Continued US support for Jamaica's security forces - Tillerson

Pauline Gross
February 9, 2018

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stated that Jamaica is no longer getting oil from Venezuela but has avoided saying whether his administration supports the economic isolation of the South American country in the worldwide community. US sanctions so far have focused mostly on individuals in Maduro's government and a ban on buying new Venezuelan debt.

Most importantly, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his government would not recognize the results of snap presidential elections that Maduro has called by April.

The United States has slapped sanctions on more than 50 current and former Venezuelan officials, including Maduro.

"The elections are completely invalid because voters have no guarantees", Santos said in Bogota during Tillerson's visit on Tuesday.

After telling Fox News there are "a lot of way Russian Federation can interfere in the elections", and there are "a lot of different tools they can use", Tillerson seemed unconcerned that Russian Federation is interfering "in the U.S.in 2018".

Some Latin American leaders also view cutting off Venezuela's oil revenue as too radical a step. "Maduro would never, never accept participating in free, clean elections because he knows he will lose".

But those sanctions seem to have had little effect on changing policies in Caracas.

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Warner, who has co-led the Senate inquiry into Russian influence on the election, has been an outspoken critic of Trump's attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed in 2017 to investigate alleged Trump-Russia ties. Asked if sanctions were a certainty, he said, “I don't want to say it's a sure thing because I want to do the work.”.

Both men told reporters the issue of Venezuelan oil had come up, and Holness said that Jamaica was a supporter of democracy no matter what, and could weather an embargo with U.S. help.

On Tuesday, Tillerson said Colombia and the United States were very much partners in the war on drugs and he said he was assured that Colombia was on the right track to reduce coca crops.

"There would be no supply if there's no demand and no demand if not for supply, and Colombia does not laugh at this very important issue because it's a matter of national security", Santos said. "This is a shared challenge for both of our nations".

Trump, however, asserted in November that he doesn't believe Russian Federation interfered in the election ― because Putin said so. "No country has paid a higher price for waging the war on drugs".

Tillerson was speaking during a media briefing at Jamaica House which he jointly hosted with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, following bilateral talks between the two men.

"We haven't been able to make a decision because we haven't received a formal answer yet", she said.

Other reports by GizPress

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