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Maduro: We Had Secret Talks With Trump Administration

He sits for an interview with the AP
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2019 7:36 AM CST
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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(Newser) – A month into Venezuela's high-stakes political crisis, President Nicolas Maduro revealed in an AP interview that his government held secret talks with the Trump administration and predicted he would survive an unprecedented global campaign to force his resignation. While harshly criticizing President Trump's confrontational stance toward his socialist government, Maduro said Thursday that he holds out hope of meeting the US president soon to resolve a crisis triggered by America's recognition of opponent Juan Guaido as Venezuela's rightful leader. Maduro said that during two hushed meetings in New York between his foreign minister and the Washington-based special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, Abrams was invited to come visit Maduro "privately, publicly, or secretly." More from the interview:

  • "If he wants to meet, just tell me when, where and how and I'll be there," Maduro said without providing more details. He said both New York meetings lasted several hours. A senior administration official in Washington who was not authorized to speak publicly said US officials were willing to meet with "former Venezuela officials, including Maduro himself, to discuss their exit plans."

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