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Weekly Report - 25 July 2019 (WR-19-29)

Pompeo tour prioritises Venezuela, Iran, drugs, and illegal immigration

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conducted a whistle-stop tour to four nations in Latin America from 19 to 21 July. Pompeo’s choice of destinations was instructive. He started in Argentina, a visit which served the US government’s interests of trying to justify its tough Iran policy. He then moved on to Ecuador, which has flipped from hostility to hospitality in its ties with the US in recent months, where he discussed combating drug trafficking and ramping up the pressure on the de facto government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Pompeo’s next port of call was Mexico, where efforts to curb illegal immigration to the US topped the agenda, and finally El Salvador, firmly back in the US camp under newly elected president Nayib Bukele. Pompeo’s regional tour coincided with a visit to Venezuela by his Iranian peer for a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) condemning US interventionism.

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