U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, listens to Paraguay's Vice President Luis Castiglioni, during a press conference at "Palacio de Lopez," in Asuncion, Paraguay, April 13, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, listens to Paraguay's Vice President Luis Castiglioni, during a press conference at "Palacio de Lopez," in Asuncion, Paraguay, April 13, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he does not think the Venezuelan people will tolerate the Maduro regime much longer.

"The devastation wrought by Nicolas Maruro, the tragedy of the humanitarian situation there bought out solely by Maduro making the choice to bring in the Cubans, to allow Russians to intervene in the country -- those are things that are destroying the lives of young people in Venezuela," Pompeo told Peru's El Comercio newspaper Sunday.

Pompeo was on the last day of a four-nation tour of South America, where the economic and political calamity in Venezuela was among the top concerns during talks in Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia.

"This is not something that has happened in the last weeks or months. This is devastation wrought by the Cubans, the Russians and Maduro over the last years. ... I'm very hopeful that it'll come to its conclusion quickly," he said.

Watch: Pompeo Spoke to VOA About Venezuela, Iran, and Nicaragua:

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Pompeo again said all options are on the table when it comes to U.S. involvement in Venezuela. But the Trump administration has not said under what circumstances it would use military action.

The U.S. has already imposed a number of sanctions against some Venezuelan officials and the country's oil sector.

Pompeo's stop in Colombia will include a visit to the border city of Cucuta, which is separated from Venezuela by a bridge.

Tons of U.S. food, medicine and other relief supplies are sitting in warehouses in Cucuta, waiting to be delivered. Maduro has refused to let U.S. aid into the country, calling it the vanguard of a U.S. invasion.

Photo released by Miraflores Press Office shows Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (R) meeting with Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, April 9, 2019.
Red Cross Regains Entry to Venezuela Jails, Military Prisons

The International Committee of the Red Cross has regained access to prisons in Venezuela, including highly guarded military facilities where dozens of inmates considered political prisoners are being held, as President Nicolas Maduro seeks to counter mounting criticism of his government's human rights record.

The fact that the visits include military prisons, which hadn't been previously reported, was confirmed to The Associated Press by a human rights lawyer and family members of those detained.

International Red Cross President Peter Maurer on Wednesday wraps up a five-day visit to Venezuela

Pompeo said the Trump administration wants to be deeply engaged in Central and South America, noting that great democracies, free market economies and transparency have not always flourished in the region.

"There were many communist countries in Latin America for many years, but that's the great thing that's changed. This idea of the totalitarian Orwellian state of communism is being rejected by the people of South America. It's glorious," the secretary said.

But while Pompeo said the U.S. welcomes Chinese private enterprises bringing goods and services to Latin America, competing with what the U.S. has to offer, he said Latin countries must be aware that Chinese companies may come instead for "malign activities."

"State-owned enterprises, companies deeply connected to the Chinese government that want to put infrastructure, telecommunications infrastructure inside of your country ... we want to make sure everyone has their eyes wide open," Pompeo said.

U.S. Deputy Assistant secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy Robert Strayer holds a news briefing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 26, 2019.
US Official Voices Broad Concerns Over China-Based Companies

Lin Feng contributed to this report

WASHINGTON — A senior official in the U.S. Department of State said Wednesday the security concerns the government has raised related to Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE extend to all companies headquartered in China, saying they are effectively "under direction" of the Chinese Communist Party.

"It's very important to distinguish how Western democracies operate relative to their private sector companies and vendors, and how the Chinese government operates with its companies," Ambassador Robert L.

The United States has accused Chinese computer and telecommunications firms, including Huawei, of installing spyware in its products – charges the companies deny.

Pompeo told the Peruvian newspaper that if the country uses Chinese technology, its information would be "in the hands of President Xi (Jinping) and the People's Liberation Army."