As the new US president weighs in on whether to risk a political recession in Florida or ease sanctions seeking to isolate the socialist leader, the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stepped up its efforts to lure the Joe Biden government.
Over the past two weeks, Maduro has acknowledged long-standing US demands that the country be allowed to pursue a global food plan at a time of rising hunger. Venezuela’s allies have also pledged to work with the US-backed opposition to vaccinate Venezuela against the corona virus, and have met with Norwegian ambassadors seeking to renew talks to end the country’s relentless political struggle.
According to two people familiar with the plans, the move comes as top US officials, including Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, meet on Monday as part of their ongoing review of policy for Venezuela. The previously unannounced interactive meeting focused on whether the United States should take action to support an uncertain attempt between Maduro and his opponents, asking those familiar with the matter to remain anonymous so they could discuss diplomatic matters.
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“All of these recent moves indicate that Maduro is trying to get Washington’s attention,” said Jeffrey Ramsay, a Venezuelan observer at the Washington office on Latin America. “The question is whether the White House is ready to engage in a full-fledged bargaining strategy or whether it will continue to play safe and burn politics on its back.”
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Areza and Maduro’s Speaker Jorge Rodriguez did not comment when asked about Maduro’s recent actions.
Ramsay said there could be more goodwill gestures on the horizon.