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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Venezuelan migrants in Cucuta, Colombia, April 14. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to hold Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his government "accountable for their corruption," as he wrapped up a 4-nation tour of South America in Colombia on Sunday.

Details: Pompeo made the pledge after meeting with Venezuelan migrants near Colombia's border with Venezuela. He called on Maduro to lift his aid blockade. "Mr. Maduro, open these bridges, open these borders," he said, invoking President Reagan's 1987 "tear down this wall" speech in Berlin. "I hope that you will care enough when you see the horror ... to change your ways and to leave your country."

Context: The Washington Post reports Pompeo responded testily earlier at a Lima press conference to a question on whether Peru might consider speaking with Maduro if Western sanctions left the refugee and humanitarian crisis in a worse state. He said it "showed an incredible lack of understanding" before blaming "the Russians, the Cubans" and Maduro.

The big picture: The U.S. sanctions are designed to deprive Maduro of assets and pile pressure on him to resign. They have crippled the country's oil industry. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said last week the U.S. "must consider the use of military assets to bring aid to the people of Venezuela."

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.