US officials make ‘welfare’ stop in Venezuela — Analysis

Another attempt to release detained Americans was made by negotiators who traveled to Caracas.

High ranking US officials visited Venezuela in order to provide assistance to several Americans in detention. They also sought to establish ties with Caracas’ government as Washington continues to impose harsh sanctions against the Venezuelan economy. 

Roger Carstens and James Story, US Ambassador in Venezuela, led a delegation to Caracas Monday. “for discussions about the welfare and safety of US nationals in Venezuela,”State Department officials spoke with CBS and the Associated Press.

Officials did not indicate whether they were focused on specific people, but several Americans remain in detention, as well as a few executives of the oil industry, who were jailed over four years ago. 

Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela confirmed the visit during a national speech. Jorge Rodriguez was the President of National Assembly. “give continuity to the bilateral agenda between the government of the United States and the government of Venezuela.”

US allows Venezuelan oil exports – Reuters

The visit follows a previous trip in March – the first official White House delegation sent in more than 20 years – which resulted in the release of two Americans. At the time Maduro also agreed to resume talks with his political opposition, led by Juan Guaido, who is recognized by Washington as Venezuela’s ‘interim president.’ 

Guaido and Ambassador Story met for two hours shortly after their arrival in Caracas. According to the AP which reported that they had been talking about the matter for nearly two hours. “discussed efforts to jumpstart negotiations”Maduro, Mexico

It’s unclear whether US sanctions featured in the latest talks with the Venezuelan government, though President Joe Biden recently said he would be willing to “calibrate”The outcome of the negotiations between Maduro’s opponents and Maduro will determine the severity of the penalty.

The renewed diplomacy with the Latin American nation coincided with Russia’s attack on Ukraine in late February, which prompted a flurry of sanctions from Washington and its allies, some aiming to impose full embargoes on Russian energy. Although officials are not clear on whether the United States plans to use Venezuelan oil as an alternate, Biden’s administration quietly relaxed some sanctions against Caracas. This allowed two European oil companies to resume their oil deliveries earlier this month.

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