Pence abruptly leaves summit, Trump to speak

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The letter also chastises the Trump administration for deep cuts in foreign aid, ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for so-called "Dreamers" and for its decision to plow ahead with plans to build a wall on the border of Mexico.

Pence said in a meeting Friday with Venezuelan opposition leaders in Lima, Peru, that "we are with you to see freedom once again".

The vice president announced that the United States would provide almost $16 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans who have fled their country under the rule of President Nicolas Maduro.

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Vice President Mike Pence says there's a "real possibility" the USA could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement "within the next several weeks".

In this September 7, 2017 file photo, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto wipes sweat from his forehead during the International Financial Inclusion Forum at the National Palace in Mexico City. - Pence defended the president while building support among USA allies for the joint strikes with Britain and France. But he called on the region to take a harder line on Maduro's government, a message he intends to deliver in Brazil next month.

Pence met with Julio Borges, a Venezuelan opposition lawmaker and former speaker of the National Assembly, David Smolansky, former mayor of the city of El Hatillo, Carlos Vecchio, political coordinator of the Popular Will party he co-founded with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, and Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas.

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Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump directed the deployment of National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border to combat illegal migration and drug smuggling. The U.S. has sanctioned Maduro and dozens of top officials, accusing the country of human rights abuses and sliding into a dictatorship. He says, "We want one message to be clear: We are with the people of Venezuela". He was meeting with Venezuelan opposition leaders.

Senate Democrats are urging Vice President Mike Pence to use his trip to Lima to reset relations with a region where they say President Donald Trump's immigrant-bashing rhetoric is costing the US influence.

The vice president is expected to urge Latin American leaders to maintain pressure on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. And with tensions simmering over trade, Pence expressed hope alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the three nations could soon agree to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. He'll also discuss the influence of Chinese trade in the region. Pence, meanwhile, tends to be more scripted in his exchanges and frequently glanced down at highlighted index cards as he spoke to Latin American leaders here.

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Pence, in Lima for the Summit of the Americas, was whisked away from the gathering and to his hotel shortly before President Donald Trump announced retaliatory strikes in Syria for apparent chemical weapons use. White House officials said the vice president would emphasize the the "partner of choice" in Latin American trade, noting that almost half of the US trade agreements are based in the Western Hemisphere.