The Latest: Protesters target Pence in Panama City

The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Latin America (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Several dozen people are protesting in downtown Panama City against a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to the Central American nation.

About 50 demonstrators including construction workers and members of leftist organizations have gathered at a monument to students who died during anti-U.S. protests in 1964.

A sign reads: "Venezuela, heart of the Americas. Stop U.S. interference in Latin America."

The vice president is wrapping up a weeklong trip in Latin America to build ties with the region and speak out against the political crisis in Venezuela.

Washington recently slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other top officials involved in the installation of a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly.

Pence is scheduled to tour the new locks of the widened Panama Canal during his last stop on the trip. The United States is the No. 1 user of the canal.


2:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence will tour the newly expanded Panama Canal during a truncated trip to the country Thursday.

Pence will also deliver a speech and meet with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela before returning to Washington early Friday morning.

He'd originally planned to stay in the Central American country Thursday night, but will cut his trip short so he can attend a meeting on South Asia at Camp David.

Pence has been traveling across Latin America, making stops in Colombia, Argentina and Chile.

He's spent much of the visit assuring Latin American leaders that the United States remains invested in the region despite President Donald Trump's "America first" rhetoric.