WASHINGTON — Aug 13, 2017, 4:34 AM ET

Pence to begin Latin America tour as global crises grow


Vice President Mike Pence will visit Colombia amid escalating tensions with neighboring Venezuela and North Korea.

Pence is set to meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday at the start of a weeklong trip to Latin America that is likely to be dominated by conversations about the deepening crisis in Venezuela, where the U.S. accuses President Nicolas Maduro of a power grab that has sparked deadly protests and condemnation across the region.

Trump appeared to complicate the discussions Friday with an unexpected statement that he would not rule out a "military option" in response to the Venezuelan government's attempt to consolidate power.

The statement drew immediate push-back, including from the Colombian Foreign Ministry, which condemned any "military measures and the use of force," and said that efforts to resolve Venezuela's breakdown in democracy should be peaceful and respect its sovereignty.

Pence's trip will also take him to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City, Panama, where he is expected to deliver a number of speeches, meet with the country's leaders and tour the newly expanded Panama Canal.

In Colombia, Pence is also expected to highlight trade, business investment and other ties between the nations, including U.S. support for the country's efforts to implement its peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The U.S. will also likely be looking for assurances that Colombia is taking seriously the surging coca production in the country, which has been blamed partially on Santos' decision in 2015 to stop using crop-destroying herbicides.

A July United Nations report showed that coca production in Colombia had reached levels not seen in two decades, complicating the South American country's efforts to make its vast, lawless countryside more secure.

The Trump administration has been putting pressure on the country to curb the flow of drugs into the U.S, and Colombia has stepping up its forced eradication program and increased seizures of cocaine.

News - Pence to begin Latin America tour as global crises grow

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  • george ruth

    Pence sent on a smooth the feathers trip so Alien Donnie can ruffle them again

  • reality25

    Pence- the Dick Cheney wannabe.

    Go home Yankee.

  • JamaicaOnHudson

    Global crises? Come now, look around, there are plenty of domestic crises to concern himself with.

  • Steve Jarrett

    When hell breaks loose in Venezuela, we'll have to take in millions more refugees. Put them in cites with no affordable housing or rural areas with no jobs. Pick your poison. One way or another the Venezuelan crisis will be put on the back of US taxpayers to carry.

  • Pad

    Who will hold trump's pens after signing documents if Pence isn't there????

  • FarmFamily

    Pence putting as much distance as he can between he and Trump.

  • jordan erickson

    Yeah. It sucks that this happened, but people need to stop standing in the road and then getting surprised when they get hit by a car. There are hundreds of ways to peacefully protest without playing real life Frogger.

  • librairie

    Pence has still NOT made a remark about the VIOLENCE & RIOTS & HATE in his own country, and by his own government and friends, in otherwords, CONDONING iot!!!..........What kind of DECEPTIOn is this........MANIPULATION - The United States of America with THIS shameful, shameful hate mongering, war mongering, RACIST government thinks they are going to send one of their own to INVADE & CONTROL other countries around our globe.........There has been a COUP in our country, and the good people of the United States need to stand up and be counted against these people of RACISM, HATE, GREED, etc. etc.......The people right now in OUR government have huge numbers of followers that are white suprematists, white nationalists, NAZI groups and bonafied people of HATE - We will RESIST this government until every last one of them has stepped down, including the dismantling of this dispicable Republican Party that brought this dark, dark STAIN on the history of the United States of America - ALWAYS in the past, a BEACON of LIGHT to the world

  • 40words

    Only thing that is more worthless than Mike Pence, and that is Mike Pence on a Trump apology tour.

  • VIK

    He is making a base for another war. We desperately need it.

  • Puddin' Twain

    Pence is boning up on his Latin.

  • Life's a River

    Pence reminds me of a Michael Keaton line in the movie "Mr. Mom", when the supermarket makes a PA announcement "Cleanup in aisle 3" and Keaton replies, "Hey, I was nowhere near aisle 3." Pence is wisely distancing himself from Trump and from this situation in Charlottesville.

  • feckles

    Trump places order for one Pence stunt double to stand behind him with the adoring smile of admiration he is so used to from Mikey.

  • j penske

    "neighboring Venezuela and North Korea."
    Uh, abcnews, neither country is "neighboring".

  • boyscout

    hey pence, no matter where you go to hide out you are still part of the trumppy criminal network and you will not be president because of it.

  • SunnySideUp

    Ooomph will get Pence to get meddle in south american countries' affairs once again.

  • wiseone

    Republican's can continue to pursue their conservative goals with a Mike Pence presidency. Waiting for Trump is turning out to be a dangerous proposition with the possibility of DT starting a nuclear war. Even without the investigation, DT has enough in his file to warrant an impeachment.............for the sake of the American people, Republicans should act immediately.

  • Tertulliano

    trump is making pence's job very difficult. do they think he will be very welcome after donad's incendiary remarks as "talks of potential military action in venezuela"?

  • Sweet Tea

    Pence is going. Thankfully, he's the smarter of the two. Cooler heads will prevail.

  • TEd de

    Anything but the "Justice Department" I would prefer a local investigation to a federal one

  • Dicazi

    And South American countries are supposed to take us seriously now, why??
    Our president will direct a rant at them?
    He will threaten military action directed at them?
    He will sic neo-Nazis on them?