Venezuela calls on US to reopen diplomatic ties

Venezuela’s socialist government on Wednesday called on the United States to restore diplomatic ties with Caracas after it opened talks with fringe opposition parties.

Venezuela broke off relations with the United States after Washington recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president on January 23.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told reporters in Caracas that it made sense for the US “to restore diplomatic contacts and dialogue with the government.”

Rodriguez said Washington was left with only “a single path” having failed to remove Maduro from power, and that was “negotiation and diplomatic communication”.

President Donald Trump’s administration had targeted Venezuela’s oil industry and Maduro’s inner circle with a raft of economic sanctions.

The US blames Maduro for the economic collapse of Venezuela, from which millions have fled due to basic shortages, and considers him illegitimate after widespread reports of irregularities in last year’s election.

Both Maduro and Trump said last month that talks had been taking place involving senior officials from both sides.

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