US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a video addressing the Venezuelan nation on Saturday that "the time for trasition is now", and Washington will serve as the Latin American state's partner "every step of the way."
My message to the Venezuelan people is clear: the United States stands firmly with you in your quest for freedom and democracy. Your bravery and voices will put Venezuela on the path to liberty and prosperity, and we will partner with you every step of the way. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/poznzEPKYR— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) 4 мая 2019 г.
He urged the Venezuelan public to seek Nicolas Maduro's removal, claiming that they should "demand a return to democracy."
Pompeo's statement comes after CNN reported on Friday that National Security Adviser John Bolton, acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan and Under Secretary of Defence for Policy John Rood met on that day at the Pentagon's primary secure meeting space for senior officials to hold discussions dedicated to the current crisis in Venezuela.
On the same day, the broadcaster said that the White House was looking for ways to provide financial assistance to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Earlier in the week, the opposition failed in attempting to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. A local human rights group later noted that the violent coup resulted in at least 300 people being injured.
Venezuela has been rocked by unrest since January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president and was recognised by the United States and 54 other nations.
Nicolas Maduro, recognised as the legitimate president by China, Russia and a number of other countries, blamed Washington for attempting to overthrow his government and install Guaido in a bid to get hold of Venezuela's resources.