What Lies Ahead During Tillerson's Latin American Odyssey

Laura Christensen
February 6, 2018

In Buenos Aires, Rex Tillerson discussed with the Argentine authorities the joint struggle with global criminal organizations, as well as the presence of representatives of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement in Western Hemisphere countries.

The US is considering imposing oil sanctions against crisis-plagued Venezuela as it looks to put pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's government "to return to the constitution".

"Obviously sanctioning the oil, or in effect prohibiting the oil to be sold in the United States.is something we continue to consider", he told reporters on Sunday.

"South America is blessed with abundant energy resources: Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, and Argentina, all have significant undeveloped oil and natural gas", Tillerson said during a speech at the University of Texas.

Speaking during a Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday, Maduro fired back at the USA diplomat, calling on oil workers to mobilize against imperialism. "Is it a step that might bring this to an end more rapidly?", Tillerson added, referring to the potential ouster of democratically elected Maduro.

Colombia's ambassador to Washington, Camilo Reyes, said ahead of the visit "as we continue to build a stable and lasting peace, we are grateful for the long-standing bilateral partnership and the bipartisan support of the United States".

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But such sanctions also pose a great threat to Maduro.

"And then, if he is not re-elected by the people, so be it", Tillerson said.

President Donald Trump has been in office just one year, so the blame isn't exclusively on him and his protectionist policies.

"But imperialism. has turned out to be a paper tiger, and here we have a true and vigorous revolution", the incumbent added.

Velit told Andina news agency that Tillerson's trip happens at a moment in which there are some concerns about the United States' behavior on the worldwide scene. "Nothing and nobody is going to stop us". Analysts have noted that this is a way of bypassing United States sanctions and is similar to an ordinary bond.

Cuba's Foreign Ministry said that it saw the secretary of state's remarks as an effort to "instigate openly an overthrow, by any means", of the Venezuelan government, likely alluding to Tillerson's remarks last week about the potential for the Venezuelan military to oust Maduro - a comment that came months after Trump said the USA could take military action. Sanctioning oil exports could make matters much worse.

Other reports by My Hot News

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