Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed China and Russia for spreading “disorder” in Latin America by funding failing development projects and supporting leaders such as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who the US insists must step down from power.
Pompeo, speaking in Chile at the start of a three-day South American tour, said Beijing and Moscow have fuelled corruption and sought to undermine democracy across the region. He cited a failing dam project in Ecuador, Chinese loans to the Maduro and Chavez regimes in Venezuela and support for police training programmes in Nicaragua.
When China does business in Latin America, Pompeo said, “it often injects corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, giving life to corruption, and eroding good governance.”
Along with Russia, the two countries come to the region to “spread disorder,” he added.
The top US diplomat is in the region to sustain support for efforts to force Maduro from power. He met with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and will continue on to Paraguay, Peru and a Colombian town on the border with Venezuela.