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Trump's absence at Americas summit shows Washington's attitude to LatAm

11 April, 2018, 12:43 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Much has changed since Obama’s December 2014 decision to pursue détente with Havana

"The Vice President is honored to represent the United States at the 8 Summit of the Americas at President Trump's request", said a spokesperson for Pence in a written statement Tuesday. It was not yet clear what decision Trump will make in response to the latest attack.

Peru's global relations expert Miguel Rodriguez Mackay said Trump, who was expected to make his first visit to the region as US president, has once again made his "contempt" for Latin America clear.

The Trump administration, backed by France and Britain, began making a circumstantial case that Syria and its Russian and Iranian partners bore direct responsibility for the deaths of over 50 people in the opposition-held town of Douma, outside Damascus. "The president will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world".

Trump's new national security adviser, John Bolton, advocated that Trump stay in Washington in the aftermath of the attack, said one of the officials.

When speaking on Monday, Trump stated that "nothing is off the table", in dealing with Syria following the chemical attack.

Since Trump took power in January 2017, Vidarte said, "the topic that has dominated ties with Latin America has been the search for measures that will benefit his country more".

Vice President Mike Pence will visit the summit on his behalf, but will not visit Colombia, according to EFE news agency. "That's why Trump's absence from the summit, where for the first time there won't be a USA president among the participants, marks a key point in ties and in the application of policies based on consensus", Rodriguez said. "When I will not say because I don't like talking about timing".

Trump has reversed some of President Barack Obama's diplomatic and economic outreach to Cuba, including pulling many USA diplomats out of the country following unexplained health attacks on Americans previous year.

Trump had planned to use the summit to seek consensus on how to handle the crisis in Venezuela, and press for better trade deals with countries in the region.

Pence has been among the most vocal Maduro critics, and he is now expected to criticize Maduro at the summit.

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