U.S. Vice President Mike Pence held up Venezuela on Thursday as a prime example of what happens when democracy is undermined and urged Latin American leaders to condemn its government, in comments that Venezuela’s president called nauseating.
Already suffering a severe economic crisis, Venezuela, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has recently been convulsed by clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.
“We need only look to the nation of Venezuela to see what happens when democracy is undermined,” Pence told the gathering of leaders in Miami. “That once-rich nation’s collapse into authoritarianism has pushed it into poverty and caused untold suffering for the Venezuelan people.”
Stepping up Washington’s war of words with Caracas, Pence added: “We must all of us raise our voices to condemn the Venezuelan government for its abuse of power and its abuse of its own people, and we must do it now.” …