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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will Visit Florida Thursday to Talk About American Values

Pompeo is expected to speak about religious freedom, liberty, and economic free markets. Photo: NPR News

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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will speak at the Sumter County Fairgrounds on Thursday. He’s expected to focus on religious freedom, liberty, and economic free markets in his speech. 

Pompeo has just returned from a tour of Latin American countries including Colombia where he reiterated support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. 

Stetson University assistant professor of Political Science Sidra Hamidi says he might use themes like religious freedom, liberty, and economic free markets to explain recent foreign policy decisions.

But she says the backdrop of President Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial complicates this choice of topics.

“But of course there’s all sorts of questions you can ask about the legitimacy of the Trump administration’s ability to speak about American values and what those values actually are.”

Rollins College professor of International Relations Mike Gunter says these values are usually the bread and butter of political rhetoric when it comes to setting foreign and domestic policy. 

But he says in a politically charged climate that’s not always the case.

“Some could say that this is in the red-meat category for the tried and true conservatives and from a liberal perspective you could offer a narrative that these are code words for other things. Code words for discrimination, and Islamophobia, and Christian supremacy.”

Gunter says Pompeo might be using his speech to campaign for Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat in Congress.

Pompeo denied he would be stepping down as Secretary of State as tensions between the United States and Iran intensified following the U.S. killing of General Quassam Soleimani, but he has until June 1 to change his mind.

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