US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is fine with labelling the leaders of Venezuela and North Korea as “tyrants”, but appears to mince his words when it comes to Washington’s allies.
In March, when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blocked deliveries of US humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit country, Pompeo was quick to denounce him as a “sick tyrant”. On Tuesday, the Secretary of State was asked at a Senate hearing whether he would apply similar language for North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
“Sure. I’m sure I’ve said that,” Pompeo said on Tuesday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee while discussing the 2020 State Department budget request.
However, Pompeo refused to say the same thing about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Last year’s election in Egypt, which saw al-Sisi secure a second straight landslide victory, was criticised by some as a “sham” after the incumbent’s main challenger, General Sami Anan, was arrested for running for office without permission from the army, in breach of the law.
Al-Sisi has also been accused by human rights advocates, such as Human Rights Watch, of torturing and mistreating prisoners as well as cracking down on dissent — something that he denies.
“There’s no doubt that it’s a mean,…