The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Saturday in Asuncion, Paraguay from Chile to continue with his diplomatic tour to consolidate support to the administration's strategy to take down the Venezuelan government under Nicolas Maduro.
US's Pompeo Visits Latam, Increases Pressure Against Venezuela
After a private conversation with President Mario Abdo, Pompeo announced that the U.S. considers Paraguay as a "partner" in its plans for the Boliviarian republic.
"We share our values, our goals and our aspirations, we see Paraguay as a partner," Pompeo said and added that much "teamwork" is needed to "recognize" Juan Guaido as "the right one."
Pompeo's is the first visit of an U.S. Secretary of State since 1965 when Dean Rusk, under the President Lyndon Johnson administration, traveled to the South American country governed then by Alfredo Stroessner, the head of the U.S.-backed military regime in power from 1954 to 1989.
Pompeo vowed that he will not let so much time pass until someone with the same rank returns to Paraguay because the friendship uniting both countries is "too important."
Paraguay's Secretary of State Luis Alberto Castiglioni confirmed that his country does not support President Nicolas Maduro and is engaged in the fight against drug trafficking, arms trafficking, smuggling and the active laundering of money.
"The battle we are fighting has no return and will continue to win. We assured this to the Secretary of State," said Castiglioni, stressing that "Paraguay must cooperate very closely with the U.S. government," as reported by local online newspaper, Hoy.
Castiglioni mentioned that he expects the U.S. to soon open its markets to Paraguayan meat exports.
Before arriving in Paraguay Pompeo attended high-level meetings in Chile where he accused China of bankrolling President Nicolas Maduro's administration, adding that the Russian troop presence in Venezuela was an "obvious provocation."
"We shouldn't stand for Russia escalating an already precarious situation in these ways," the U.S. Secretary of State stated, as reported by Reuters. The official, testifying before the Senate April 10 told legislators: "There is no doubt that the Maduro regime is a threat to U.S. security."
Once finished with his lobbying efforts in Asuncion, Pompeo will depart to Peru where he will meet with President Martin Vizcarra to continue seeking support for the US strategy against Venezuela. The so-called Lima Group will meet in Peru April 16.