Roles of China, Russia in Latin America 'alarming'

Mexico and the United States are'closer than ever it was revealed Friday during a joint news conference with officials from Mexico Canada and the US

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Thursday that China and Russian Federation were assuming "alarming" roles in Latin America, and he urged regional powers to work with the United States instead.

"Latin America doesn't need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people", Tillerson said in speech in Texas on February 1.

Luis Videgaray, who serves as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Mexico, said Friday night that his country's relationship with the United States is "more fluid" and "closer" than it has been with previous U.S. administrations.

China's Foreign Ministry defended its economic ties with the region claiming they are based on mutual interest.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday warned countries in the Western Hemisphere to beware of Chinese investment, saying it is reminiscent of European colonialism.

The statement also rejected claims that China is undermining US interest in the region.

Washington was keen to strengthen its ties with those four countries and "isolate Venezuela, which for them continues to represent an element that questions US domination in the continent", said Ozuna.

Four of the five countries on Tillerson's itinerary - Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Colombia - comprise the so-called "Lima Group", which has expressed its opposition to the socialist government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, said Daniel Ozuna. "I understand how important NAFTA is for our economy and that of the continent", Tillerson told students at his alma mater, the University of Texas, on Thursday before flying south. He said immigration in the USA has "gotten out of normal order", which is why President Donald Trump is pushing Congress to "fix these defects that have risen over the years".

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a joint news conference in Mexico City
Sec. of State Rex Tillerson to speak at UT

Political turmoil in Venezuela is set to be a central topic during Tillerson's trip, which includes stops in Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica.

His first stop in Mexico City intends to tackle thorny issues such as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to The Washington Post.

Many Latin Americans read that as a focus on people coming from their region.

He called on Latin America to do the same.

US President Donald Trump has said in the past: "A military option is certainly something we could pursue".

Mr Tillerson was scheduled to meet Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray yesterday.

"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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