U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams assured that President Donald J. Trump supports political change in Venezuela during a briefing session on Tuesday, June 25.
Abrams’s affirmative declaration came after a Washington Post article, citing anonymous sources claiming that President Donald J. Trump is losing interest in Venezuela.
“I don’t know where that comes from. I can tell you that the day the article … appeared, the president met with Prime Minister Trudeau and raised with him Venezuela,” said Abrams.
“And they had a good discussion of Venezuela, which is not a sign of uninterest,” added Abrams.
Abrams clarified that the claims cited in The Washington Post article are not true. “The same day that the president was meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, the vice president was in Miami to see off the USNS Comfort. So the notion that there is at the highest levels of the government a diminution of interest is just simply false,” said Abrams.
The USNS Comfort is tasked with offering treatment to Venezuelan refugees and to support the health systems of the neighboring countries.
When asked if the United States is considering taking in more Venezuelan refugees, Abrams responded saying, “There will unquestionably be more Venezuelans coming to the United States because there will be more Venezuelans going everywhere.”
Abrams stated that about 4 million Venezuelans have already fled from the country due to unrest and a collapsing economy and that the number could increase to 5 million. But he added, “The numbers in the U.S. are small compared to the numbers in say Colombia, or Peru.
Abrams articulated that the decision to grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan refugees is under consideration. He stated that there are currently over 715 political and military prisoners incarcerated by the Maduro socialist regime.
Referring to the United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s visit to Venezuela, Abrams said, “We are hoping that the high commissioner’s representatives who are currently in Venezuela, who stayed there when she left, will visit the country’s most notorious prisons and visit political prisoners.”
Abrams stated that the Trump administration hopes that Bachelet’s “report, which is due out July 5th, will reveal the brutal truths that victims of the regime suffer every day.”
The U.S. special representative for Venezuela described the Trump administration’s stance and strategy to counter Maduro’s regime from destroying Venezuela’s democratically elected Parliament.
“We ask the nations of the Lima group (group of 14 countries, including much of Latin America and Canada), the International Contact Group, the members of the European Union, and indeed all democracies,” said Abrams, “to stand behind the National Assembly and denounce the regime’s systematic persecution.”
Abrams reiterated the Trump administration’s support for Venezuela. “We support interim President Guaidó’s efforts,” declared Abrams. “The barrier to a peaceful resolution remains Maduro’s refusal to step aside,” uttered Abrams before stepping out of the briefing room.