During her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned lawmakers about the worsening crisis in Venezuela.
Haley said that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was planning to use military weapons against his own people. She added that what is shown on television doesn't reflect the degree of the conflict between Maduro and his opposition.
"If you heard his speech yesterday, he very much is saying he is going to use military action," said Haley during her testimony on Wednesday. "He is very much saying that he is going to get more aggressive and he is blaming the protesters for trying to overthrow his government when all they want is true democracy."
After three months of anti-Maduro protests and at least 75 dead, an actor who works in law enforcement used a police helicopter to execute a minor attack on the Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry buildings in Caracas on Tuesday.
Maduro is "acting with impunity," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said.
Haley said the protesters who have been marching in the streets of most of Venezuela's major cities "just want to be heard. She said the government wasn't taking care of their people. There is a shortage of food and medicine.
"Conflict will follow," Haley said. "It is a direct correlation."
Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Rep. Albio Sires were among the lawmakers who said the U.S. needed to do more to support Venezuelans.
"We need to keep the pressure on Maduro," Haley said. She later added, "I will continue to be a thorn on Maduro's side."