Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

In Peru for summit, Pence Presents Assistance for Attack

In Peru for summit, Pence Presents Assistance for Attack

Vice President Mike Pence arrives to Jorge Chavez worldwide airport in Lima, Peru, Friday, April 13, 2018.

Thousands of miles from home, Vice President Mike Pence was thrust into a new, more immediate, role on the world stage Saturday: explaining President Donald Trump's military strike in Syria to a summit of Latin America leaders.

Pence is filling in for President Donald Trump at the Summit of the Americas in Lima after the president pulled out to focus on the US response to an apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise issued a statement supporting the president's decision to carry out the strikes alongside the United Kingdom and France.

Pence spoke to Trump shortly after the president's address to the nation.

Pence was whisked away from the Summit of the Americas late Friday so he could inform US congressional leaders by phone of Trump's plans to announce the missile strikes. Left unsaid was whether Pence's overtures might eventually lead to a joint Trump-Pena Nieto meeting, their first.

The vice president plans to attend a banquet hosted by Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra later Friday. The meeting with Pence was announced on Friday and follows Trump's push to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Morales also expressed regret for his "brothers" in Cuba and Venezuela, as both Raul Castro and Nicolás Maduro did not attend the summit.

Relations between the countries have also been strained amid mysterious sonic attacks that US diplomats in Havana say have left them with ailments including headaches, hearing problems and concussions.

"Everyone who attacks Venezuela ends up losing; the Summit of the Americas has been a complete failure", said Maduro, whose invitation to the April 13 and 14 conference was rescinded by Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. The letter blames those policies for declining support for the U.S.in the region at a time China and Russian Federation are making important inroads.

Vice President Mike Pence has told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S.is "encouraged" by the progress on negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and hopeful it can lead to "more fair and reciprocal trade".

The summit gave an chance to press far more isolation of Venezuela and on the case for sanctions across the region to Pence.

Trudeau said that Canada will work with others to investigate the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians and that "those responsible must be brought to justice". He's also expected to urge Latin American allies to maintain pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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