Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States Vice President Mike Pence meet on the sidelines of the National Governors Association summer meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S., July 14, 2017.
US Vice President Mike Pence abruptly skipped an official banquet in Peru late Friday ahead of a summit with Latin American leaders, as President Donald Trump announced he had ordered air strikes on Syria.
According to the US State Department, the United States is providing $16 million in extra funding for humanitarian assistance for Venezuelans who have fled as economic conditions worsen.
Pence met with Julio Borges, a Venezuelan opposition lawmaker and former speaker of the National Assembly, David Smolansky, former mayor of the city of El Hatillo, Carlos Vecchio, political coordinator of the Popular Will party he co-founded with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, and Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas.
The deputy Minister of Coordination with Social Movements of Bolivia Jose Maria Alessandri, considered the Summit of the Americas since its creation became an instrument of U.S, policy, local media reflect today. "Many have died of starvation and deprivation, and millions have fled the oppression of the dictatorship in Venezuela", Pence said. He said the USA would push "additional sanctions, additional isolation and additional diplomatic pressure - beginning in our hemisphere but across the wider world". There was a vision until 2005: it was called the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
In a series of meetings with Latin American leaders, Pence plans to promote good governance and democratic institutions and urge allies to maintain pressure on Maduro. 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 USA weapon.
With the White House's encouragement, Maduro has been barred from the summit over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday told business leaders meeting in Peru's capital that under the right conditions the U.S. would reconsider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite Trump's earlier decision to back away from an initial deal.