In an interview Wednesday with Fox Business Network's Trish Regan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believes Venezuela’s military "will come to see that Maduro’s time is up and change should be at hand."
Pompeo said: "I’m convinced that many of the individuals that are inside the Venezuelan military don’t want to do harm to their brothers and sisters, to their children and their grandparents. I think they care about the Venezuelan people, too. I think over time they will come to see that Maduro’s time is up and change should be at hand."
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The plan’s very straightforward. We’re supporting the Venezuelan people who have for far too long now suffered under the hand of Mr. Maduro. The people know better. The humanitarian crisis is real. He conducted a sham election, then declared himself president, and we simply have said we’re not going to recognize that. They’re now almost four dozen countries that have taken the same view, that have recognized the Interim President, Mr. Guaido, as the President of Venezuela, rightly duly empowered under the Venezuelan Constitution, under the people of Venezuela’s own power to deliver good outcomes for them.
You know, Trish, today we tried to deliver humanitarian assistance from Colombia – from the United States and Colombia into Venezuela, and the Venezuelan military under the direction of Mr. Maduro stopped that. Not only is he not allowing the economy the flourish, he is actively denying medicine and food stocks and hygiene kits for his own people. This is horrific stuff, and I think the Venezuelan people have had enough of it and I’m confident in the days and weeks ahead that they will continue to protest, continue to rise up, and their wishes will be seen forth. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that the countries in the region help us do that.
REGAN: I mean, to me, you know, he’s controlling the military, and I know you’ve seen some success. For example, there was an Air Force general that said, “OK, I’m going to switch sides.” How do you get more of those military members to switch sides? Because ultimately doesn’t it come down to that?
POMPEO: You know, there’s two interesting things I think about that. First, there’s been some notion that there’d be an invasion of Venezuela. Well, that happened. The Cubans invaded Venezuela. The Cubans have been controlling the security apparatus, protecting Maduro, and destroying the way of life for the Venezuelan people for an awfully long time. The second thing, I’m convinced that many of the individuals that are inside the Venezuelan military don’t want to do harm to their brothers and sisters, to their children and their grandparents. I think they care about the Venezuelan people too. I think over time they will come to see that Maduro’s time is up and change should be at hand.