U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has started a new tour in Latin America, to strengthen ties with allies and U.S. agenda in the region.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading to Brazil for the induction ceremony of incoming, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, then he will head to Colombia, and is looking to strengthen the "relations, in regional affairs, and around the globe."
For the U.S. State Department, "this trip wraps up a very busy year of high-level engagement in the region and kicks off the start of the new year of 2019 of high-level engagement." Pompeo will be meeting with different world leaders to strengthen U.S. influence in different parts of the world.
According to the statement released by a state department senior official, Pompeo promoted the support for "Israel’s sovereign right to have its capital," as well as holding meetings to "discuss China and China’s predatory trade and lending practices," also addressing "unfair trade practices and global concerns like North Korea."
However, one of the most important targets of Pompeo and the U.S. administration is to meet with leaders of the right-wing Lima Group, to "also discuss regional affairs and efforts to defend and promote democracy and human rights in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba."
During the trip, Pompeo will meet with Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra, with Colombian President Ivan Duque, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All of them are recognized right-wing leaders, who have spoken against the aforementioned Latin American sovereign nations, with democratically elected presidents.
In November, U.S. national security advisor John Bolton praised Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, saying that his election is a "positive sign" for the region. In the same speech, Bolton attacked and threatened progressive governments in Latin America, including Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, accusing them of being a "troika of tyranny."
Latin American leaders, thinkers, and social movements have denounced U.S. interventionism in the continent. In early December, during the summit to mark the 14th anniversary of the ALBA-TCP, Bolivian President Evo Morales warned that "there are new forms of coups, interventionism, and U.S. imperialism."
In September, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected U.S. interventionism, recalled that the Venezuelan people helped with the liberation and Independence of Latin America, and rejected the new attempts of attacking the National Popular governments in the region.
"Our nation is a country that is harassed and attacked. Yesterday, in this very place, the president of the United States of America spoke once again against the noble people of Venezuela," Maduro said, addressing world leaders attending the 73rd UNGA session.