Vice President Mike Pence will travel in his place.
President Donald Trump will skip a summit in Latin America this week to oversee the USA response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria after he threatened military action, the White House confirmed Tuesday. In that time, however, he has undertaken more distant trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East on several occassions.
Trump vowed Monday that the United States would take swift action in retaliation for the suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, which has been blamed for the deaths of at least 49 people in the opposition-held town of Douma, outside the Syrian capital Damascus.
Trump had been due to attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima and travel to Bogotá, Colombia, as well.
But when the President himself spoke, it was not about Syria but of his outrage that federal agents in NY on Monday raided the office and hotel room of Michael D. Cohen, his longtime lawyer and fixer. In a meeting with his national security team last week, Mr. Trump agreed to keep United States troops in Syria for an undetermined amount of time in order to defeat ISIS, but emphasized his desire to end USA involvement in the conflict as soon as possible, according to a senior administration official (NBC). "It was awful", Trump said at the start of a Cabinet meeting that was one of several White House gatherings Monday where possible military action was discussed. Trump's response to the attack has still not been disclosed, but there will be one coming, he assured. The raid was separate from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
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"If he does it's going to be very tough, very tough", Trump said.
"We have to be sensible, Trump's contempt for Latin America has been confirmed", said Rodriguez, citing Trump's project to build a wall on the border with Mexico to curb illegal immigration.
Trump had planned to use the summit to seek consensus on how to handle the crisis in Venezuela, and press for better trade deals with countries in the region. It will be interesting to see how Vice President Pence manages the situation at the summit, and how the other countries react to him. Maduro was disinvited from the gathering last month, an unusual diplomatic break among Latin American nations that US analysts consider a positive sign. He met with leaders in Colombia, Argentina and Panama in August.
Trump during a meeting with senior military leadership in Washington on April 9. "He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger US economy and working with our close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions".
"He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger US economy and working with our close allies in Latin America to collectively hold undemocratic actors in the region accountable for their actions", said Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff and communications director.