Negotiators arrived in Caracas in another attempt to secure the release of detained Americans
Senior US officials have visited Venezuela to ensure the lives of several US citizens being detained, as well as mend relations with the government in Caracas as Washington maintains a raft of sanctions. harsh for the Venezuelan economy.
A delegation led by US Ambassador to Venezuela James Story and Roger Carstens, the President’s special envoy for hostage affairs, arrived in Caracas on Monday “For discussions about the welfare and safety of US citizens in Venezuela,” State Department officials confirmed CBS and Related press.
While officials did not specify whether the talks were focused on any particular individual, several US citizens are currently detained in the country, including a group of executives. oil company jailed more than 4 years ago.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed the trip in a national address, saying that US officials met with Jorge Rodriguez, the President of the National Assembly, to “Bring continuity to the bilateral agenda between the US government and the Venezuelan government.”
The visit follows a previous trip in March – the first official White House delegation sent in more than 20 years – that resulted in the release of two Americans. At the time, Maduro also agreed to resume talks with his political opposition, led by Juan Guaido, who is recognized by Washington as Venezuela’s ‘interim president’.
Ambassador Story met with Guaido for two hours shortly after arriving in Caracas, according to the AP, which noted that the pair “Discussed efforts to initiate negotiations” with Maduro in Mexico.
It is unclear whether US sanctions will appear in the latest negotiations with the Venezuelan government, although President Joe Biden recently speak he will be ready “Correction” penalties depend on the outcome of negotiations between Maduro and his opponents.
The renewed diplomacy with the Latin American nation coincided with Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, subjecting Washington and its allies to a series of sanctions, some aimed at to impose a complete embargo on Russian energy. Although officials have said little about whether the US intends to switch to Venezuelan oil as an alternative, the Biden administration has quietly lifted some penalties on Caracas, allowing the two companies to Europe resumed oil shipments earlier this month.
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