Embattled Venezuelan President Maduro Claims He’s Been in ‘Secret’ Talks with Trump Administration; National Security Adviser Bolton Said Only Discussions Have Been About Maduro Stepping Down

  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro confirmed that he has been in secret talks with the Trump administration for months despite the U.S. imposing tougher sanctions against the country and the Trump administration publicly backing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader.
  • On Tuesday, Maduro announced “that talks with the Trump administration had been going on for months, but “U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the only thing being discussed was Mr. Maduro’s departure.”
  • On TV, Maduro said: “Just as I have sought dialogue in Venezuela, I have sought a way in which President Trump really listens to Venezuela.”
  • Additionally, “President Trump confirmed on Tuesday that his administration was talking to various representatives of Venezuela.”
  • Trump said: “I don’t want to say who, but we are talking at a very high level.”
  • However, Maduro suggested that he was the person who “authorized the back-channel discussions,” which Bolton disagreed with.
  • Bolton tweeted on Tuesday: “As the President has repeatedly stated, to end the pilfering of the Venezuelan people’s resources and continued repression, Maduro must go. The only items discussed by those who are reaching out behind Maduro’s back are his departure and free and fair elections.”
  • The Trump administration has increasingly imposed sanctions on Venezuela, including earlier this month. The sanctions have been aimed at pressuring Maduro to step down to be replaced by Guaidó.
  • Since Venezuela’s election at the end of 2018 when Maduro was re-elected, Guaidó has opposed the results and declared himself the legitimate leader of the country and has been backed by at least 50 other nations, including the U.S.
  • On Wednesday, Guaidó “cast doubt on President Nicolás Maduro’s claim that he is overseeing secret talks with the United States, saying it only reflects disarray within the Venezuelan government.”
  • Guaidó said: “What’s clear are the contradictions of the regime. How many times have we seen how disorganized the regime is? If they’ve been effective in anything, it’s communications, propaganda, lies for years.”

Reference Links

  • BBC: Venezuela crisis: President Maduro says he had secret talks with US READ
  • Fox: Trump, Maduro confirm ‘secret’ Venezuela-US talks amid increased pressure on socialist regime READ
  • CNBC: Venezuela’s Maduro confirms secret high-level talks with US officials READ
  • Miami Herald: In Venezuela, Guaidó questions Maduro claims about US talks READ

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