U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Chile on the first stop of his trip to South America, where he is expected to defend U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
Pompeo's three-day trip takes him to Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Colombia all of which have seen increased investment by China in recent years.
In Chile, Pompeo meets in Santiago with President Sebastian Pinera and foreign minister Roberto Ampuero to discuss economic ties and partnerships in various realms, such as cybersecurity, and science and technology.
Pompeo travels Saturday to Paraguay's capital, Asuncion, where he will meet with the president and foreign minister, and on Sunday he is expected to do the same in Peru. In both countries, discussions on transnational crime and support for Venezuelan refugees are expected to be on the agenda.
Pompeo also is expected to visit Colombia briefly, touching down in the border city of Cucuta, where a number of entities are working to support Venezuelan refugees.