Tillerson Begins Latin American Tour with Anti-Venezuela Agenda

Tillerson Begins Latin American Tour with Anti-Venezuela Agenda

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Mexico on Saturday to pay attention to Russian meddling in elections around the world, following comments from another US official that there were signs of such interference in the country's presidential race.

One of Tillerson's first trips as secretary was to Mexico a year ago, but this will be the first time he travels further south in the role.

In Venezuela, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino accused Washington of seeking to undermine democracy in Latin America and return to the days of "imperialism", lashing out at Tillerson during a broadcast on state television. "We do have some differences, as every other country does, but we've been working very closely", said Videgaray.

"The development of China-Latin America ties does not target or reject any third party, nor does it affect the interests of third parties in Latin America", the ministry said. "We're looking to the future".

"I want to stop the aid if they can't stop drugs from coming in", Trump said.

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He said: "many countries in the world have suffered from the long history of covert, clandestine operations, propaganda war, economic blockades and direct military interventions by the Government of the United States of America", adding that "senseless threats against Venezuela demonstrate, once again", that the US government "has become the greatest agent of violence, discrimination, and humiliation in the world".

Tillerson, Videgaray and Freeland are expected to hold a news conference in Mexico City on Friday afternoon. Yet that has not always been the case in the year-old Trump administration.

As Videgaray, a former finance minister and longtime aide of President Enrique Pena Nieto, put a good face on US-Mexico relations, he also acknowledged some tensions.

"It will have to be the Venezuelans themselves who find a peaceful route, a peaceful solution to this crisis", he said.

"Different people speak different ways, but the policy hasn't changed, and the secretary spoke about USA foreign policy today", said Goldstein, who is traveling with Tillerson on his Latin American tour.

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