Why Trump skipping Latin America matters

Trump and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto at the G20 summit last year. Photo: Saul Loeb /AFP via Getty Images

The Summit of the Americas this Friday and Saturday in Peru was to be the centerpiece of President Trump's first visit to Latin America, and the first time he met many of the region's leaders. Now, Trump has suddenly announced he won't be attending after all — he's staying in D.C. to focus on Syria and sending Vice President Pence in his stead.

Why it matters: Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council's Latin America Center, says Trump's decision is a "significant blow" to the chances of improving relations with the region and with those leaders, many of whom are wondering what "America first" means for them.