Latin America takes Trump's forgoing of summit in stride

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Latin America takes Trump's forgoing of summit in stride
President Donald Trump, right, sitting next to Vice President Mike Pence, left, speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 9, 2018, at the start of a meeting with military leaders. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — President Donald Trump’s cancellation of his first visit to Latin America has drawn little comment from regional counterparts, many of whom dreaded shaking hands with the American leader as he pushes forward with plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and renegotiate trade deals.

Trump canceled his plans to travel to South America later this week, choosing to stay in Washington to manage the U.S. response to the Syria crisis. Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. delegation to the Summit of the Americas that kicks off Friday in Lima, Peru.

It is the first time a U.S. president is not attending the summit, which President Bill Clinton started in 1994 as a way to assert American trade influence in the region.