Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the American aid sitting at the Colombia-Venezuela border was just that, aid, and not an effort to introduce American military supplies to Venezuela.
But, Pompeo told CNN’s Jake Taper in an interview Sunday, “I think we’ll find other ways to make sure that food gets to the people who need it.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Venezuela: “There’s more sanctions to be had, there’s more humanitarian assistance I think that we can provide. … The Venezuelan people will ultimately…hold accountable those who have done so much harm to the fundamental basic rights” pic.twitter.com/sQwSPlvJmD
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) February 24, 2019
“This aid went in, Jake, at the request of the legitimate President,” Pompeo said, referring to the man the United States and and many other countries have recognized as Venezuela’s leader, current president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó.
Nicolás Maduro has refused to step down as the country’s current president. Hundreds were injured and at least four killed during border clashes over the weekend.
Tapper noted that the Trump administration’s current special envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, once used the cover of humanitarian aid to smuggle military supplies to the Nicaraguan Contras.
“How do we know we know this is just humanitarian aid?” Tapper asked, giving voice to skeptics of the effort.
“It’s just humanitarian aid,” Pompeo responded. “Look at the videos. It was USAID marked.”
Asked specifically about potential military force, Pompeo told Chris Wallace in a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday”: “We’ve said every option is on the table, we’re going to do the things that need to be done to make sure that the Venezuelan peoples’ voice — that Democracy reigns, and that there’s a brighter future for the people of Venezuela.”
On possible military option in #Venezuela, @SecPompeo tells Chris: Every option is on the table, we're going to do the things that need to be done to make sure that the Venezuelans people's voice, that democracy reigns & that there's a brighter future for the people of Venezuela. pic.twitter.com/BnuipPLDDe
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) February 24, 2019