Thursday Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, an event organized by the State Department. During his remarks, Pence criticized the authoritarian socialist regime currently driving Venezuela into the ground. From CNN:

“We need only look to the nation of Venezuela to see what happens when democracy is undermined,” Pence said during his address on the importance of cooperation and increasing security in the Northern Triangle region of Central America.

“That once rich nation’s collapse into authoritarianism has pushed it into poverty and caused untold suffering for the Venezuelan people,” he continued. “We must all raise our voices to condemn the Venezuelan government for its abuse of power and abuse of its own people and we must do it now.”

As you would expect, these comments didn’t go over well with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who responded angrily. From TeleSurTV:

“Imperialism has once again tried to apply its old coup d’etat method, its old method to intervene in other countries,” Maduro said while speaking to members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces in Fuerte Tiuna.

“It is a method that has failed in every context that it has been applied, and I tell the U.S. vice president: take your noses off of Venezuela … here there will be no gringo, Yankee, imperialist intervention. In Venezuela, there will be peace, democracy, constituent elections, and dialogue to reconcile the Venezuelan people,” he added.

Maduro added, “it provokes nausea that a man who doesn’t know where Venezuela is on the map gives his opinion about our country.” But while Maduro rails against “gringo, Yankee” imperialism, the fact remains that he is presiding over a slow-motion humanitarian disaster which is a direct result of his (and his predecessor’s) socialist policies. And his attempt to rewrite the constitution is a vain attempt to avoid elections that would put him and his socialist revolution out of power. So much for democracy.

As for his claims that this is all headed toward “peace,” more than 70 people have already died in the streets in the last two months. And, thanks to a leaked audio tape, we know Maduro’s goons are planning ahead for the violent endgame, i.e. using snipers against civilians:

“There will come a time when we will have to employ them [the snipers] and I want us to be ready for the moment that we have to employ them because the president will not remain at a green [preparation] phase, gentlemen,” Torrealba said, a likely reference to Maduro’s activation of the Zamora Plan, a war plan to be activated in the midst of imminent foreign invasion. “He [Maduro] has already signed a range of operations and as I said here [previously] … we could be at the beginning of a subversive urban war.”

So much for peace.