The United States seeks to restore democracy in Venezuela, but it will be the Venezuelan people who will “ultimately” do it, top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo said on July 9.
During a press conference with international media, Pompeo said that the Donald Trump administration will continue to do “all we can do” to bring about Nicolás Maduro’s exit from power, as Washington considers his 2018 reelection to be illegal.
Pompeo added that this includes economic pressure on Caracas and its partner, Cuba, by imposing a series of sanctions, “but we have also, importantly, built out a global coalition to try and help the Venezuelan people achieve their objectives.”
“In the end, what the United States is trying to achieve is restoring democracy, and the Venezuelan people will be the ones who will ultimately restore that democracy,” Pompeo said.
“It is indeed the Venezuelan people who choose to serve in the Venezuelan military,” he added, in reference to the role that the Venezuelan Armed Forces might play to generate a change of regime in Venezuela.
The military leadership is seen as one of the main pillars of support for Maduro, who clings to power with the help of Russia and China, despite the offensive of parliamentary speaker Juan Guaidó.
Pompeo said that, in addition to the Lima Group, which gathers over a dozen Latin American nations and Canada to facilitate a democratic and peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela, some 60 countries have recognized Guaidó as the country’s duly elected national leader.
“This is the process that we intend to continue to support what the Venezuelan people want,” the secretary of State for the Trump administration said.
“We’ve watched Maduro’s corrupt court system. We’ve watched him now try and take over political parties. And we remain convinced that the Venezuelan people see this for what it is, and that they will respond in a way that reflects their deep desire to restore order and democracy to their own nation,” Pompeo concluded.
Venezuela’s highest court, aligned with the current government, removed the leader of Guaidó’s political party and gave its control to an adversary on July 7. In mid-June, the high court had already taken similar measures against two other important opposition parties.
Electoral authorities have called the next legislative elections in Venezuela for December 6, but the main opposition political parties will boycott the ballot.