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Pence and Macri Aim to Step Up Economic Pressure on Venezuela

The U.S. vice president praised Macri’s economic reforms on a visit to the stock exchange in Buenos Aires. Venezuela was the top of the agenda for U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Argentine President Mauricio Macri as they met in Buenos Aires, with Pence warning that “diplomatic and economic pressure on the Maduro regime must be increased” in order to restore democracy by “peaceful means.”

At a joint press conference Pence said, “We have to support the Venezuelan people in their struggle for freedom.” Macri, however, joined an almost unanimous chorus of Latin American leaders in rejecting President Donald Trump’s suggestion that a military option might be considered against the Venezuelan government: “In Mercosur, we don’t see as an alternative the use of force for a solution to the conflict in Venezuela.”
The Argentine president did say there was a unanimity in the continent, with the leadership of the United States, on helping to restore democracy in Venezuela.
Pence returned to the theme later in the day, on a visit to the Stock Exchange in Buenos Aires. He said the United States is seeking “a peaceful solution” in Venezuela, but is open to “many alternatives.” He said President Trump is urging his neighbors in Latin America “to do more.”
During his encounter days earlier with Colombian president Santos, he reiterated that the United States would “bring the full measure of American economic and diplomatic power to bear” to see “democracy restored” in Venezuela. His remarks came days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t rule out a “military option” for the country.

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