Speaking to reporters during a visit to Colombia, Vice President Mike Pence warned that Venezuela is “collapsing into dictatorship,” and that the country becoming a “failed state” would make it a threat to the security and prosperity of the United States.
Pence was a bit vague on what the US is actually going to do about it, as opposed to President Trump’s threats to attack the country militarily, rather saying the US will use all of its economic and diplomatic power to ensure democracy is restored in Venezuela.
Pence dodged questions about whether this necessarily meant regime change, but other administration officials have made clear they oppose the Maduro government in general, and its recent moves to increase the power of the ruling Socialist Party in particular.
Threats of US involvement, however, are seen generally benefiting Maduro, as it allows him to paint the substantial domestic opposition to his rule as secretly in league with the US. Maduro is already using Trump’s threats as a rallying point for strengthening his position.