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In firm speech, Pence urges Americas to hold Venezuela accountable

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Organization of American States in Washington, DC.
Vice President Pence at the Organization of American States on May 7, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday, the first time a U.S. vice president has addressed the hemispheric multilateral body since Al Gore in 1994. Pence delivered a forceful speech about the one South American issue the administration has taken a strong stance on: Venezuela.

Why it matters: There’s no doubt that Venezuela presents the region’s greatest crisis. For some — especially Venezuela’s beleaguered democratic opposition — the Trump administration’s stronger rhetoric and sanctions against members of President Nicolás Maduro's government were a welcome change from the Obama administration's tack.