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Maduro expresses readiness for direct dialogue with US

Venezuelan President said he had made several attempts to directly contact with US President Donald Trump
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Valery Sharufulin/TASS
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
© Valery Sharufulin/TASS

WASHINGTON, January 19. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said in an interview with The Washington Post that he is ready for dialogue with the United States.

In his first interview with a US media outlet since February, Maduro said: "If there’s respect between governments, no matter how big the United States is, and if there’s a dialogue, an exchange of truthful information, then be sure we can create a new type of relationship <...>A relationship of respect and dialogue brings a win-win situation. A confrontational relationship brings a lose-lose situation. That’s the formula."

Maduro said he had made several attempts to directly contact with US President Donald Trump. According to the Venezuelan president, the US leader failed to make the right decisions on Venezuela because of his aides and the administration members. "I believe [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo has failed in Venezuela and is responsible for Donald Trump’s failure in his policy toward our country <...> I think Pompeo lives in a fantasy. He’s not a man with his feet on earth. I think Trump has had terrible advisers on Venezuela. [Former US National Security Adviser] John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, [US Special Representative for Venezuela] Elliott Abrams, have caused him to have a wrong vision," Maduro said.

Maduro also said he was ready to negotiate with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, although stressing that he would not step down. "Guaido is responsible for having lost the National Assembly [unicameral parliament - TASS] <...>He and his mistakes. Don’t blame me now. He’s the one that now has to answer to the United States," the Venezuelan president said.

In September, Maduro told Rossiya-24 TV channel that he was ready for talks with Trump if the US president changed his "wrong policy of waging war against Venezuela."

The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, 2019 when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him.

Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington saying that he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

In May 2019, a few rounds of indirect talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition were held in Oslo, which were organized through the offices of Norway. On January 13, President of the Venezuelan Constituent National Assembly Diosdado Cabello told a press conference in Caracas that authorities were willing to return to the negotiating table with opposition members to discuss various stances on the country’s future.