Bret Baier of Fox News interviewed United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 8, 2019 regarding a number of issues.
During the interview, Pompeo called the regime of Nicolas Maduro “a lost cause” and encouraged Cuba to stop supporting his government in Venezuela.
Pompeo added that the administration’s decision to prevent Major League Baseball from directly signing Cuban baseball players was a deliberate effort to increase pressure on the Cuban government.
The following is a transcript of the questions and responses related to Latin America:
QUESTION: I want to turn to Venezuela, bouncing around here. Will there be more efforts against the Cuban Government for supporting the Venezuelan Maduro regime that seems to be not budging, despite actions from the U.S. and around the world?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Bret, it’s the Cubans that are providing the security for Maduro. That’s got to be embarrassing if you’re a Venezuelan general. But apart from that, the Cubans need to understand that Maduro is a lost cause, it’s not going to happen, his days are numbered; they need to get on the right side of history, they need to leave Venezuela, and we will continue to do all we can to encourage the Cubans to take on board that understanding, stop supporting Maduro, and allow the Venezuelan people to have the democracy that they so richly deserve.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, we heard from the Obama administration that Bashar al-Assad’s days were numbered, but we just didn’t know the number. He’s still there. We’re hearing that Venezuelans’ – not recognized leadership – days are numbered too. What do you put the number at?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I don’t have a number for you, Bret. But suffice it to say we know that the Venezuelan people will ultimately demand – these two situations are very different. I might add, Bashar Assad controls a small fraction of Syria today. The work that the Trump administration has done to deny Assad the capacity to rebuild his nation – this is a guy who believes he won, but the truth is the Middle East is in a much more stable, much better place today than it was when President Obama was running the joint in Syria. He left the Syrian people in a bad place, millions of displaced persons. And our efforts to take down the caliphate, to create an opportunity and a political process in Syria are yielding real results in Syria.
QUESTION: Back to Cuba for a second. Is the Major League Baseball move today more effort to pinch Cuba?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yep.
QUESTION: Okay, cut and dry. Yes, it is. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, Bret, look – yeah, look, Bret —
QUESTION: All right, we’ll leave it there. Go ahead.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Bret, it’s very important we get that part right. It’s very important we get that part right. The Cubans are the folks who are providing the support along now with the Russians in Venezuela. We’re going to do everything we can to pull – pull them out, pull them apart – so the Venezuelan people can have what they deserve.