The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Jim Mattis, visits several countries in the region to discuss issues of bilateral alliance
Strengthening bilateral relations, cooperation with the region, security and commercial and military strategies, are part of the topics that Jim Mattis, Secretary of Defense of the United States, has in his first visit to Latin America, since he assumed the position in 2017.
In the list of countries of the Secretary of Defense's visit, he included Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, which he will visit in that order. As highlighted by Mercado Militar, Mattis affirmed that, "Without a doubt at all. We see Latin America as our neighbor. Some people say that we do not pay much attention. That certainly is not the case in the army. We do not see large military formations down there, because the nature of our relationship does not require it. And we work together on a lot of issues, and the army is just one of many. "
One of the main reasons for the visit to Brazil, is the interest that United States has to control the launching base of rockets Alcántara in Maranhao. Even the Minister of Defense of Brazil, General Joaquim Silva e Luna, after his meeting with Mattis, highlighted that the talks on this aerospace base, intended by many countries for the launch of satellites, have come a long way.
Another issue discussed and perhaps has become a constant, is the current political situation in Venezuela, including Silva and Luna said that during the meeting discussed "how to help Venezuela in this difficult situation," as Infobae says.
During his time in Argentina, one of the aspects that even Mattis himself highlighted, is to evaluate how they can help " with any safety issue facing the G20 organization".
In addition, Mattis, will evaluate the process of reconversion of the Armed Forces of Argentina in matters of internal security, "I want to make sure that we know what is happening with your Army and where it is headed for your future transformation," he said.
During his time in Chile, Mattis will hold a meeting with the president of the nation Sebastián Piñera and Defense Minister Alberto Espina for the "exchange of strategic perspectives" according to information provided by the Embassy of the United States in the Austral country.
It is expected that, at his last stop in Colombia, he will meet with members of the new presidential cabinet. It is not yet known if he will meet with Iván Duque, as reported by the newspaper El Espectador. Once the commitments are concluded, that same Friday afternoon, the Secretary of State will return to Washington.
It is important to mention that since 2014 a Secretary of Defense was not touring Latin America. The last one was made by Chuck Hagel and he visited Colombia, Chile and Peru .
LatinAmerican Post | Julio Abella
Translated from ' "Vemos a América Latina como nuestro vecino": Jim Mattis en su gira por Latinoamérica'