Mike Pence: UN must disinvite Maduro, deem Juan Guaido as Venezuelan leader

April 10, 2019 GMT

Vice President Mike Pence told the U.N. on Wednesday it must revoke the credentials of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and follow the lead of more than 50 nations that have recognized Juan Guaido as the South American country’s leader.

Mr. Pence boldly challenged Mr. Maduro’s ambassador to the Security Council, saying he should pack up his things and go home.

“With all due respect, you shouldn’t be here,” Mr. Pence told Ambassador Samuel Acosta. “You should return to Venezuela and tell Nicolas Maduro his time is up. It’s time for him to go.”

The ambassador looked up from his phone, smirked wryly and nodded in a way that made it clear he didn’t like what he was hearing.

Mr. Maduro, a socialist strongman, is facing a global backlash amid a humanitarian crisis in his country involving widespread hunger and power outages.

His regime is backed by Russia and Cuba, though Mr. Pence said 54 nations in all have spoken with a “clear voice” in backing Mr. Guaido, the National Assembly leader, as interim president.

“It’s time for the United Nations to speak,” the vice president told the security council in New York.

Mr. Pence said the Trump administration will announce additional sanctions against the Maduro regime, on top of previous moves to crack down on state-own oil and shipping companies and gold mines.

He also said the U.S. is releasing an additional $60 million Wednesday to help the 3 million-plus Venezuelans displaced by the crisis, bringing total American aid to nearly $260 million since fiscal 2017, as it seeks a peaceful transition to new leadership.

“But all options are on the table,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Pence said if nothing is done, the country will continue to unravel.

“Venezuela is a failed state and, as history teaches, failed states know no boundaries,” Mr. Pence said.