What Should Pence Do at the Summit of the Americas?

17 April, 2018, 18:41 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • The summit begins less than a month after Peru's president assumed office following the previous leader's resignation

The joint statement called on global organizations to offer support to neighboring countries to cope with the arrivals and for Maduro to allow access for humanitarian aid to his nation of 30 million people - something he has refused to do, denying there is a crisis.

Maduro said that the regional summit should be a space for discussion of "the north with the south", adding that the Summit provided no conclusions, no proposals and no decisions.

"The United States believes now is the time to do more, much more", he said. But a coterie of leftists, including Brazil's Lula da Silva, Argentina's Néstor Kirchner, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, with the support of soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona, buried the idea, arguing that free-trade agreements were an imperialist US weapon.

Opposition leader David Smolansky says Maduro's government "has become a threat to the region".

The declaration expressing concern over the "aggravation of the crisis" was signed by Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and the United States.

Pence said Saturday in a meeting with Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra at the Summit of the Americas in Lima that he's grateful for Vizcarra's role in withdrawing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's invitation to the summit.

"I was seeing reports of some empty speeches by right-wing, unpopular, murderous, imperialist lackey presidents", Maduro said during his Saturday speech.

Bolivia and Cuba criticized Peru's decision not to invite Maduro, attributing it to US pressure.

Cuba's government in a statement Friday said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez would instead lead the Cuban delegation.

The official theme of the Lima summit was the fight against corruption and leaders agreed a statement calling for improvements in transparency of public tenders, more independent and accountable judiciaries and stronger global cooperation on money laundering.

Vizcarra took office in March after the resignation of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who was about to face an impeachment vote over his relations with the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence are set to meet on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas during a tense time for their governments.

President Donald Trump promised to build a wall along the southern border and insisted Mexico would pay for it. Mexico has refused.

Vice President Mike Pence says there's a "real possibility" the USA could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement "within the next several weeks".

"Today, we have the president of the United States facing a trade war with China and other countries", Pinera said on a panel at a joint business summit on Friday. Trump has assailed the commerce deal's impact on USA employees and threatened to pull on the US out when he's unhappy with all the terms. He'll be subbing for President Donald Trump after the president pulled out of his first planned visit to Latin America to manage the USA response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria. The cancellation was widely interpreted as a sign of US indifference to its relations with Latin America.


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