- Venezuela: Secret contacts between the US and Diosdado Cabello, number two of the Maduro regime
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said on Tuesday that his Government maintains contacts with Chavism "at a very high level", when asked for information about an alleged dialogue between the White House and the considered "number two" of the ruling party in Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello.
"We are talking with several representatives of Venezuela," Trump said when asked about the possibility of contacts with Cabello.
"I don't want to say with whom, but we are talking to them at a very high level," he added, who made statements to the press during a bilateral meeting with the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis.
Several press reports, such as the one published on Sunday by the Axios portal, state that in recent weeks there have been contacts between Cabello and the White House through intermediaries.
It is not clear what the objective of the alleged contacts with Cabello is, but some analysts point out that the White House could be trying to simply contribute to a destabilization in the environment of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Without confirming the dialogue with Cabello, a source from the State Department told Efe Monday that "in the last few months dozens of those who are supposed to be Maduro's closest allies have tried to contact the United States to negotiate their exit." power.
"The question of whether or not the United States responds depends on the specific circumstances," added the source, who insisted that Maduro "cannot trust his circle of advisors."
According to Axios, who cites government sources, contacts with Cabello have been coordinated by the head of Latin America at the National Security Council of the White House, Mauricio Claver-Carone.
One of Claver-Carone's predecessors in the White House, Fernando Cutz, assured that, according to his sources in the State Department, the United States has maintained at least two contacts with Cabello in recent months: the first in Caracas in July and the second recently in Washington.
This last meeting was attended by a Hair envoy, while this week a third meeting was scheduled in Caracas , but Cutz said he was not sure if it happened, when the dialogue was revealed in the press.
Those contacts with Cabello, subject to US sanctions and accused by Washington of having ties to drug trafficking, have raised blisters in the State Department, where he worries about the possibility of the White House reaching a deal with that prominent figure of Chavismo, according to Cutz.
Almost seven months after recognizing as interim president of Venezuela the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, Trump has shown signs of impatience at Maduro's tenure in power, and on Wednesday he said he is "helping everything he can" to the Caribbean country.
"We are staying out (of the political crisis), but we are helping them, and they need a lot of help," he said.
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