UPDATED 8:27 AM PT – Monday, April 15, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently addressed the refugee crisis in Peru, while speaking in the country’s capital.
During a roundtable in Lima Monday, Pompeo said the climbing number of refugees in the country is “the direct result of the Russians, Cubans and Nicolas Maduro.”
He specifically highlighted the crisis in Venezuela, pointing out 500,000 Venezuelans fled to Peru in 2018 alone to escape the worsening conditions in their country. This comes after Peru was forced to cancel work permits for Venezuelan refugees in late 2018 to cope with the influx of migrant workers.
Secretary Pompeo also diffused concerns over President Trump’s immigration policies:
“Our objective is to allow people to stay in their home countries, this is President Trump’s desire. We want to create conditions in these countries, where they can stay in their own country and they don’t have the need to migrate somewhere else…it is our deep hope that we can achieve our objectives quickly, timely, so that these individuals will return to their home countries.”
The U.S. secretary of state thanked Peru’s leadership for “graciously” opening their country to help Venezuelan refugees.
This comes after he visited the Colombian and Venezuelan border amid the humanitarian crisis plaguing the region.