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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