Venezuela’s Maduro says ready for talks with Trump if US changes policy

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that he will agree to hold direct talks with US President Donald Trump if he changes his policy on Venezuela, he told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Monday, branding the US approach as wrong.

"Yes, of course," Maduro answered a question whether he is willing to hold direct negotiations with Trump. "If at some point US President Donald Trump decides to revise the misguided policy of waging a war against Venezuela he inherited from Barack Obama, I would be ready, we could start talks, a dialogue, negotiations to try to establish relations based on respect, primarily respect between the government and authorities of the US and the government and authorities of Venezuela," Maduro clarified.

The Venezuelan leader believes that Trump "was led to a disastrous policy," which completely failed, Maduro thinks. "It is high time to reflect and stop harming Venezuela, restore valuable and respectful relations and cooperation in all spheres," the president said, adding that the Venezuelan authorities are always ready for that.

"The US should change their Latin America and Caribbean policy. A moment should come when a new era will dawn on us — an era of respectful relations, relations of cooperation," he underlined. According to him, Latin America and the Caribbean should follow its own path keeping in constant cooperation with the US.

The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, 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.

Incumbent President of the country Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said 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.

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