US VP to talk trade & Venezuela crisis during four-nation tour

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US VP to talk trade & Venezuela crisis during four-nation tour U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos shake hands at the start of a meeting at the presidential guesthouse in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made Colombia the first stop on his Latin American trip.

Trade will be a major focus of the week-long, four nation tour. But the crisis in Venezuela is expected to dominate the agenda. Pence could be pressed to clarify America’s stance toward the country. 

CGTN’s Michelle Begue explains the significance of the visit.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos greeted U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the presidential house in Cartagena, Colombia. It’s the first stop of a six-day trip that includes stops in Argentina, Chile and Panama.  

A matter of concern in the region is the economic and political crisis in Venezuela. More than 120 people have been killed and thousands arrested during four months of unrest. On Friday, President Donald Trump threatened military intervention with Colombia’s neighbor.

“Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they’re dying,” Trump said. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”  

Vice President Mike Pence has landed in Cartagena, Colombia, as he begins a weeklong trip to Latin America. Pence’s trip includes stops in Argentina, Chile and Panama.

The White House has said while in Colombia, the vice president will meet with government leaders and the business community to deepen economic ties.  The Trump administration will continue to support security cooperation and infrastructure development. 

VP Pence in Latin America

[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/vp-pence-in-latin-america/thumbs/thumbs_000_rk21f.jpg]110COLOMBIA-US-PENCE
Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency press office showing US Vice President Mike Pence (L), his wife Karen Pence reviewing a guard of honour with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin upon arrival at Rafael Nunez international airport in Cartagena, Colombia on August 13, 2017. <br />Pence launches a Latin America tour that has taken on new significance following President Donald Trump's threat of a possible "military option" against Venezuela. The weeklong trip, aimed at coordinating a regional diplomatic action to the political crisis in Caracas, begins in Colombia and also includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.<br /> / AFP PHOTO / Colombian Presidency / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCIA COLOMBIA' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/vp-pence-in-latin-america/thumbs/thumbs_000_rk21g.jpg]110COLOMBIA-US-PENCE
Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency press office showing US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and his wife Karen Pence upon arrival at Rafael Nunez international airport in Cartagena, Colombia on August 13, 2017. <br />Pence launches a Latin America tour that has taken on new significance following President Donald Trump's threat of a possible "military option" against Venezuela. The weeklong trip, aimed at coordinating a regional diplomatic action to the political crisis in Caracas, begins in Colombia and also includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.<br /> / AFP PHOTO / Colombian Presidency / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCIA COLOMBIA' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/vp-pence-in-latin-america/thumbs/thumbs_000_rk24z.jpg]90COLOMBIA-US-PENCE
Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency press office showing US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shaking hands during a meeting at the Presidential guest house in Cartagena, Colombia on August 13, 2017. <br />Pence launches a Latin America tour that has taken on new significance following President Donald Trump's threat of a possible "military option" against Venezuela. The weeklong trip, aimed at coordinating a regional diplomatic action to the political crisis in Caracas, begins in Colombia and also includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.<br /> / AFP PHOTO / Colombian Presidency / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCIA COLOMBIA' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/vp-pence-in-latin-america/thumbs/thumbs_000_rk257.jpg]80COLOMBIA-US-PENCE
Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency press office showing US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shaking hands during a meeting at the Presidential guest house in Cartagena, Colombia on August 13, 2017. <br />Pence launches a Latin America tour that has taken on new significance following President Donald Trump's threat of a possible "military option" against Venezuela. The weeklong trip, aimed at coordinating a regional diplomatic action to the political crisis in Caracas, begins in Colombia and also includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.<br /> / AFP PHOTO / Colombian Presidency / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCIA COLOMBIA' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/vp-pence-in-latin-america/thumbs/thumbs_000_rk24y.jpg]80COLOMBIA-US-PENCE
Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency press office showing US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shaking hands during a meeting at the Presidential guest house in Cartagena, Colombia on August 13, 2017. <br />Pence launches a Latin America tour that has taken on new significance following President Donald Trump's threat of a possible "military option" against Venezuela. The weeklong trip, aimed at coordinating a regional diplomatic action to the political crisis in Caracas, begins in Colombia and also includes Argentina, Chile and Panama.<br /> / AFP PHOTO / Colombian Presidency / HO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCIA COLOMBIA' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

 

Colombia is a historically strong ally of the United States in the region. Some say the four-country visit is a way for the White House to show it’s focused on issues beyond Asia and its own borders. The question is whether Latin America will be receptive.


Remi Piet on Vice President Pence’s trip to Latin America

CGTN’s Wang Guan discussed expectations and goals of the week-long trip with Remi Piet. He’s a Senior Director with Americas Market Intelligence — focusing on the political and economic structures in Latin America.