Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Colombia on February 25 to express Washington's "unwavering support" for "interim president" Juan Guaidó and participate in the summit of the Lima Group that will be held in Bogotá, the White House reported today.
During his visit, Pence will offer a speech to the Lima Group focused on the need to "face the tragic humanitarian situation and the security crisis in Venezuela and the ongoing efforts by the US to deliver aid to the country".
He will also express the government's "unwavering support" for interim president Guaidó and insist that "the time has come" for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to "leave", according to the White House.
"The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, and freedom has the momentum, and Juan Gauidó is the only legitimate leader in Venezuela", said Alyssa Farah, Pence's spokesperson.
The Government of Donald Trump has led international pressure against Maduro with the application of several rounds of economic sanctions to senior officials of the government of Caracas and the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), the country's main source of export earnings.
"The United States is proud to join the Lima Group and other global partners to mobilize our resources, provide much needed humanitarian relief and be together with the people of Venezuela until democracy and freedom are fully restored", Farah added.
In its origins, the Lima Group was composed of a block of 14 nations supported from outside by the US and which accounts for more than 90% of the continent's population: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and Saint Lucia.
However, at the last meeting on February 4 of the Lima Group in Ottawa (Canada), no representative of Mexico participated, who has left the initiative since the arrival of the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the Presidency.
The Venezuelan political crisis was accentuated last January, when Maduro swore a new term of 6 years whose legitimacy does not recognize the opposition and part of the international community; and Guaidó, as head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself "president in charge", considering that the “Chavist” leader "usurps" the Presidency.
Guaidó established as a priority the entry of aid to immediately assist 250,000 people in vulnerable situations, and said that they will enter "yes or yes" next February 23 through the border with Colombia.