Secretary Tillerson Praises Colombia's Aid to Venezuelans, Anti-Drug Efforts

"We can take steps we can take but this is something that, once they decide they are going to do it, it's very hard to preempt it", Tillerson said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

Tillerson was speaking during a media briefing at Jamaica House which he jointly hosted with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, following bilateral talks between the two men. Jamaica wants to see the people of Venezuela being able to enjoy their democracy and this is a principle that has nothing to do with any other country.

"We can take steps... but this is something that, once they decide they are going to do it, it's very hard to pre-empt it", Tillerson told Fox News in an interview.

Wrapping up a tour of Latin America and the Caribbean that focused on unifying the region against Venezuela, Tillerson said he has President Donald Trump's backing for tougher restrictions against Maduro's government. Tillerson also said he was encouraged by Colombia's efforts to combat the illegal drugs trade and a recent surge in cultivation of coca, the raw material that makes cocaine.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walks to a podium before making a statement at the State Department in Washington, DC.

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"We are seeing certain behaviours".

And it would also - to the concern of Venezuela's southern neighbours - hurt ordinary Venezuelans and could be a severe blow to the island economies of the Caribbean, which rely on cheap fuel.

Tillerson said the U.S., Mexico and Canada had agreed during his stop in Mexico City last week to establish a working group that would look at ways to mitigate the damage caused by such restrictions.

"One of the aspects of considering sanctioning oil is what effect would it have on the Venezuelan people? We are not conducting foreign policy for aid or for special benefits, so I want to make that position very clear to the Jamaican people", declared Holness while fielding questions from local and worldwide journalists at a press conference at Jamaica House. That move would've created problems for the United States because, for the refiners concentrated on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Venezuela is one of the largest sources of crude oil, ahead of Saudi Arabia. He also indicated that Jamaica could benefit from the USA becoming a net exporter of energy, if its remaining energy ties with Venezuela are cut by its stance against Maduro's Government. "One of the ways that you convince a foreign power like Russian Federation not to manipulate elections again is to make it clear to them that they will pay a cost, that there are consequences".

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