jun 30th, 2018 - 04:58 pm +1
  • Pytangua

    I thought that was the USA under Trump.

    Jun 30th, 2018 - 10:47 pm 0
  • R. Ben Madison

    Maduro and Trump both need to be isolated from the civilised world.

    Jun 30th, 2018 - 11:10 pm 0
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