HOUSTON (FOX 26) — While the 48th Vice President of the United States may have landed in Houston, his focus was 2,200 hundred miles south and the suffering in Venezuela.
"All options are on the table," said Vice President Pence. "We will not stand idly by."
VP Pence visited Rice University's Baker Institute where he vilified socialist Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and re-emphasized America's support for insurgent president Juan Guaidó.
"For the suffering he has brought to the people of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro must go," said Vice President Pence.
In a message clearly intended to resonate in Caracas, the Vice President issued yet another warning to the Maduro regime while also jabbing a finger of blame at communist Cuba for enabling a despot to remain in power.
"Cuba's leaders are the real imperialists in the Western hemisphere," said Pence.
Of the three million plus people who have the fled the repression and deprivation, thousands have found safe harbor in Texas. They say the pain and death unfolding by the hour in their native country is truly catastrophic.
"We have friends and even family who have died because we don't have medicines, even the simple ones," said Larilem Rodriguez, a Venezuelan living in Houston. "It is a crime. It is really a big crime in Venezuela against humanity."
Vice President Pence announced new sanctions on shipping and said that when Venezuelans reclaim their democracy, the U.S. stands ready to help shoulder the cost of rebuilding a shattered nation.