Bogota (AFP) – President Donald Trump will travel to Colombia on December 2 on his first official visit to Latin America, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said Tuesday.
The date “is stopped: it is December 2 and we are refining the program, but the visit is confirmed,” he said at a press conference in Bogota.
Trujillo said Donald Trump will travel to Bogota after attending the G20 summit scheduled for November 30 to December 1 in Buenos Aires.
This will be his first state visit to Latin America: in April, he had given up going to the summit of the Americas, held in Lima, then in Bogota, because of the situation in Syria, according to Washington. The White House then sent Vice President Mike Pence.
Colombia and the United States have close relations, and the US government has allocated millions of dollars to fund the fight against drug trafficking. He has more recently provided new aid to Bogota to manage the influx of migrants fleeing the crisis in neighboring Venezuela.
Right-wing President Ivan Duque, who has been in power since 7 August, is leading diplomatic pressure against the regime of his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, whom he called a “dictatorship”.
For its part, Washington says that “all options are open” to solve the crisis in this oil country.
Colombia reiterated its opposition to a military intervention in Venezuela, with which it shares a border of 2,200 km.
The relations of the United States and Colombia with this country are strained since the government of the late President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013). None have embassies in Caracas.
Moreover, since taking office in January 2017, Donald Trump has sharply criticized the increase in narcotics crops in Colombia, which according to the UN last year broke a record with 171,000 hectares of coca plantations, the raw material of cocaine.
Despite four decades of fighting drug trafficking, Colombia remains the world’s largest producer of cocaine and the United States the largest consumer.