Tillerson Visits Mexico Amid Strained Relations Over Immigration, Trade

Secretary of State-nominee Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Trump's nomination of Tillerson for secretary of state is headed toward Senate confirmation after several Democrats crossed

'We know that Russian Federation has tentacles in different elections in the world, from what our European colleagues have shared with us and my advise to Mexico is to pay attention to what is happening, ' said Tillerson, who began here his first Latin American and Caribbean tour.

The Secretary of State warned Latin American countries that Chinese investments often look good, but ultimately come at a heavy price.

But in a news conference in Mexico City, a local reporter asked Tillerson about interference from Russian Federation.

AUSTIN - On his one-year anniversary with the Trump administration, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is returning to his roots.

On Thursday, Tillerson referred to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, which is widely seen in Latin America as a justification for US armed intervention in the region, saying it was "as relevant today as it was the day it was written".

In his first year in office, President Trump has decried free trade with Mexico, US detente with Cuba, and warned of the dangers of drug gangs and illegal immigration. "The United States stands in vivid contrast".

Tillerson, in a speech ahead of a visit to Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica, also said Russia's growing presence in the region was "alarming as well".

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Discussing Venezuela, the top USA diplomat said militaries in Latin America often "handled" transitions from bad governments, but insisted he was not advocating "regime change".

In his speech, Tillerson said that Latin America is "a priority for the United States", and that "we have a historic opportunity" to improve hemispheric relations. "We must root out corruption in all of its forms".

Tillerson ruffled feathers across the region on the eve of his five-nation tour with comments in Texas defending 19th century US foreign policy in Latin America and suggesting the Venezuelan army could manage "a peaceful transition" from Maduro. Trump insists on building what he calls "a great border wall" that would further separate Mexico from the U.S. In his State of the Union address earlier this week, Trump emphasized his plans for a continued U.S. crackdown on immigrants.

If Tillerson really wants to improve ties with Latin America, he should tell his boss to come up with a positive agenda for the region, and to stop insulting its people.

To help the region, Tillerson said the USA plans to invest billions to tap into those resources. That involvement included people in Russian Federation buying 3,000 USA political ads and placing 80,000 Facebook posts seen by 126 million Americans over two years, Facebook has said.

Trump has himself suggested possible military intervention in Venezuela, though that was widely rejected in Latin America.

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