The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, asked Ecuador to take concrete actions aimed at isolating the Venezuelan government, a measure to which the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, did not refer and merely reiterated that the only solution to the crisis in that country must go through dialogue.
“Compassion alone will not end this crisis. It will only end when Venezuela regains its freedom, “Pence said in a joint appearance with Moreno, with whom he held a bilateral meeting in the Quito presidency.
The US vice president insisted that President Donald Trump “has reiterated that he will not sit idly by while Venezuela succumbs” and recalled the “unprecedented sanctions” he has adopted against “the Caracas dictatorship,” he said.
“Respectfully we urge Ecuador and all our allies in the region to take steps to further isolate the Maduro regime,” Pence told the Ecuadorian president, before noting that “ it is not time for words, but actions, and all we must take hard actions for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. ”
In the wake of the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, President Moreno insisted that his country shares the concern for the situation in the Bolivarian Republic, “which has caused the exodus of more than 2 million Venezuelans to several countries, including Ecuador.”
He stressed that the United States has acknowledged the effort made to host about 150,000 Venezuelans.
However, he reiterated the position of his country that only through dialogue and regional support can an exit to the crisis in Venezuela be reached.
“On this issue, we agreed to work in the OAS (Organization of American States) in order to promote the enforcement of citizens’ rights and fundamental freedoms,” said the Ecuadorian president.
And he recalled that his country’s proposal to that body for a referendum under international supervision, aimed at verifying the electoral result last May, which ended with the re-election of Nicolás Maduro, has not yet been answered.
“We believe that the solution for Venezuela can only be carried out by Venezuelans,” he concluded on the problem.
In what is the third visit of a US vice president the country since 1958, and “the highest official of the White House in 30 years,” as Pence himself said, the issues discussed with the Ecuadorian authorities have been varied, such as security, migration, combat against drug trafficking or ways to enhance the commercial relationship between the two countries.
Pence called the interview “candid, productive and substantial” and reaffirmed the commitment of the Trump Administration to renew it for the benefit of both nations, while thanking Moreno’s willingness to “refresh relations.”
The new approach Washington-Quito was staged today with the announcement of a game of 1.5 million dollars to Ecuador for the fight against corruption and to strengthen civil society.
The US official said that Congress is analyzing an additional 3.5 million in security cooperation.
He also referred to the signing last April of two agreements and whose content the authorities reviewed today, which will improve military cooperation and the state of readiness of the armies of both countries.
Pence insisted on several occasions that his visit is a new chapter in the bilateral relationship, severely damaged in the previous decade under the government of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), and said that the focus now is to seek “new ways to endorse threats mutual to security as the trafficking of people and drugs “.
On the part of the Ecuadorian authorities, the visit of the high US official had a marked commercial character since the country aspires to achieve a reduction of tariffs to non-oil products and a more ambitious horizon in which it can reach an agreement similar to the one it maintains with the European Union.
“Our common agenda points to a mutual interest, we have agreed on the importance of strengthening relations on issues of economy, trade, development, security and migration,” summarized Moreno on the issues discussed in the bilateral meeting.
In parallel, he called for greater cooperation on migration issues and agility for the extradition of nationals required by Ecuadorian justice, and called for expanding cooperation against transnational crime. (I)