'Time for transition is now', says Pompeo in video address to Venezuelans

Last Updated: Tue, May 14, 2019 23:32 hrs

[USA], May 5 (ANI): Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on Saturday made an appeal to Venezuelans to overthrow the Nicolas Maduro regime, declaring that the "time for transition is now."

"To the people of Venezuela, the United States sees your courage and action," said Pompeo in a video posted on his official Twitter handle. "We admire you, we stand with you."

"The time for transition is now. No more starvation, no more children without medicine, no more repression," he added.

A text accompanying the video read, "My message to the Venezuelan people is clear: the United States stands firmly with you in your quest for freedom and democracy. Your bravery and voices will put Venezuela on the path to liberty and prosperity, and we will partner with you every step of the way. #EstamosUnidosVE"

Pompeo's message has come amid the mounting civil and political unrest in the Latin American Country. On April 30, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared he was "beginning the final phase of Operation Freedom," in an apparent bid to oust Maduro.

In the clashes that ensued between anti-government protesters and law enforcement forces in Caracas, at least 71 people were injured.

In another tweet, Pompeo went on to say, "The repression perpetrated by Nicolas Maduro has no limits. Regime forces attacked a Catholic service, driving motorcycles into the church, using tear gas and injuring many. We stand with the people of #Venezuela and interim President @jguaido to support a peaceful transition."

The top US diplomat blamed Russia and Cuba for the crisis prevalent in the Latin American country.

"Last month, I visited Cucuta, Columbia and saw first-hand the misery that Maduro has created with the Russians' and Cubans' help. The same scenes of desperation are playing out all across Venezuela. They must end."

Russia and the US have taken diametrically opposed stands in Venezuela's political crisis. The two countries have traded warnings against each other's interference in the country's affairs.

Venezuela has been in the throes of a political crisis, which was accelerated when Guaido declared himself as the President of the nation in January. The US immediately recognised him as the interim President, demanding Maduro to step down.

Maduro continues to hold on to his post despite several countries calling for his resignation.

Venezuela is also facing an acute economic and humanitarian crisis at the moment, which is worsened by repeated sanctions from the US. (ANI)