The President of the U.S. Donald Trump cancelled his visit to Colombia planned for December 2, as informed Friday by sources from both countries.
According to the Colombian Foreign Ministry, Trump “postponed” his visit to Colombia as his “Latin American agenda was modified.” The U.S. president had planned to visit the Caribbean country after the G-20 summit in Argentina.
“President Trump’s schedule will not allow him to travel to Colombia later this month,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the country is one of their “closest partners in Latin America.”
Trump is also meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires.
Neither the White House nor the Colombian Foreign Ministry gave further explanations about Trump’s change of plans.
The Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said they will reschedule the meeting with President Ivan Duque.
The minister had revealed that an agreement awarding special advantages to Colombians to facilitate immigration procedures would be discussed during the scrapped presidential meeting.
“In this way, (immigration) would be possible for the person who complies with these procedures in Colombia to enter the United States as if it were a local flight," Holmes said.
This is the second time Trump has canceled his visit to Colombia. He originally scheduled a meeting with then president Juan Manuel Santos in April after attending the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, but he stayed in Washington to focus on responding to a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
At that time Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence in his place, but White House sources said he was “unenthusiastic” about the trip anyway.
Despite being one of its closest allies in the region, Trump didn’t visit former president Santos in Colombia before he left office in August.
The White House said Trump already met with Duque on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25.
The announcement to cancel the trip to Bogota comes shortly after the national security adviser John Bolton gave a speech on foreign policy toward South America, calling Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua a “troika of tyranny,” a new version of the “axis of evil.”