SHAPIRO: Can you explain to folks how deep the intervention of the Russians and Cubans is in Venezuela right now?POMPEO: Ben, I kind of laugh sometimes. You’ll hear people saying we need to make sure there’s not an invasion in Venezuela, and yet there’s been one. I mean, it took place. The Cubans invaded some time ago; the Russians have now followed suit. The numbers of Cubans in the security apparatus alone are in the thousands. The Russians have people working over there in the hundreds, if not more. These are the folks who are actually controlling the direction of travel for Venezuela. We’ve seen that failure even today. It’s largely Cuban security forces that are protecting Maduro in his hiding place. He talked yesterday about having nerves of steel. That’s easier to do when you’re surrounded by Cuban military people and you’re hiding in a bunker.They are deep. They’ve controlled the economy; they have looted the nation. They’ve demanded that Venezuela provide to Cuba essentially discount oil for years and years, harming the Venezuelan people. The Cubans have been there and are deeply embedded, have been for years, and the Russians have been there as well, largely protecting their economic interests.
May 3, 2019 at 5:45 PM EDT