Pence, Santos strike deal allowing Colombian avocados into USA market

Posted August 16, 2017

Pence arrived in Buenos Aires on Monday evening, the day after congressional primaries gave a boost to Argentine President Mauricio Macri. He said the USA will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles into dictatorship and that a failed democracy in Venezuela is a threat to the United States.

During a news conference, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said he told Mr Pence the United States must not even consider military action in response to Venezuela's crisis, adding that the two countries were important allies.

"The president ( Trump ) sent me here with a message of compassion for those families that are fleeing Venezuela", Pence told reporters.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo said Mr Trump, by raising the prospect of possible military action, was trying "to give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored".

"We need to push the political and economic situation to an extreme so that democracy can be restored as soon as possible in Venezuela".

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Still, Pence reiterated that Venezuela was "sliding into dictatorship and the United States would not stand by" while that happened.

As Macri told reporters he was reassured by the "levels of agreement" between the US and Argentina on how to tackle the issue of Venezuela, he also urged an emphasis on "diplomatic and economic skills" instead of military options. "I'm probably not allowed to say this but I do have a nickname for the vice president ... it's 46". Pence was in Colombia Sunday and Monday, and will travel to other South American countries, including Argentina and Chile'.

Mike Pence has flatly denied rumors and reports he is preparing to succeed President Donald Trump as the 46th president of the United States. Argentina is set to host both the World Trade Organization ministerial meetings in December 2017, as well as the 2018 G20 Summit.

Unlike Macri, Santos, and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, she has yet to visit the White House since Trump's inauguration in January.

Santos' response echoed remarks by other Latin American leaders, who are acutely aware of how any hint of US intervention can stir up latent anti-American sentiment among their populations. Pence said he believed "we're going to see these extremist voices on the far right and on the far left marginalized as they should be as Americans come together around our shared values".