Pence to outline Syrian missile strike at Latin summit

Pence to outline Syrian missile strike at Latin summit

Pence to outline Syrian missile strike at Latin summit

In a series of meetings with Latin American leaders, Pence planned to promote good governance and democratic institutions and urge allies to maintain pressure on Maduro.

Filling in for his boss, US Vice President Mike Pence intends to promote the US as a steady trading partner and press Latin American partners to further isolate Venezuela during his weekend trip to Peru.

Maduro was not invited to the summit - but said he would not attend.

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 vice president announced that the USA would provide almost $16 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans who have fled their country under the rule of President Nicolas Maduro.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto also urged the Trump administration to join the accord. Pence had been scheduled to attend a banquet hosted by Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra on Friday night, and it was not immediately clear if he would still attend.

The move came shortly before President Donald Trump is expected to address the US on Friday night amid anticipation of a retaliatory strike for an apparent Syrian chemical weapon attack last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Vice President Mike Pence, pinch-hitting for his boss on a summit in South America, will dine Friday night with Peru's president.

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders.

The agreement replaces a deal concluded in 2016 that included the US, but which required changes a year ago after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S.in one of his first actions after taking office.

The U.S. president has been pushing a tougher line on immigration and seeking stronger protections along the U.S.

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega was also widely expected to snub the event in solidarity with fellow leftist Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who had his invitation withdrawn.

The US has sanctioned Maduro and dozens of his top officials, accusing Venezuela of human rights abuses and sliding into a dictatorship.

Today, the United States announced almost $16 million in humanitarian assistance for Venezuelans who have fled their country due to the crisis there.

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

The meeting was scheduled on Friday afternoon after the Summit of the Americas kicked off in Lima.

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