US VP Pence to meet four leaders one-on-one during Americas summit

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

Maduro was barred from the summit over his plans to carry a presidential election that the Venezuelan opposition is boycotting and that many overseas governments think about a sham.

Pence introduced that the USA would supply practically $16 million in humanitarian help to Venezuelans who've fled their nation and met with opposition leaders who pleaded for extra sanctions.

The meeting comes amid tensions between Trump and Mexico over immigration and the president's calls for a border wall.

But Latin Americans took it in stride, even as it deepened the view the region was being snubbed. He said the USA would push "additional sanctions, additional isolation and additional diplomatic pressure _ beginning in our hemisphere but across the wider world".

Trump said he is skipping the summit to focus on the United States response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria.

"Pence plans to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday morning", Agen said as quoted by the White House press pool on Friday.

Ties between the United States and Mexico have been tense since Trump took power, frayed by issues that include the U.S. president's desire to build a wall along the shared border and USA demands to revisit the North American Trade Agreement.

The U.S. vice president says Maduro has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship.

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. The Summit also offers the opportunity for the leaders to jointly define a hemispheric agenda at the highest level that addresses urgent challenges and promotes positive change. They include National Assembly President Julio Borges and former Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma.

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United States Vice President Mike Pence, who is filling in for Trump, used the trip to promote trade and urge regional partners to further isolate Venezuela's government. How ironic that today the USA president is disfiguring the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the argument that Mexico takes unfair advantage of the United States!

Yet the timing of the trade pitch will be delicate.

The Trump administration is considering imposing an oil embargo on the OPEC nation.

Heritage Foundation senior policy analyst on Latin America and the Western Hemisphere Ana Quintana said Pence would seek to "continue the momentum" of USA policy on Venezuela.

"If it means reliable, predictable, Trump is the opposite", Feinberg said. After the USA pulled out, 11 countries reached a revised deal last month that dropped some clauses that had been meant to benefit the United States.

But U.S. and Chinese trade will loom large over talks as a heated dispute between the world's two biggest economies continues to fan fears of a trade war.

Trump, meanwhile, has long assailed the impact of NAFTA on U.S. workers and has insisted on a new round of negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on NAFTA.

The meeting is scheduled for 10:30 am local time, officials at the Prime Minister's Office said. The president's recent tweets called on Mexico to halt "caravans" of migrants, many from Honduras, a message that Pence may be asked about in his discussions.

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