Pence: U.S. won’t stand by as Venezuela crumbles

Vice President Mike Pence addressed a sympathetic crowd of Venezuelans in South Florida on Wednesday and pledged the U.S. will use its economic and diplomatic power to push for free elections.

Pence spoke at a church in the city of Doral, the exile enclave, to a crowd of about 300. They occasionally shouted "freedom, freedom" and cheered every time the vice president spoke of President Donald Trump's interest in Venezuela, a socialist nation that has been undergoing an economic, political, and humanitarian crisis. 

"Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the United States of America will continue to bring the full measure of American economic and diplomatic power to bare until democracy is restored in Venezuela," Pence said, threatening there were more sanctions to come against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. 

As other countries in Latin America have improved their economies, Venezuela has gone downhill, Pence said, calling Maduro's presidency, a "dictatorship." 

"We hear you, we stand with you. We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles," Pence said. 

In South Florida, Pence found a supportive and grateful crowd. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Pence met with 15 Venezuelan exiles in South Florida who said more help is needed to restore democracy in the socialist regime. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and Republicans Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart joined Pence in listening to testimonies of established leaders of the Venezuelan diaspora and recently exiled politicians and judges.