United States pledges additional $16 million to help Venezuelan exiles

Excluded Venezuelan leader calls Americas summit

Pence thanked Vizcarra for the "important steps" that Peru has taken to isolate the Maduro government in Venezuela and to not invite him to the summit. Pence said Saturday that the USA would submit a bid to host the next summit in 2021 in an apparent act to quell doubts about the nation's commitment to the region.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has endorsed the USA -led military strike against Syria's government. Loud explosions lit up the skies over the Syrian capital, Damascus, as Trump announced the airstrikes.

Vice President Pence, who is representing the United States at the summit, is scheduled to speak later in the day.

This year's summit is one of the least attended in recent memory, raising questions about the future of the regional gathering started in 1994 by then-U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The move came shortly before President Donald Trump is expected to address the US on Friday night amid anticipation of a retaliatory strike for an apparent Syrian chemical weapon attack last weekend that killed more than 40 people. He later returned to a scheduled dinner with Vizcarra and other political leaders.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told the summit that Washington would not "cede leadership" to China in Latin America.

He made the comments Saturday at the Summit of Americas taking place in Lima, Peru. It said Friday that they will discuss U.S-Mexico relations. Discussions on the topic at the first 1994 event led to the ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption two years later.

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. It was an unusual display of cross-party unity.

Pence in Lima said as he met several Venezuelan opposition figures on Friday that more sanctions could be forthcoming.

The vice president says Maduro has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship and has brought about "abject misery".

Ledezma told Pence: "We ask not only for humanitarian aid, but humanitarian intervention".

"We are with the people of Venezuela and will continue to do everything in our power to provide sustenance and support to those who have fled", Pence said. Maduro was barred from the summit over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham.

According to the US State Department, the United States is providing $16 million in extra funding for humanitarian assistance for Venezuelans who have fled as economic conditions worsen. He added that the US will not "stand by idly" as Venezuela "crumbles" and would work with its regional partners to restore Venezuelans' democratic "birthright". He says, "We want one message to be clear: We are with the people of Venezuela".

The U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, said the new funds would include a contribution to the United Nations Refugee Agency, which is aiding Venezuelans in Brazil and Colombia.

Pence is in Lima for an worldwide summit.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is filling in for Trump, spent part of the summit trying to drum up support for further isolating Venezuela, which faces mounting US sanctions.

Pence is filling in for President Donald Trump at the Summit of the Americas in Lima after the president pulled out to focus on the USA response to an apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria. The leaders were expected to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has been trying to renegotiate. He'll be subbing for President Donald Trump after the president pulled out of his first planned visit to Latin America to manage the USA response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria.

"Democratic Governance Against Corruption" was approved with a round of applause, though analysts are skeptical that it will lead to any tangible change.

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