US, Colombia vow to support effort to oust Venezuela′s Maduro | News | DW | 20.01.2020
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US, Colombia vow to support effort to oust Venezuela's Maduro

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Washington plans to do more to support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. Guaido, who was defying a travel plan to speak in Colombia, plans to travel on to Europe.

The United States and Colombia have vowed to do more to support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his efforts to remove President Nicolas Maduro.

"I would fully expect there will be further action that the United States would take to continue to support President Guaido and the Venezuelan people," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at an anti-terrorism conference in Bogota on Monday. "We do not talk about particular sanctions but everyone can fully expect that the United States is not done."

Pompeo described Venezuela as a "failed state." Under Maduro's leadership, the South American country has suffered an economic collapse and hyperinflation since the start of 2016. 

More than 4 million Venezuelans have fled the country, many to Colombia, a choice which Pompeo blamed on the policies of Maduro's "terror regime." He added that Maduro was now "working alongside terror organizations inside of his own country."

Read more: Opinion: Latin America's upheaval tips toward chaos

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Venezuela's families are starving

Guaido on tour

Pompeo appeared at a regional conference along with Guaido, who had arrived in Colombia on Sunday to meet with President Ivan Duque despite a court-imposed travel ban. He has only traveled outside Venezuela one other time in the last year, sneaking across the border into Colombia to oversee a failed bid to bring in humanitarian aid in February 2019.

"We are honored by your presence,'' Duque told Guaido. "You will always have a friend in Colombia."

Guaido has been recognized by around 50 nations as Venezuela's interim president. On Monday, Guaido said Maduro's "brutal" dictatorship put opponents "at the risk of being jailed or killed."

Read more: Venezuela's love-hate relationship with the US dollar

Maduro was reelected in 2018 in a vote boycotted by many opposition parties, citing perceived irregularities in what commentators described as a "show election."

ed/cmk (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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