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Monday, February 25, 2019
Yes, A New Day Really IS On The Horizon!
A new day is coming for Venezuela
Today, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Bogota, Colombia, reaffirming President Donald J. Trump’s support for the people of Venezuela in their struggle for freedom against the socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro.
Joined by interim President Juan Guaido, whom President Trump officially recognized as Venezuela’s head of state last month, the Vice President stood near other leaders from the region “at a momentous hour for the people of Venezuela and for the progress of freedom in this hemisphere.”
“Just days ago, as the world watched, the tyrant in Caracas danced as his henchmen burned truckloads of food and medicine, and murdered civilians,” Vice President Pence said. “Saturday was a tragic day for the families of those who lost their lives . . . It was also a tragic day for the suffering people of Venezuela.”
Quoting President Trump, he looked to the future: “A new day is coming in Latin America.”
The United States has imposed tough sanctions on Maduro and members of his previous regime, blocking assets in the U.S. owned or controlled by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. These actions build on international efforts to disconnect Maduro and his cronies from revenue sources, while preserving critical assets for the future of Venezuela.
At the same time, America continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people. Food and medicine remain exempt from our sanctions. More than 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015—and that number may swell to more than 5 million by the end of 2019, according to the United Nations.
The past few days of suffering has only steeled America’s resolve to support the people of Venezuela, Vice President Pence said. He called the struggle at hand one between dictatorship and democracy, oppression and freedom, and pain versus prosperity.
“To the good people of Venezuela: Seek your freedom,” the Vice President said. “We will go with you. You go with God. Vayan con Dios.”
Over the weekend, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Marine Gen. Joe Dunford—chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—visited Texas to get a firsthand look at the crisis on America’s southern border.
Unlike many in Washington, these two leaders wanted to join President Trump in hearing directly from the people most affected, including law enforcement officers who deal with the consequences each and every day. President Trump met with Border Patrol officials in McAllen, Texas, during a trip there last month.
“We have amazing people down there doing a very, very difficult job,” Acting Secretary Shanahan explained. U.S. officials on the border told him that barriers work and should be part of any real solution. “Any place where someone can cross the border and disappear within seconds or minutes, that's where you need barriers,” he said.
On February 15, President Trump declared a national emergency to address the security and humanitarian crisis at our border. Past presidents have regularly used these executive actions to confront ongoing problems: 10 such national emergencies were declared by President Obama, one of which dealt with the threat of criminal cartels—including cartels operating on our southern border.
States have used emergency declarations responding to crises at the border in the past, as well. In 2005, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) declared a state of emergency along the border, claiming the area had “been devastated by the ravages and terror” of human trafficking, drug smuggling, kidnapping, murder, and other crimes.
Now it is time for the Federal Government to step up and do its part.