U.S. President Donald Trump will undertake his first visit to Latin America in April: traveling first to the Summit of the Americas in Peru before visiting Colombia, the White House has announced.
The Republican leader will meet with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during his tour.
"This trip demonstrates the president's determination to deepen our historical ties with our partners in the region and to strengthen our joint commitment to improve the security and prosperity of the peoples of the Americas," the White House said in a statement on Saturday.
The visit to Colombia will begin immediately after the Summit of the Americas, on April 15, Reuters reports. Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said Trump's tour will address issues related to bilateral trade, but she did not reveal which city the US president will arrive in.
This year's summit, due to held April 13 and 14 in Lima, has already caused controversy: last month, the Peruvian government retracted its invitation to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro rejected the move immediately, saying he is determined to attend come "rain, shine or lightning. By air, land or sea, I will get to the Summit of the Americas to tell the truth of this country," he vowed at a news conference for international journalists.
The decision to rescind his invitation was announced after a meeting by the Lima Group, an ad-hoc alliance created in August 2017 to "monitor" Venezuela until the country "returns to democracy."
In response, Venezuela released a statement pointing out that being a host country for the summit does not give Peru the power to decide whether a head of state is allowed to take part.
"In the current regulations there are no attributions in any way to the Republic of Peru, or any other state, giving it the power to decide on the participation of a Member State and founder in any of the meetings of the Summits of the Americas," Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said.
Peru's opposition Broad Front (FA) party also submitted a motion to Congress calling for Trump to be banned from the 8th Summit of the Americas.
The party requested that the government declare him "persona non grata," insisting that his policies are "contrary to human rights" and encourage "xenophobic practices against millions of migrants," and that his foreign policy "breaks diplomatic channels."