U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will travel to Paramaribo, Suriname; Georgetown, Guyana; Boa Vista, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; and Plano, Texas, from September 17-20, 2020.
The Department of State said Tuesday this trip will highlight the United States’ commitment to defend democracy, combat COVID-19 while revitalizing the economies in the pandemic’s wake and strengthen security against regional threats.
“In Paramaribo, Secretary Pompeo will celebrate the triumph of democracy by meeting with recently elected Surinamese President Chan Santokhi and his cabinet to discuss increased bilateral cooperation and opportunities for partnerships in energy and security,” the Department of State said.
In Georgetown, Guyana, Secretary Pompeo will congratulate newly elected president Irfaan Ali and his cabinet and meet with CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque. “He will reinforce the promise of a values-based U.S. partnership highlighting opportunities for more responsible and transparent private sector investment to increase prosperity for the people of Guyana, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release stated.
Guyana has become a major emerging player in the region as a result of the multi-billion-barrel oil discoveries that have been made by US oil major ExxonMobil since 2015. The country began producing oil in December 2019 and is projected to be among the top three producers in the Latin America/Caribbean region by the end of the decade.
In Boa Vista, Brazil, Secretary Pompeo will underscore the importance of U.S. and Brazilian support for the Venezuelan people in their time of need by visiting with Venezuelan migrants fleeing the manmade disaster in Venezuela.
The Department of State said following his visit to Guyana, Secretary Pompeo will then travel to Bogota to meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque “to discuss the strong partnership our countries share, including in managing the COVID-19 response, promoting mutual prosperity, and tackling the threats to regional security from narcotraffickers, terror groups, and Maduro’s illegitimate regime.”
Finally, Secretary Pompeo will return to the United States to discuss Department of State priorities at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.