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.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) August 13, 2017
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.”
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.
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.