Tillerson Urges Mexico To Watch For Russian Meddling In Elections

Tillerson Urges Mexico To Watch For Russian Meddling In Elections

Tillerson Urges Mexico To Watch For Russian Meddling In Elections

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday warned countries in the Western Hemisphere to beware of Chinese investment, saying it is reminiscent of European colonialism.

Furthermore, in a major shift in USA policy toward Latin America, Tillerson told an audience in Austin, Texas, that the Monroe doctrine - a 19th-century US policy that effectively warned extra-regional powers to stay away from Latin America - is "as important today as it has ever been".

The Secretary of State warned Latin American countries that Chinese investments often look good, but ultimately come at a heavy price.

Flanked by high ranking members of Venezuela's military, Padrino said: "Members of the armed forces radically reject such deplorable remarks that constitute a vile act of interference".

During his speech at the Blanton Museum of Art, Tillerson outlined the U.S.'s commitment to supporting democratic values in Latin America. In September, Maduro said that the army should be ready to defend the country's sovereignty, which was being "blatantly threatened by the most criminal empire in the history of mankind".

Speaking of the influx of illegal drugs, Trump said: "These countries are not our friends". Trump insists on building what he calls "a great border wall" that would further separate Mexico from the U.S. In his State of the Union address earlier this week, Trump emphasized his plans for a continued U.S. crackdown on immigrants.

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Freeland said Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "really get along" and called Tillerson "an incredibly important voice in maintaining the rules-based worldwide order". "Trump's image was poor across the region even before the recent controversy involving the revocation of Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of Haitian and Salvadoran refugees", Gallup added. President Xi Jinping has visited the region three times during the past four years, while Trump has not set foot in the region.

"Mexico, in no case, would back any option that implies the use of violence, internal or external, to resolve the case of Venezuela", Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said at a news conference, flanked by Tillerson and Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland.

If Tillerson really wants to improve ties with Latin America, he should tell his boss to come up with a positive agenda for the region, and to stop insulting its people.

As Venezuela remains crippled by a severe economic crisis sparked by plummeting oil prices, the government claims the crisis has been aggravated by the "economic warfare" unleashed by the US -backed right-wing opposition. According to a recent survey by Gallup, only 16 percent of Latin Americans approve of Trump's job and they expect relations to worsen rather than to improve.

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