The United States welcomes efforts by the government of Juan Manuel Santos to improve relations with Colombia’s neighbors, which is changing the “political dynamics” of Latin America, said Arturo Valenzuela.
Valenzuela, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said that the U.S. views Santos’ very favorably Santos’ moves to lower “the levels of rhetoric” with both Ecuador and Venezuela.
At the Americas Conference, Valenzuela stated “we welcome the recent reduction of tensions between Colombia and Venezuela as a positive development, and we continue to work with our partners in the region to ensure that conflicts between states will not re-emerge in the future.”
Valenzuela emphasized the continuing commitment of the U.S. to security in Colombia, “It remains in our national interest to continue to help the Colombian people achieve the lasting and just peace they want, making irreversible the gains they have sacrificed so hard to achieve.”
The assistant secretary also discussed the violence from the drug trade in Mexico, acknowledging that the U.S. has some “responsibility” for the problem, citing demand for narcotics and the flow of arms from the U.S. to Mexico.
Valenzuela explained that the U.S. will be pursuing a new policy of “dynamic engagement” in Latin America, which will seek to advance U.S. interests in the region as a whole, while recognizing the diverse needs of individual countries.