On Wednesday, speaking at a Special Session of the United Nations Security Council on the Crisis in Venezuela, Vice President Mike Pence issued a scathing condemnation of the Maduro regime in Venezuela and one of the most stunningly blunt statements in the history of the U.N., looking directly at the ambassador from the Maduro regime and telling him, “With all due respect, Mr. Ambassador, you shouldn’t be here. You should return to Venezuela and tell Nicolás Maduro that his time is up.”
Pence began by noting that Article 24 of the U.N. Charter confers on the Security Council the “responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.” He quoted President Truman telling Congress in 1947 of the U.N., “The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members.” Pence continued, “It is why this institution exists.”
Then Pence described in detail the murderous regime led by Maduro and its devastating effect on Venezuela:
For six long years, the people of Venezuela have suffered under the heavy hand of oppression. The Maduro regime’s socialist policies have shrunk their economy by nearly half. In what was once one of the wealthiest countries in our hemisphere, 9 out of 10 people now live in poverty. The average Venezuelan has lost more than 20 pounds through deprivation and malnutrition. Thousands of Venezuelan children are starving. And at this very hour, infants in hospitals across Venezuela are dying for lack of basic medical care.
And the Maduro regime, in the midst of this deprivation and suffering, has used violence and intimidation against anyone who opposes their actions. In the last three months, the regime has thrown at least 1,255 people into jail, without any due process of law, and killed at least 40 protestors. That’s the nature of the regime that we’re dealing with.
After delineating how the situation has triggered a mass exodus of its people, Pence continued: “And the truth is, those who stay behind are subject to crime, violence, and lawlessness. Thieves in Venezuela don’t rob banks; they rob restaurants for food. Vicious gangs and so-called colectivos have turned the streets into warzones. And Venezuela now has the highest murder rate in the world, as more than 70 people are murdered every single day.”
Pence pointed out that criminals and terrorists such as members of Hezbollah have seized the opportunity to “gain a foothold in the region and export crime and violence.” He then spoke of the Venezuelan people rising up ito protest the Maduro regime, and the legitimacy of the National Assembly recognizing a new leader: Interim President Juan Guaidó, a move supported by the United States and 54 other nations.
Pence spoke of how Cuba and Iran prop up the Maduro regime, then stated, “Up to this point, while other international bodies have acted, the United Nations and this Security Council have refused to act. But now that nations across this hemisphere have spoken, the time has come for the United Nations to recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó as the legitimate President of Venezuela and seat his representative in this body. This body should revoke the credentials of Venezuela’s representative to the United Nations, recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó, and seat the representative of the free Venezuelan government in this body without delay.”
Then, the stunningly direct moment: Pence paused for a moment, clenched his jaw, looked directly at the ambassador from the Maduro regime and said, “With all due respect, Mr. Ambassador, you shouldn’t be here. You should return to Venezuela and tell Nicholas Maduro that his time is up.”
The ambassador smirked and shook his head.
Pence continued, “It’s time for him to go.”
Pence turned to the entire Security Council, “Members of this Security Council: The men, women, and children in Venezuela are suffering. Their economy has been destroyed. Their democracy has been destroyed. The people of Venezuela are paying the price. And soon, the region and the world will pay the price if we fail to act. There can be no bystanders to this history. For the peace and security of our hemisphere, the world and the United Nations must stand with the people of Venezuela. To that end, the United States is preparing a resolution recognizing the legitimacy of the government of Interim President Juan Guaidó. And today, we urge every member of the Security Council and all U.N. member states to support this resolution.”
History has taught us what happens when the civilized nations of the world allow oppression to go unchecked. When a brutal dictatorship arose in Europe, the world failed to respond. Millions of lives were lost in the Second World War. This very institution was forged in the aftermath of that war so that nations around the world could come together and confront dictatorship with one voice. And so the United States is calling on the United Nations to live up to its very purpose: Reject the failed leadership of Nicolás Maduro, and stand with us, stand with nations across the world and across this hemisphere to help the people of Venezuela forge a brighter future.”
Video below of Pence’s complete speech, with Pence’s direct confrontation starting at 12:29: