Speaking at the University of Texas ahead of his five-stop Latin America tour, Tillerson said that the us was not advocating regime change in Venezuela but instead a return to its constitution.
"Latin America does not need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people", Tillerson said om Thursday.
Tillerson said many countries in Latin America, such as Venezuela and Peru, have untapped energy resources.
Diplomats have said that such harsh rhetoric from the president impedes the broader mission of Tillerson and other State Department envoys who seek to build relationships to further the USA agenda.
On Thursday, Tillerson referred to the 1823 Monroe Doctrine, which is widely seen in Latin America as a justification for USA armed intervention in the region, saying it was "as relevant today as it was the day it was written".
China's investment in and financial cooperation with Latin American countries are in full accordance with commercial rules and local laws and regulations, it added. Meantime, China's share of Latin America's imports grew from 3 percent to 18 percent during the same period, according to an Inter-American Development Bank study.
At a news conference after the talks in Mexico City, Tillerson sidestepped a question about how the contradictions between what he and Trump say make his job more hard. Trump insists on building what he calls "a great border wall" that would further separate Mexico from the U.S. In his State of the Union address earlier this week, Trump emphasized his plans for a continued U.S. crackdown on immigrants. That's hardly a recipe to improve ties with Latin America.
Freeland said Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "really get along" and called Tillerson "an incredibly important voice in maintaining the rules-based global order".
Venezuela's Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino, has slammed comments made by U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who mused about the possibility of an internal military coup that would topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Many Latin Americans read that as a focus on people coming from their region.
It's not surprising that Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz told me last month, hours before a meeting of 25 Latin American foreign ministers with Wang, that, "There is a vacuum of US leadership in Latin America, and China is taking advantage of it".
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Chile last month for a summit with Latin American and Caribbean countries, where he invited them to join China's massive Belt and Road infrastructure program.
Tillerson's speech at UT was scheduled at 1 p.m.