Deepening U.S. Partnerships in the Western Hemisphere

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrives in Cucuta, Colombia on April 14, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrives in Cucuta, Colombia on April 14, 2019.

Deepening U.S. Partnerships in the Western Hemisphere

Secretary Pompeo traveled to Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Cucuta, Colombia, April 11-15 to deepen U.S. partnerships in the Western Hemisphere. The Secretary’s visit celebrated and reinforced shared commitments to democracy and human rights, highlighted increased opportunities for prosperity and security for our citizens, and rallied support for democracy in Venezuela.

In Santiago on April 12, the Secretary met with President Pinera and Foreign Minister Ampuero to highlight Chile’s regional leadership, our strong economic ties, bilateral partnerships in science and technology, and security cooperation, including on cyber issues.

In Chile, the Secretary delivered remarks on seizing the opportunity for freedom in the Americas where he said, "The Trump administration believes that our two nations and the rest of the Americas have an incredible opportunity, the chance truly to cement a future of democracy, prosperity for all of the people of all of this hemisphere."

While in Chile, the Secretary also participated in interviews with Matilde Burgos of CNN Chile, Jake Tapper of CNN, and Andrea Aristegui of Mega TV where he underscored the important partnership between the United States and Chile, as well as the challenge in Venezuela and how all of us -- Chile, Brazil, Peru, the OAS, the Lima Group -- can work together to get what the Venezuelan people so richly deserve: "their democracy and off of the place they are today, under the thumb of the Cubans and the Russians and the Maduro regime."

The Secretary also visited the U.S. Embassy in Chile and thanked staff for their work.

In Asuncion on April 13, Secretary Pompeo met with President Abdo Benitez and Foreign Minister Castiglioni to reinforce our strong partnership to combat transnational crime and corruption, strengthen economic ties, and support Venezuelan democracy.

The Secretary also participated in an interview with Gesell Tobias of VOA Spanish to discuss the situation in Venezuela and concluded his visit with a meeting with U.S. Embassy staff and family members in Paraguay.

In Lima on April 13, the Secretary met with President Vizcarra and Foreign Minister Popolizio to discuss Peru’s support for Venezuelan refugees, the country’s ongoing leadership role in the Lima Group, and our cooperation regarding transnational crime, economic growth, and other bilateral issues.

While in Lima, Secretary Pompeo participated in an interview with Gisella Lopez of El Comercio. In his conversation with Gisella Lopez, he emphasized the purpose of his visit to South America was twofold. The main topic, he stated, was "to be with our friends, democratic countries with free markets; to make sure they understand that we’re a good partner and to talk about trade relationships and the like." The Secretary added, "but also to talk about the threat to those countries from the disaster that is Venezuela, the humanitarian crisis that is Venezuela, the – caused purely by the political disaster that is Nicolas Maduro." The Secretary also met with Embassy staff and families and thanked them for their work.

Secretary Pompeo also made a brief stop in Cucuta, Colombia, on April 14 to visit entities supporting Venezuelan refugees and assess the challenges due to the closed border.

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