Venezuela: Maduro Confirms Contacts with U.S. Officials

August 21, 2019

Photo: President Maduro, and Disodado Cabello, head of the National Constituent Assembly

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, confirmed yesterday that for months his administration has had contacts with high officials of the government of the United States with his authorization.

Hours earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that there are conversations at a very high level with Venezuelan officials, but did not specify if the contacts included the head of the National Constituent Assembly and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, who categorically rejected an Associated Press version and the webpage Axios about a meeting.

In the city of La Guaira, Maduro said, “Of course there are contacts”, although he did not detail who is participating or where the meetings are taking place.

In Washington, Trump declared: “We are helping Venezuela as much as we can. We stay out of it, but it needs a lot of help. Fifteen years ago it was one of the richest countries; today it is one of the poorest.”

“I don’t want to say who, but we are speaking at a very high level, added the magnate when he was receiving his counterpart from Romania, Klaus Iohannis, in the White House.

The United States recognizes opposition leader Juan Guidó as president in charge of Venezuela and has imposed a series of severe economic sanctions on the oil-producing country.

The Associated Press news agency reported last weekend, and then the Axios webpage , that Cabello and other top Venezuelan officials met with a U.S. National Security Council official last month in Caracas to look for a plan to press Maduro’s exit. The publication was rejected by the Chavista leader on Monday.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted that his government denounced the United States before the Security Council and the General Secretariat of the United Nations for economic sanctions, threats of a naval blockade and the use of force against Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund requested 70 million dollars this year to help 900,000 children in Venezuela, where there are an estimated 3.2 million children in need of humanitarian assistance.

At the same time, the Venezuela National Electric Corporation announced the restoration of electric service in Caracas and the state of Miranda after a breakdown affected the supply.

Source: La Jornada, translation, Resumen Latinoamerciano, North America bureau