Head of the US Lower House Foreign Committee Sees “Opportunity” for Dialogue with Maduro

First modification: 04/05/2021 – 21:42

Washington (AFP)

The president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives affirmed this Tuesday that the United States has an “opportunity” to open a dialogue with the government of Nicolás Maduro, not recognized by Washington.

Democratic congressman Gregory Meeks believes that “there is a window of opportunity”, believes that his country should take advantage of it to find a solution and asked to remember that we must focus on the Venezuelan people.

“We should take advantage of that and then we could reverse some of the actions of the Trump administration, which do not seem to be working, at least as regards the people who live suffering in Venezuela,” Meeks told the Council of the Americas forum.

The Republican government of Donald Trump applied a strategy of “maximum pressure” with an escalation of sanctions against Maduro and his circle and also against the Venezuelan economy, including a de facto embargo on crude oil.

This strategy was accentuated with the start of Maduro’s second term, not recognized by a large part of the international community, which denounced irregularities in the elections.

Since before Joe Biden’s Democratic government took office on January 20, Maduro said he hoped to open channels of “dialogue” with the new government.

In April, Maduro’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, affirmed that his government “sent messages”, but that it did not receive a positive response, although he stressed that it notes “less aggressiveness” compared to the Trump administration.

Upon taking office Meeks said that helping the Venezuelan people will be one of his top priorities and called for progress, calling Trump’s strategy “failed.”

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For the congressman, among the signs that the government is ready for a dialogue is the commutation of jail to house arrest for the six former directors of Citgo, a subsidiary of the state oil company PDVSA in the United States, a greater openness to receive humanitarian aid and the possibility that there are changes in the Electoral Council.

“I think we have opportunities and I think we have to take advantage of them,” he said, indicating the objective is not to keep Maduro in power but to help the Venezuelan people ease some of the economic restrictions.

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