Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is facing growing international pressure after his troops repelled foreign aid convoys at the country’s borders, with the United States threatening new sanctions and Brazil urging allies to join a “liberation effort”.
Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s self-declared interim president, urged the international community on Sunday to consider “all measures” to overthrow Maduro after clashes at border crossings left at least three protesters dead and 300 others wounded near the Brazilian border.
The opposition leader’s call came in the face of a meeting of the regional Lima Group of nations in Bogota on Monday that will be attended by US Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence is set to announce “concrete steps” and “clear actions” at the meeting to address the crisis, a senior US administration official said on Sunday, declining to provide details.
The US last month imposed crippling sanctions on the OPEC nation’s oil industry, squeezing its top source of foreign revenue.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was confident that “Maduro’s days are numbered,” blaming the border violence on armed supporters known as “colectivos”.
“We’re aimed at a singular mission – ensuring the Venezuelan people get the democracy they so richly deserve,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union programme on Sunday.