BUENOS AIRES – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Argentine counterpart, Jorge Faurie, announced on Sunday that they are studying imposing oil sale restrictions on Caracas to pressure President Nicolas Maduro and return Venezuela to a “constitutional regime.”
At a joint press conference with Faurie, Tillerson said that authorities were considering the consequences for the Venezuelan people of such a move, but not doing anything would be to ask the Venezuelan people to continue suffering.
The top US and Argentine diplomats agreed on the need to implement measures to stop the “authoritarian drift” by the Venezuelan government.
Earlier in the day, Tillerson paid tribute to Argentine independence hero Jose de San Martin.
At about noon, the top US diplomat placed a floral offering before San Martin’s bust in front of the San Martin Palace, the headquarters of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, at a solemn ceremony accompanied by Faurie.
The two men then met to tighten bilateral relations, placing special emphasis on cooperation in security matters.
In the afternoon, Tillerson will meet with members of the US Embassy in Buenos Aires at Washington’s diplomatic seat there.
Tillerson’s official visit to Argentine will conclude on Monday at the Olivos presidential residence, where he will be welcomed by President Mauricio Macri and discuss strengthening relations between the two countries and throughout the region.
After that, Tillerson will travel to Peru, the second stop on his first Latin American and Caribbean tour, which began on Friday in Mexico and will also take him to Colombia and Jamaica.
The diplomat arrived in Argentina on Saturday, landing first at the Patagonian city of San Carlos de Bariloche, where he toured a portion of Nahuel Huapi National Park on horseback and spoke with National Park Directorate and Conicet national research council officials.