Washington Treats Latin America Like Its Backyard, Beijing Says - Does It Have a Point?

source: Wikimedia Commons

Only three days after the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of prolonging the Venezuela crisis, Beijing fired back.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang responded to the U.S. criticism Monday saying that Pompeo's accusations ''deliberately drove a wedge'' in the relationship between China and Latin America.

Lu Kang went further stating that Washington has treated Latin America as ''its own backyard'' for decades, in an attempt to put pressure, threaten and intervene in the internal matters of other sovereign countries, including China. In Lu Kang's words, some U.S. politicians tried to ''smear China across the world.''

Pompeo started Friday his three-day visit to some of the Latin American fast-growing economies, among which Chile, Paraguay, Columbia, and Peru to discuss the crisis in Venezuela and the constantly-increasing presence of China in these countries. 

Pompeo was the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit Paraguay since 1965, which according to the experts was a gesture emphasizing Washington's commitment to the region.

During his meeting with the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera Friday, Mike Pompeo defended the U.S. sanctions in Venezuela, pointing out that Washington would ''keep the fight'' in the country.

Pompeo also expressed his gratitude to Chile for ''being a real leader for the Venezuelan people'' as it welcomed nearly 300,000 refugees fleeing Maduro's regime.

According to the experts, the ongoing turbulence in Venezuela is the worst crisis in the Western hemisphere of our time. The hyperinflation, shortages of food and essential medicine have forced over three million locals to leave the country in the last couple of years.

During the meeting with President Piñera, Pompeo accused China of prolonging the humanitarian, economic, and political crisis in Venezuela. In Pompeo's view, Nicolas Maduro used China's financial injections of more than $60 billion of ''no strings attached'' money to fund his regime, prolonging the crisis in the country. 

According to Pompeo, Nicolas Maduro used the Chinese funding to finance ineffective social programs and to attack pro-democracy activists, resulting in worsening of the political and economic situation of the country. 

Pompeo went further saying that China and other countries which have been calling for non-intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela also played a vital role in destroying Caracas through their financial assistance.

Despite his criticism over the Chinese financial activities in Venezuela, Pompeo also admitted that Beijing was a major trading partner of Washington. Although he did not mention Huawei directly, Pompeo highlighted that these trade activities were often associated to their national technological goals and their continuous attempts to steal intellectual property and to engage in activities that are not economical.

What do you think? Does Beijing have a point saying that Washington has been treating Latin America as its backyard?