- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 1, 2019

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has discussed tensions over Venezuela while on a South America trip.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters that Pompeo met Tuesday with Peru’s foreign minister, Nestor Bardales. The U.S. says Pompeo thanked Peru for taking in hundreds of thousands of migrants from Venezuela, where 2.3 million people have fled their nation’s hyperinflation and food and medical shortages over the past three years.

The U.S. says Pompeo discussed with the Peruvian envoy “the need to increase pressure” on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to improve conditions there.

The meeting was in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, where Pompeo later Tuesday will be attending the inauguration of Brazil’s new far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.

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