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Venezuela, United States Confirm Talks

Venezuela, United States Confirm Talks

Maduro said he was ready to speak directly with President Donald Trump about Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed Tuesday that high ranking officials of the South American country have maintained talks for months with representatives of the United States government, with his authorization.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently responded to comments made by President Trump regarding negotiations between the two countries.

Since the beginning of this year, Venezuela has been embroiled in political unrest as Maduro and Guaido engage in a power battle.

One of Claver-Carone's predecessors in the White House, Fernando Cutz, said that, according to State Department sources, the U.S. has been in touch with Cabello at least twice in recent months: the first time in Caracas in July and the second recently in Washington.

A U.S. official said in recent days to the AP that the goal is not to promote Cabello as a replacement for Maduro but to increase pressure on Caracas by fueling disputes that, in the opinion of the United States, could be occurring between different sectors of the ruling party.

Even after the cancellation of talks, government and opposition representatives continue to consider elections for lawmakers and the presidency in the coming year or two, according to participants sworn to secrecy.

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The Associated Press reported the weekend that the United States made secret contact with the leader of the socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, while close friends of Maduro seek assurances that they will not be prosecuted for alleged crimes if they yield to increasing demands that Maduro leaves the power.

For his part, Maduro also said who participated in these dialogues.

"I meet with the owners of the circus", he said, in an apparent reference to the U.S.

Analysts said it's not surprising that a backroom dialogue between USA and Venezuelan officials remains active.

The U.S is "in a listening mode to hear what it would take for them to betray Maduro and support a transition plan", the unnamed official said.

Cabello said that such talks are only possible under four conditions. Maduro decided not to send his delegation due to "serious and brutal aggression" by the Trump administration, including the illegal blockade of economic and financial activity, the government said.

"The situation is in such a deadlock that I imagine the looking for a way to open other pathways", said Venezuelan analyst Carlos Romero.