Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that since President Donald Trump took office he has restored American leadership around the globe by putting his America first philosophy into action.
“Since Day One of this administration, President Trump has been taking decisive action to restore America’s role as leader of the free world – by putting America first,” Pence said in remarks at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.
Pence said, “‘America first’ does not mean ‘America alone,’” and used the conversation with the center’s president Jane Harman to express the Trump administration’s commitment to allies, specifically those that share our continent.
“I’m here to reaffirm our commitment to the Western Hemisphere as a whole, and especially to the nations and the people of Central America,” Pence said.
“I am here to tell you [that] Latin America is a priority for the Trump administration,” Pence said.
Those priorities include stopping gang and criminal networks, illegal immigration, and drug trafficking — particularly in the Northern Triangle nations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The Wilson Center characterized Pence’s remarks on North Korea as “bold.”
“When it comes to North Korea, under this administration, the era of strategic patience is over,” Pence said, referring to former President Barack Obama’s approach to the communist regime’s ongoing aggression, including its missiles and nuclear weapons programs.
“Under this administration, the U.S. will continue to work diligently with our allies across the region and China and the wider world to bring increasing economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea and we will continue to do so until North Korea abandons its ballistic and nuclear programs once and for all,” Pence said.
Pence also spoke about another reversal of Obama era policy when it comes to U.S. relations with Cuba.
“No longer will America enrich the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people,” Pence said. “Our policy will not change until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internally supervised elections occur.”