Friday, 17 August, 2018

Pence Says US to Provide $16 Million in Aid to Venezuelan Refugees

Pence Says US to Provide $16 Million in Aid to Venezuelan Refugees Pence Says US to Provide $16 Million in Aid to Venezuelan Refugees
Melinda Barton | 14 April, 2018, 10:44

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. That adds further tensions as the neighbors, along with Canada, work to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Pence is 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.

Trump had been scheduled to attend the Americas summit but decided this week to send Pence instead so he could remain in the United States to focus on formulating a USA response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria last weekend. The White House said Thursday that the vice president is also expected to hold a multi-lateral meeting with several Caribbean leaders.

Trump has over the past few weeks been pushing a tougher line on immigration and seeking stronger protections along the US-Mexican border.

Agen says Pence was unable to reach Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer before the speech but planned to speak to him afterward.

Pence is planning to meet in Lima with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but the White House said no meetings were scheduled with members of the Mexican delegation.

Pena Nieto's office says in a statement that the meeting will take place Saturday morning in Lima, Peru, where the summit is taking place.

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

Shortly after arriving, Pence met with Venezuelan opposition figures at the USA ambassador's residence in Lima, including the former president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, and former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma. To this regard, Heather Nauert, the US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs stated that the US will continue to boost the bilateral relation with Peru, based on the shared values of democracy, mutually beneficial trade, and the respect for human rights.

According to the schedule of arrivals provided to the press, the airport of Lima will receive the rulers of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic, among others, in the next few hours.