Sci-tech

Venezuela's Maduro blasts Summit of Americas for "intolerance"

Venezuela's Maduro blasts Summit of Americas for

They were upset over an exchange with Cuban groups protesting at an event he held Thursday.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has described this year's controversial VIII Summit of the Americas as a "complete failure" during a speech at a rally in Caracas.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the summit that Washington would not "cede leadership" to China in Latin America.

The vice president says Maduro has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship and has brought about "abject misery".

Shortly before Trump's address to the nation Friday night, Pence was whisked away from the summit in his motorcade so he could return to his hotel to inform congressional leaders of the pending missile strikes.

Calling Venezuela "a failed state" where poverty and crime were rampant, Pence said, "The responsibility for the Venezuelan people's suffering can be laid at the feet of one man: Nicolas Maduro".

"When the left-wing governments were the majority in the region, we maintained a dialogue of diversity with right-wing governments", said Maduro.

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"The US and our allies, I believe, are prepared to do much more", Pence said, accusing Maduro of "refusing humanitarian aid to be delivered to Venezuela".

Without some of the headlining names in the region in attendance, perhaps the most interesting speech came from Bolivian President Evo Morales, who spoke out against the US government, calling it "the principal enemy against freedom, against democracy, against Mother Earth, and against multilateralism".

"We should build a continent where citizens are first", Vizcarra said.

The funds are through the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Maduro concluded by saying that the Summit saw the beginning of an global scheme to sabotage the elections, adding that he would reveal proof of this in the coming days.

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders.

In recent months corruption scandals have toppled the careers of some of Latin America's most prominent politicians.

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Saturday's meeting comes amid tensions between President Donald Trump and Mexico over immigration and the president's calls for a border wall.

Cuban President Raul Castro, who was widely expected to show up to bid farewell to regional allies as he prepares to step down from the Cuban president in a week's time, chose to send his foreign minister instead.

Seated along side Trudeau, Pence mentioned there was still a "real possibility" that the US may reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA "within the next several weeks".

Pence told reporters after meeting with the leaders of both countries at a summit in Lima, Peru, on Saturday that he'll leave the summit "very hopeful that we are very close" to a deal that will be better for the U.S.

Besides being overshadowed by the strikes against Syria, the summit was dominated by discussions of the Trump administration's trade war against China. "The United States will not rest ... until democracy has been restored in Venezuela".

Mexico also is taking part in a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the USA and Canada due to demands for changes from Trump.

Trudeau spoke at a meeting of hemispheric CEOs on Friday and celebrated the fact that several countries in the hemisphere have shared his government's vision that free trade agreements unlock tangible benefits and middle-class jobs.

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Associated Press reporters saw smoke rising above eastern Damascus and spotted fiery streaks of surface-to-air missiles. The world is united in its disgust for any use of chemical weapons, but especially against civilians.


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