Today, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Bogota, Colombia, where he discussed the crisis in Venezuela with leaders of the regional Lima Group.
Heading to Bogota, Colombia tomorrow to address the Lima Group to voice solidarity w/ regional leaders for freedom & against Maduro. Meeting with Colombian President @IvanDuque & Venezuela’s only legitimate President - @jguaido. It’s time for a free & democratic Venezuela.— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 24, 2019
In his remarks, Vice President Pence said, "President Donald Trump asked me to be here today to deliver a simple message to you and to the people of Venezuela: Estamos con ustedes. We are with you 100 percent. We stand with you in America, along with all the nations gathered here today, and we will keep standing with you until democracy and your libertad are restored."
To President @jguaido of Venezuela, it is a great privilege to share this moment. I bring you and President of Colombia @IvanDuque a very simple message from @POTUS Trump & the United States of America: We are with you 100%. pic.twitter.com/iEaTyDvB7i— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 25, 2019
The Vice President acknowledged the Lima Group for its leadership efforts to call out the Maduro regime for its slide into dictatorship. He said, "Today, thanks in large part to the leadership represented here today, more than 50 nations have joined us in recognizing Interim President Juan Guaidó as the only legitimate President of Venezuela." He also thanked the countries in attendance, especially Colombia and Brazil, for the way they have stepped forward to help the Venezuelan people.
Vice President Pence noted that what brought the Lima Group together today is the shared recognition that "Nicolas Maduro is a usurper with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolas Maduro must go."
"The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, between oppression and freedom, between the suffering of millions of Venezuelans and the opportunity for a 'new future' of freedom and prosperity." - Vice President Pence
The Vice President condemned recent actions Maduro took to block aid from reaching impoverished people across Venezuela. Recognzing the continued suffering of the people of Venezuela, Vice President Pence announced that the United States is providing nearly $56 million in additional humanitarian assistance to support the regional response for the nearly 3.4 million Venezuelans who have fled Venezuela due to the political and economic crisis caused by Nicolas Maduro.
NEWS: @VP just announced the U.S. is providing nearly $56 million in additional humanitarian aid to help #Venezuelans who have fled political & economic crisis in their home country. This includes food assistance from @USAID to help Venezuelans in Colombia. Take a look! pic.twitter.com/ff4D1Chme8— USAID/OFDA (@theOFDA) February 25, 2019
This assistance complements the aid that the United States and its partners pre-positioned near the Colombia- and Brazil-Venezuela borders, and it will provide urgently needed shelter, food, medical services, and livelihoods-support that will help the integration of Venezuelans who have fled to host communities in the region.
The United States will continue to pursue all avenues to increase humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans both inside and outside Venezuela. The United States supports the courageous efforts and leadership of Interim President Guaido, National Assembly members, citizens, and partners in the region to deliver humanitarian assistance immediately to those in need inside Venezuela, and will continue to work with them towards that goal.
The Vice President also called on all the nations gathered at the Lima Group meeting to intensify efforts to deny the Maduro regime access to financing and take the following actions to isolate the Maduro dictatorship. He noted that the United States will announce even stronger sanctions on the regime’s corrupt financial networks in the coming days.
As he concluded his remarks, the Vice President reaffirmed the United States' commitment to freedom in the Western Hemipshere. He spoke directly to the Venezuelan people as he said, "You go with the support and the prayers of the American people, the people of the nations gathered here, and with freedom-loving people all across the world."
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