Tags: Trump Administration | Venezuela | mike pompeo | secretary of state | socialism | nicolas maduro | juan guaido

On Leaked Tape, Pompeo Talks of 'Devilishly Difficult' Venezuela Situation

mike pompeo folds his arms and speaks to the media on air force one
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Leah Millis/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 June 2019 08:03 PM

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was captured on a secret audio recording saying it has been "devilishly difficult" to contain the situation in Venezuela.

The Washington Post heard tape of Pompeo speaking during an off-the-record meeting with Jewish leaders last week, during which he talked about the growing crisis in Venezuela. The U.S. government and several other countries recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's leader, not its socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

"Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult," Pompeo said. "The moment Maduro leaves, everybody's going to raise their hands and [say], 'Take me, I'm the next president of Venezuela.' It would be forty-plus people who believe they're the rightful heir to Maduro."

Pompeo indicated the Trump administration has tried for nearly two and a half years to oust the Maduro regime and help install a new government to quell unrest in the South American country and stabilize the economy.

"Since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do," Pompeo said. "We were trying to support various religious . . . institutions to get the opposition to come together."

He added, "You should know, [Maduro] is mostly surrounded by Cubans. He doesn't trust Venezuelans a lick. I don't blame him. He shouldn't. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves."

Pompeo and other U.S. officials have said all options for dealing with Venezuela are open, including military force.

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Saying it has been "devilishly difficult" to contain the situation in Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was captured on a secret audio recording, according to The Washington Post.
mike pompeo, secretary of state, socialism, nicolas maduro, juan guaido
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2019-03-05
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 08:03 PM
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