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Opinion: Mike Pompeo’s South American Tour Was All About Toppling Maduro

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19th of September, 2020.

Last updated: September 19, 2020 at 18:08 pm

During his three-days South American tour, the US Secretary of State consistently mentioned the likes of “removing Maduro,” “protecting democracy in the Region,” “the illegal Maduro Regime,” “the threat of the Maduro Regime” and “assisting Venezuelan refugees.” Mike Pompeo did a quick tour of South America to win some hearts and ramp up pressure on a defiant Maduro.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, arrived in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil yesterday, 18th of September, 2020, at around 2 PM. He met with Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ernesto Araujo, among others. The US Secretary of State made a quick tour of refugee facilities for Venezuelans in Boa Vista and met with some Venezuelan refugees in Boa Vista.

During the brief meeting with Araujo, Pompeo announced another 30 million US dollars to aid Venezuelan refugees in Brazil. This is an addition to a 50 million US dollars that was donated by the US government some time ago.

The discussion with Brazilian officials also included steps for removing Nicolas Maduro from power. Brazilian media quoted Mike Pompeo as saying of Maduro, “we’ll get him out of there.” He referred to Maduro as a terrorist, narco trafficker and dictator.

After the short visit to Boa Vista, Pompeo left for Colombia the same day to meet with the Colombian President, Ivan Duque. President Duque reaffirmed his commitment to cooperating with the United States in toppling Maduro and called on other leaders in the Region to do the same. In return, Mike Pompeo referred to Ivan Duque as an “exemplary leader.”

It is clear to see that Pompeo’s recent tour of South America – where he touched all of Venezuela’s bordering countries – reeks of a campaign to topple Maduro. In Guyana, he announced cooperation between the United States and Guyana in maritime patrols near to the Guyana/Venezuelan border and pledged 3 million US dollars to help Venezuelan refugees in Guyana. In Brazil, he emphasized the importance of “restoring democracy” and “removing Maduro.” In Colombia, the agenda was the same: helping Venezuelan refugees and toppling Maduro.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araujo, came under heavy criticism from some top ranking Brazilian officials who say his comments could encourage unwanted conflict between Venezuela and Brazil. But Araujo fired back by saying that Brazil does not need to “fear democracy” and that Nicolas Maduro has committed some of the most unimaginable crimes against humanity. He further added that Brazil will pursue diplomatic means of removing Maduro from power.

However, it is clear by now that diplomacy will not remove Nicolas Maduro – more forceful means are necessary. Colombia has already indicated that it is willing to give the United States full cooperation in any military operation against Venezuela.

Mr Pompeo is expected to return to the United States tomorrow, 20th of September. In summary, Pompeo’s quick South American tour has gained grounds in the campaign to dismantle the Maduro Regime – which is obviously part of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign – for an election which is less than two months away. The million dollar question now is: will Guyana and Brazil cave under US pressure and risk being caught in the crossfire? Or have they already?

Related: What Supporting Democracy in Venezuela Spells for Guyana

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