undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

Tillerson warns Latin America against reliance on China and Russian Federation

02 February 2018, 09:46 | Gordon Grant

Chip Somodevilla Getty Image Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Tillerson defies critics marks important milestone

After his Texas speech, Tillerson made the short trip to Mexico, where he was scheduled to meet with top officials to discuss security, immigration, and the fight against drug trafficking. Tillerson and his counterparts are not directly involved in the negotiations.

Michael Wolff writes in his book â€Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, ” that the fate of Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State, was sealed by the revelation that he had called the president "a [expletive] moron".

Speaking at the University of Texas, where he graduated in 1975, Tillerson stressed that the Trump administration has not advocated for regime change, but said the best thing for Venezuela would be for Maduro to go.

"For our hemisphere to grow and thrive, we must prioritize and promote democratic values, we must root out corruption in all of it's forms, in effect corrupt governance damages countries, the economy suffers, people lose faith in institutions", said Tillerson.

On some positions, Trump has softened his rhetoric since his inauguration a year ago, but in this week's State of the Union address he spoke more about cross-border crime and immigration than any other foreign policy topic. But, he said, Chinese offers "always come at a price". "Our nations still reflect the New World optimism of limitless discovery", he said.

"And importantly, we share democratic values, values that are the core of what we believe, regardless of the color of our passport". For example, if NAFTA were canceled, Mexico might be less interested in cooperating in issues of national security or immigration.

US officials have said Tillerson won't be meeting with any representative from Venezuela during the trip. "In their pursuit of money and power, TCOs leave death and destruction in their wake".

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"Latin America doesn't need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people", he said.

Tillerson said many countries in Latin America, such as Venezuela and Peru, have untapped energy resources.

As popular outrage mounted, President Maduro and his government said the protests had been inspired from overseas, suggesting that outside pressure played a role in making the country's economic hardship even worse.

The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions on 50 senior officials from the Maduro government including President Maduro and Vice President Tareck El Aissami. Because the US economy is very intertwined with Latin America, changes in the area can affect the U.S and consumers, according to Will Inboden, a UT professor and the Clement Center for National Security executive director. The continent's major powers reject the regime, but are cautious about piling on more economic misery with Venezuela on the brink of chaos.

Tillerson left the campus to head to the first stop on his trip: Mexico City.

Before arriving back in Washington late on Wednesday, he is to visit Peru - host of an upcoming Summit of the Americas - as well as Colombia and Jamaica.

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