VP Mike Pence, Senator Rubio to Represent US at Summit of the Americas
Vice President Mike Pence and US Senator Marko Rubio (R-FL) are ‘standing in’ for President Donald Trump at the Summit in Peru this weekend
At the Summit Senator Rubio will likely be playing a prominent role.
He began this week presiding over a Senate hearing on the Summit, lunched Wednesday at the White House to brief VP Pence for the trip and Friday, when he arrives in Lima, will meet 1 on 1 with several heads of state.
Senator Rubio, 46 anni, said in interview that President Trump’s absence understandable. In his absence, he said he and VP Pence will work with the leaders to take tougher action on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who at The Trump Administration’s urging was the only leader barred from the confab.
Since President Trump’s election, Senator Rubio has had some influence over US policy toward Latin America.
He has urged President Trump to roll back former president Barack Hussein Obama’s opening to communist Cuba that led to President Raul Castro’s historic handshake with Mr. HusseinObama at the last Summit of the Americas 3 years ago.
Among the other Administration ‘friends’ that are attending are CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo and former Representative Carlos Trujillo (R), who is the new US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Senator Rubio has said publicly that he and President Trump are “instinctively aligned” on the need to promote democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
“Lots of people in Congress oftentimes want to play the role of special envoy,” Senator Rubio said while urging his fellow lawmakers to avoid getting burned trying to open a back-channel to President Maduro.
“They think they are going to travel abroad, meet some leader, cut a deal and come back. But the bottom line is that US policy toward Venezuela is directed by the Administration and there is no member of Congress who can cut a deal on its behalf, myself included.”
Last year, Senator Rubio took on extra security after reportedly receiving death threat originating from Venezuela.
As a member of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees, he has taken a deep interest in Venezuela’s vast criminal underworld and its potential links to Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
“If I’m the President of a country and the United States is bashing me, I have to respond in kind just to save face domestically,” Senator Rubio said. “So what I encourage people to do in the administration, and when I talk to the president, is to put yourself in their position and understand that they have an interest as well in dealing with this migration problem and not to back them in a corner.”