The annual international conference for the countries of north and South America was held in Washington, D.C., on May 7. Traditionally, representatives of Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Canada and the United States were among the participants. Taking the floor, U.S. Vice President Michael Pence said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his government are the biggest threats to peace, stability and prosperity in the Western hemisphere.

According to him, today Venezuela experiences struggle between dictatorship and democracy. At the same time, he openly stated that Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate right to govern the country, so he is obliged to leave the post of the country’s leader. The U.S. Vice President stressed that Venezuela used to be one of the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere, but in the six years of Nicolas Maduro’s rule, things have changed for the worse.

“Today, the regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is the only major source of destabilization and the only major violator of peace and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. 9 out of 10 people here live in poverty. The average Venezuelan has lost 20 pounds (over 9 kg) due to deprivation and poor nutrition,” said Michael Pence.

He also highlighted that these are not banks that are robbed in Venezuela, but restaurants in search for food. This is because inflation in this country exceeds 1000000% per year, therefore, the money is worth nothing, in fact. Summing up, Michael Pence said crime rate had increased during Maduro’s presidency in Venezuela.

Mike Pence’s statement is intended to support the State Department position , which condemns Maduro and supports the opposition, especially important in the light of rumors about the U.S.-Russia agreement on Venezuela after the recent phone call between the two leaders. However, Guido’s statement acknowledging the failed coup attempt and the lull in Caracas suggests that the U.S. has decided to “slow down” with the overthrow of Maduro. Moscow may have managed to convey to Washington that the chaos after the revolution will destabilize the entire Latin American region, and it is the U.S. that will have to restore stability.