Vice President Mike Pence met with Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó Monday during a meeting of the Lima Group in Bogotá, Colombia. Pence announced new sanctions against Venezuelan officials for their role in blocking the so-called humanitarian aid from entering the country over the weekend, as the U.S. continues to ratchet up pressure on the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
Vice President Mike Pence: “Effective today, the United States will impose additional sanctions on regime officials, including three border state governors implicated in last weekend’s violence and a member of Maduro’s inner circle. These men worked to block aid for people in need and suppressed peaceful protests.”
Pence also said the U.S. is preparing for a new set of sanctions designed to isolate the government of President Maduro. Pence reiterated the U.S. threat that all options remain on the table, but the Lima Group said at the end of their Monday meeting that they support a democratic transition of power.
At least four people were killed during the weekend after violence broke out on the Venezuelan borders with Colombia and Brazil over the attempted delivery of aid into the country. The U.N. and other international aid agencies have refused to work with the U.S. and other countries on delivering supplies because they say their motivations are political.
Meanwhile, two unnamed defense officials say the U.S. military has been collecting classified intelligence on President Nicolás Maduro in recent days by flying an increased number of reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace off the coast of Venezuela.