Trump to skip 'Summit of the Americas' to deal with Syria

Much has changed since Obama’s December 2014 decision to pursue détente with Havana

The week leading up to the Summit, which was first held in Miami in 1994, was marked by Mr Trump's decision to send US National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, and a fierce rebuke by the Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, to Mr Trump's words.

Trump was to have travelled to Lima, Peru, on Friday for the Summit of the Americas, and then to Bogota, Colombia, for meetings on Sunday with President Juan Manuel Santos.

President Donald Trump will not attend the Summit of Americas and will instead remain in the United States to "oversee the American response to Syria", the White House announced Tuesday.

On Monday, President Trump said the USA would respond in 24-48 hours to the latest suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria.

The decision marks the first time a US president has not attended the summit.

In April 2017, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

Trump has reportedly told White House officials that Vladimir Putin bore responsibility for the attack by backing Bashar al-Assad's regime, whereas Russian Federation denies that the poison gas attack took place at all despite videos and pictures shared on social media and news sites. Trump oversaw that response from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Since Trump took power in January 2017, Vidarte said, "the topic that has dominated ties with Latin America has been the search for measures that will benefit his country more".

"We can't let atrocities like we all witnessed ... we can't let that happen", he told reporters. The U.S.is working to coordinate Latin American countries on a pressure campaign against Venezuela's government.

Pence has been among the most vocal Maduro critics, and he is now expected to criticize Maduro at the summit. He met with leaders in Colombia, Argentina and Panama in August.

The summit would have put Trump face-to-face with Central and South American officials he has sharply criticized over immigration into the United States.

Trump during a meeting with senior military leadership in Washington on April 9.

Trump has reversed some of President Barack Obama's diplomatic and economic outreach to Cuba, including pulling many USA diplomats out of the country following unexplained health attacks on Americans past year.

"He looks forward to promoting policy that will lead to an even stronger USA 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.

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