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Venezuela Slams 'Coup' Remarks Made by Secretary of State Tillerson

05 February, 2018, 06:31 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Secretary of State Tillerson rallies support for Venezuela sanctions

While insisting that Washington was not pushing for Maduro to be ousted, Tillerson touted the idea that the Venezuelan president should consider leaving the country voluntarily before things get heated.

He said China is using economic statecraft to pull the region into its orbit, and warned Latin American countries to avoid excessive economic reliance on China.

Tillerson also said that Latin American countries do not need "new imperial powers that only seek only to benefit their own people".

Before embarking Thursday on a five-nation trip to Latin America, Tillerson said China seeks only to enrich itself with investment and development projects. "It doesn't have to be this hemisphere's future".

He warned that strong institutions and accountable governments were needed to secure sovereignty against "potential predatory actors" arriving in their region.

As he's done on many issues, Tillerson took a gentler tone, underscoring that the US has a $14 billion trade surplus in the hemisphere and saying the administration appreciates the "hard work" of Canadian and Mexican negotiators on Nafta.

Tillerson "is a respectful person who wants to help those who are in limbo to reach a solution", said Steven Goldstein, undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.

"Our region must be diligent to guard against faraway powers who do not reflect the fundamental values shared in this region", he said.

Tillerson gave a speech in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, ahead of a 5-nation trip to Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica.

Flanked by high ranking members of Venezuela's military, Padrino said: "Members of the armed forces radically reject such deplorable remarks that constitute a vile act of interference".

Venezuela was an exception of sorts, coming in for unwelcome attention.

Tillerson's visit has sparked mixed reactions. She said it's time for all sides to see that the US and Latin American nations are permanent neighbors. "Having said that, it's a really complicated agreement, and we believe in taking the time it takes to get it right". The European Union also has imposed sanctions, and the Organization of American States' secretary-general, Luis Almagro, has championed democratic reforms for Venezuela.

His first stop in Mexico City intends to tackle thorny issues such as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to The Washington Post.

"By building out a more flexible and robust energy system in our hemisphere, we can power economies with affordable energy", Tillerson said to an audience of almost 300.

Tillerson will set foot in a region that has a negative view of the current administration.

After Trump took office in 2017, the detente in Cuba-U.S. ties since they resumed diplomatic relations in 2015 after a breakup of more than half a century, was reversed.

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