Vice President Mike Pence will cut short his trip to South America amidst turmoil over the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, but will still visit Panama tomorrow before heading home.
During a press conference in Chile on Wednesday, Pence made an initial statement then took questions from reporters during which he reaffirmed his support for President Donald Trump and his own comments.
A reporter asked Pence to respond to President Donald Trump’s Tuesday press conference remarks regarding the violence in Charlottesville.
“What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy and the President has been clear on this tragedy and so have I,” said Pence. He referenced coments he made from Columbia Sunday night about the “heartbreaking situation.”
“I stand with the President and I stand by those words,” said Pence.
The Vice President then went on to say:
Today, while I’m here in Chile, our hearts are in Charlottesville because just a few short hours ago, family and friends gathered to say farewell to a remarkable young woman, Heather Heyer. And we’ve been praying. We’ve been praying for God’s peace and comfort for her family and her friends and her loved ones. And we’re also praying that in America that we will not allow the few to divide the many.
The strength of the United States of America is always strongest, as the President has said so eloquently, when we are united around our shared values, and so it will always be.
But let me say, it’s about the strength of the United States of America that the President sent me here to Latin America. And as we prepare to end our trip a little bit early, tomorrow, after we stop in Panama, I leave here greatly encouraged that across South America and Central America, with the United States and Canada, that there is a, this is a new era here in the new world. Chile is a shining example of a nation that first chose economic freedom decades ago and now is experiencing a vibrant democracy. And it’s inspiring nations across Latin America who have followed Chile’s lead. And I return from this trip more encouraged than ever that not only will our commerce grow, strengthening jobs and opportunities in America, strengthening prosperity across Latin America, but I truly do believe that the unity that I have experienced in our determination to ensure that we will not permit a failed state in Venezuela in this hemisphere, is more true than ever.
He spoke of the determination he has seen in the nations he has visited — Columbia, Argentina, and Chile — in that they stand with the Venezuelan people and use economic and diplomatic power to see democracy restored in Venezuela. From Columbia, Pence described Venezuela as collapsing into a dictatorship under President Nicolas Maduro.
The Vice President has traveled to three of the four countries in South America that were scheduled: Columbia, Argentina, and Chile. His next stop is planned for Panama before returning home.
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