US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will address Wednesday in Ecuador about what the State Department has called “the challenges facing democracy in the region,” before traveling to Colombia to speak with leaders there.
The State Department said Blinken’s speech would highlight “how inclusive and responsive democratic institutions” can implement economic policies that emphasize “inclusive growth and environmental protection.”
In addition to issues of democracy and human rights, another major focus of Blinken’s visit was migration. In Bogota he will lead a meeting with foreign ministers from the region on humane migration policy.
Speaking Tuesday with Ecuador’s foreign minister, Mauricio Montalvo, Blinken said migration “challenges everyone,” including in Ecuador, where thousands of Venezuelans have settled in recent years.
As Blinken heads to Ecuador, President Guillermo Lasso declares a 60-day state of emergency to combat drug crime. The two met Tuesday, and Blinken said Lasso assured him that the Ecuadorian government would uphold democratic values such as acting in accordance with the country’s constitution.
Blinken also praised Ecuador for its vaccination campaign against COVID-19. [ka/ab]