(CNN)US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday called the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro “illegitimate” and said the United States would use diplomatic efforts to try to restore democracy in the economically battered nation.
Pompeo made the remarks two days after Maduro began another six years in power. The top US diplomat was talking with journalists in Abu Dhabi during his Middle East tour.
“The Maduro regime is illegitimate,” Pompeo said. “The fact that Maduro decided to hold an inauguration after a sham election doesn’t change America’s direction and intent.”