Pence to announce ‘concrete steps’ for Venezuela crisis on Monday

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence walks outside Hotel Bayerischer Hof during Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 16, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is set to announce “concrete steps” and “clear actions” to address the Venezuela crisis when he meets on Monday with regional leaders in Bogota, Colombia, a senior U.S. administration official said.

The official declined to comment on what the new measures would entail ahead of Pence’s speech, which he will deliver to a summit of the Lima Group around 10:30 a.m. ET (1530 GMT) after he meets with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The meeting comes after convoys of U.S. aid were blocked at the Venezuelan border by forces and gangs loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, whom the United States and most other Western nations no longer recognize as the country’s leader.

“What happened yesterday is not going to deter us from getting humanitarian aid into Venezuela,” the official said on Sunday, speaking with reporters on condition of anonymity.

“The vice president will announce concrete steps,” the official said. “You should expect him to announce clear actions tomorrow as he speaks to the Lima Group.”

On Friday, another senior U.S. official told reporters that Pence would be prepared to announce new sanctions at the Bogota meeting if the aid was met with violence.

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