US secretary of state ends Latin America tour focusing on Maduro
Pompeo began his Latin American tour, the main theme of which will be the situation in Veneseula
US Secretary of State to visit Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday began a three-day tour of Latin America, during which he will visit Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Colombia.
This is the first time since 1965 that a head of American diplomacy has visited Paraguay. This symbolic gesture underscores U.S. commitment to the region, experts say..
Pompeo will also visit the Colombian border town of Cucuta on Sunday, which hosts many Venezuelan migrants fleeing hunger and violence at home..
The political crisis in Venezuela is expected to be one of the main topics of Pompeo’s tour.
US believes President Nicholas Maduro should resign and calls on other countries to support opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
“This trip is an opportunity to demonstrate what changes are taking place in most South American countries, where ideologically similar democracies join forces to solve regional problems,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters..
Washington is considering imposing additional sanctions on the Maduro regime and demands that Russia withdraw troops from Venezuela.
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, called on more countries to support Guaido. While most Western countries recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader, Russia, China and Cuba sided with Maduro.
According to Roberta Braga of the Center for Latin American Studies. Adrienne Arsht at the Atlantic Council, Pompeo will highlight the importance of Peru’s leadership in the Lima Group for resolving the Venezuelan crisis.
“Top of Pompeo’s list of priorities this week is to further strengthen the coalition he has built in support of Guaido,” the analyst said. “Pompeo is likely to repeat the warnings against intervening in the crisis previously voiced by the administration to countries such as China, Cuba and Russia.”.
Pompeo is also expected to highlight the benefits of trade and economic cooperation with the US, whose influence in the region has recently been challenged by China..
China, whose demand for raw materials has increased significantly amid strong economic growth over the past two decades, is already a leading trading partner for a number of Latin American countries, from the region’s largest economy, Brazil, to the leading soybean exporter, Uruguay..
Washington worries that countries in the region are turning to China for funding as U.S. policy towards Latin America is changing.
The national security strategy announced by President Donald Trump in December 2017 states that China wants to “drag the region into its orbit of influence through public investment and loans.”.
China’s FDI in the region has grown by $ 70 billion since 2012, according to the Center for Latin American Studies..
And while the United States remains the largest source of foreign direct investment, its share fell from 25.7 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2016, notes the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean..