Puebla, Mexico, June 15, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – US Vice President Mike Pence lashed out at Venezuela Thursday, accusing its government of abusing its power, and falling into authoritarianism.
"We need only look to the nation of Venezuela to see what happens when democracy is undermined," Pence said in Miami.
The comment was made during talks on Central American security. Pence took the opportunity to condemn President Nicolas Maduro, who has faced two months of violent opposition protests.
"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,” he said.
The comments were quickly condemned by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, who accused Pence of hypocrisy.
"[Pence] dares to condemn democracy in Venezuela without noting that the US does not respect or govern by the will of the people,” she said.
On Twitter, Rodriguez also labeled the number two US leader an “insolent imperialist”.
Pence’s own government has been mired in scandal for months, with a recent poll finding the majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump is “abusing the powers of his office”.
Maduro himself later joined the fray, stating it “provokes nausea that a man who doesn't know where Venezuela is on the map gives his opinion about our country”.
“I tell the vice president of the United States, get your nose out of Venezuela, there will be no gringo, Yankee, imperialist intervention in Venezuela,” he said.
Relations between Venezuela and the US have been frosty for over a decade. Ties have never fully recovered since the US supported a short lived right-wing coup in Venezuela in 2002.