U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be traveling to Ecuador and Brazil later this month to discuss bilateral trade, migration, and international affairs in Latin America, Ecuadorean State Secretary Juan Sebastian Roldan confirmed Tuesday.
Roldan emphasized the importance of the vice president's visit due to the large amount of trade exported to the United States as well as the impressive number of emigrants.
“Therefore, the issues of foreign trade, export and migration are fundamental, which we will be willing to discuss with complete calm,” Roldan said.
During a meeting at the White House, Pence revealed the details of his visit to the South American country, the third in under a year.
"On my trip, we will highlight opportunities: opportunities for greater security and economic relations, and we will take the opportunity to draw attention to the collapse of tyranny and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela," he said.
Pence highlighted the importance of strengthening international relations, primarily in regards to “regional politics and the future”. During a phone call with the Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno, the possibility of expelling Venezuela from the Organization of American States was proposed as a means of rejecting the reelection of President Nicolas Maduro. Ecuador abstained during the most recent OAS vote.
This, however, is a far cry from the position his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who harshly criticized Washington’s political strategies and witnessed the bilateral relations strain during his administration between 2007- 2017.
Earlier this month the U.S. Department of State released a report accusing Venezuela of human rights abuses to which the Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted a communique on social media saying that the United States government has no moral authority to make such accusations.
Arreaza stated, "the manipulation of the United States of America's regime on the subject of human rights with the sole objective of promoting the campaign of aggression and delegitimization of the national powers to justify its policy of 'change of government'."