Tillerson begins Latin America trip amid USA immigration debate

People walk past a banner depicting Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro that reads

A senior U.S. State Department official said at a briefing this week that the United States will employ every last one of its "political, diplomatic and economic tools to address the situation in Venezuela", according to VOA News.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump wants a "peaceful change" in Venezuela. -Latin America policy, Tillerson told an audience at his alma mater, the University of Texas, "It's really nice to celebrate with my friends back home".

Because the USA economy is very intertwined with Latin America, changes in the area can affect the U.S and consumers, according to Will Inboden, a UT professor and the Clement Center for National Security executive director.

Although the United States aims to pursue its own interests in the region, Tillerson appeared to suggest that Washington was anxious that rival powers, including Russian Federation, had the audacity to do the same.

Tillerson, who is on his first multi-nation mission to Latin America, delivered the policy address in his home state, at his alma mater, the University of Texas in Austin, an institution steeped in studies of USA relations with Central and South America.

Tillerson says Russian Federation is encouraging undemocratic governments through arms sales. On Friday, February 2, Tillerson will meet with and have a joint press conference with Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray.

When in Colombia, the secretary will voice his concerns about a surge in coca cultivation and cocaine production in the country, while discussing the growing refugee population with his counterparts.

Rather intriguingly Secretary Tillerson speculated about a possible military coup in Venezuela before heading off to check in with regional powers, although he offered no evidence his musings were backed by intelligence.

Over the past year, the United States has sanctioned nearly 50 Venezuelans for alleged human rights violations, State Department representatives told reporters.

Tillerson is traveling to Mexico, Argentina, Columbia and Jamaica this week where he will discuss USA relations and the importance of democratic institutions with his counterparts.

During the trip, officials made clear that Tillerson was not meeting any Venezuelan representatives and that Washington is not seeking any dialogue with Maduro. "China's state-led model of development is reminiscent of the past". "The trip reflects President [Donald] Trump's realization that we need to stop drug inflows, work harder with allies and take a page from history", he said.

"Obviously that would be something that we strongly want to avoid", Videgaray said at an event in NY late previous year, reffering to NAFTA collapsing.



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