United States says Latin America does not need new imperial powers

Tillerson warns Latin America to beware of China

Tillerson warns Latin America to beware of China

Speaking at the University of Texas ahead of his five-stop Latin America tour, Tillerson said that the US was not advocating regime change in Venezuela but instead a return to its constitution.

Countering the barrage of tirades coming from their northern neighbor, Mexican voters, according to polls, have rallied behind Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist nationalist and former mayor of Mexico City, as their preferred presidential candidate. "I understand how important NAFTA is for our economy, and that of the continent, but it should come as no surprise that an agreement put into place 30 years ago, before the advent of the digital age, or the digital economy, before China's rise as the second largest economy, that NAFTA would need to be modernized", said Tillerson.

"Venezuelans are starving, looting is common and the sick do not receive the medical attention they desperately need", Tillerson says.

The State Department has said the trip is centered on the "crisis in Venezuela", where the United States has imposed financial sanctions in an attempt to spur democratic change.

Tillerson's visit was the first leg of a seven-day trip to Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Jamaica and Colombia.

The U.S. diplomatic head will meet here with President Enrique Peña Nieto and his peer Luis Videgaray, with whom he will discuss some issues of the bilateral agenda such as security, fight against drug trafficking and irregular migration.

"We do not seek short-term deals with lopsided returns, we seek partners with shared values and visions to create a safe, secure and prosperous hemisphere", said Tillerson.

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Israel's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said there are 82,000 fighters under Iran's authority in Syria. That according to the Lebanese newspaper A-Diyar, which reported that Putin promised to pass the message along to Israel.

With the Colombian civil war officially over, a number of U.S. lawmakers have apparently claimed that former FARC guerrillas have now joined the ranks of the country's sizeable army of drug manufacturers and traffickers.

But Tillerson, who is often left with the task of explaining why Trump's "America First" slogan does not mean "America Alone", was keen to tout a more positive approach to relations. "Ineffective and corrupt governments damage countries, the economy suffers, people lose faith in institutions and crime increases".

He called on Latin America to do the same.

The focus of the SoS' trip will be the growing crisis in Venezuela, as all of his hosts are members of the Lima Group, a Latin American collective created to coordinate a response to the political and economic turmoil in the Bolivarian country.

"We can not afford to squander this moment", he said.

"I think there will be a change".

His tenure in the Trump administration has been bumpy at times.

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