National Archives This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Rice University
Baker Institute for Public Policy
Houston, Texas

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you all for being here.  Estamos con ustedes.

PARTICIPANT:  Thank you.

PARTICIPANT:  Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  We’re with you.  And we’re going to stand with you until libertad is restored in Venezuela.

I’m here to bring some remarks and announce even renewed American efforts to bring economic pressure on the regime in Venezuela.  The United States of America knows that Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolás Maduro must go.

I’m honored to be here with Ambassador Vecchio.  And the United States was honored to be the first country in the world to recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó as the only legitimate President of Venezuela.

I’m also honored to be joined by Congressman Mike McCaul, who is a leader in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has been a great champion of libertad for Venezuela.

But I know this is happening to your families and to you.  So I wanted to take some time, before my remarks, to hear your stories.  And I’m very grateful that you would take time to share your stories with us and with the wider world about what’s really happening in Venezuela.

So maybe each of you could share a brief word about who you are and how your families have been impacted.

We want you to go home.  We want you to go home to a free Venezuela.

Well, thank you all.  These are the stories that we hear.  Three million people are just like these: They’ve been forced to leave Venezuela because of dictatorship and oppression and corruption.

I just — I want to thank you all for helping to tell the story of the plight of the Venezuelan people, a story of corruption and intimidation.  A story of abuse, and of deprivation of food and medicine that is costing lives every day.

We will keep telling your story, but I want to assure you, from the President of the United States to members of Congress in both political parties, the American people stand with you.  And we will keep standing with you until Maduro is gone and freedom is restored.

So thank you.  And vayan con Dios.