Maduro: 'Summit of Americas a Complete Imperialist Failure'

Maduro: 'Summit of Americas a Complete Imperialist Failure'

The eighth Summit of the Americas concluded on Saturday, with 16 countries signing a declaration on Venezuela, rejecting the country's presidential elections scheduled for May 20.

Later, speaking in a cavernous hall of world leaders at the Summit of the Americas, Pence expressed gratitude to Canada, Colombia and other nations that had voiced support for the strike and urged "every nation in this hemisphere of freedom" to support the military action.

For the first time, the United States backed a statement by heads of state from the Lima Group of nations - established previous year to seek a peaceful end to Venezuela's political turmoil - which called on Maduro to release political prisoners and hold free elections.

Organization of American States secretary general Luis Almagro told delegates the plague of corruption is not symptomatic of a flaw within democratic governance, and that nations should "fight the illness, not the system". The vice president called Maduro's government a "dictatorship" and said the U.S. would continue to push a hard line against the country's leadership.

US Vice President Mike Pence abruptly skipped an official banquet in Peru late Friday ahead of a summit with Latin American leaders, as President Donald Trump announced he had ordered air strikes on Syria.

He was meeting with Venezuelan opposition leaders. Vizcarra himself only recently took power after former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resign following revelations he'd failed to disclose payments to his private consulting company from Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant at the center of Latin America's biggest graft scandal.

While the press focuses on whether Pence will meet with Cuba's Raúl Castro-who has oddly been invited despite the exclusion of Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro for being a dictator-attention should be on the need of a wide-ranging vision for hemispheric relations.

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Relations between the US and Cuba have regressed after a thaw during former President Barack Obama's administration. Pence's deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, told Reuters he planned to discuss the strikes in his speech on Saturday and in meetings with leaders.

For Pence, the calls and schedule changes served as the latest example of his supporting role here in place of Trump, who pulled out of the summit so he could manage the US response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria.

Vice President Mike Pence says there's a "real possibility" the US could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement "within the next several weeks".

Vice President Mike Pence has told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the "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 vice president is expected to urge Latin American leaders to maintain pressure on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Pence list comprised smoothing over differences with Mexico, America's southern neighbor, offset unease around Trump's determination to deliver troops into the border and rhetoric.

The Summit of the Americas has lost legitimacy in the face of the peoples of the region, stated the Argentinean intellectual Atilio Boron, in an interview granted to Telesur in this capital. He learned only Tuesday that he would be attending in Trump's place so the president could manage the US response to Syria.

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