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15 April 2018, 02:19 | Opal Carroll
White House says Pence will meet today with Peruvian president — who resigned in disgrace two weeks ago
US Vice President Mike Pence abruptly left a banquet late Friday hosted by his Peruvian counterpart ahead of the start of a two-day summit with Latin American leaders and went back to his Lima hotel, reporters travelling with him said. It was an unusual display of cross-party unity.
The White House said on Thursday that the U.S. vice president is also expected to hold a multilateral meeting with several Caribbean leaders.
The vice chairman stated Maduro has turned Venezuela right into a dictatorship and has led to "abject distress".
It also calls on government to expand measures aimed at re-establishing Venezuela's democracy as well as urges the United Nations and other multilateral institutions to help alleviate the country's humanitarian crisis.
Heads of State and Government of the Western Hemisphere are now meeting at the Eighth Summit of the Americas being held on April 13 and 14, 2018 in Lima, Peru.
President Maduro was barred from the summit over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham. While the press focuses on whether Pence will meet with Cuba's Raúl Castro-who has oddly been invited despite the exclusion of Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro for being a dictator-attention should be on the need of a wide-ranging vision for hemispheric relations.
Pence was at his resort in Lima when Trump introduced the retaliatory airstrikes on Friday evening from the White Home.
"Trump has made it clear the United States will not stand idly by while Venezuela crumbles", he told regional leaders Saturday.
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Trump cancelled his trip to the summit on Tuesday, with the White House explaining that he had "to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world".
Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas, pleaded with Pence through a translator to bolster sanctions against Maduro, asking for "not only humanitarian aid but humanitarian intervention".
"It's not surprising. It shows the priority President Trump gives to Latin America", a Brazilian government source who asked not to be named said.
Pence is expected to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
The meeting was scheduled on Friday afternoon after the Summit of the Americas kicked off in Lima.
Vice President Mike Pence says the USA will provide almost $16 million in humanitarian aid for Venezuelans who have fled their country during the political crisis under President Nicolas Maduro. He'll be subbing for President Donald Trump after the president pulled out of his first planned visit to Latin America to manage the USA response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria.
Organization of American States secretary general Luis Almagro told delegates the plague of corruption is not symptomatic of a flaw within democratic governance, and that nations should "fight the illness, not the system".
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Trump told the nation in his address the USA "cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny". We can not purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny. "Everybody's going to pay a price".
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