The White House tried Wednesday to sweep the idea of a dialogue between Washington and his Venezuelan pet peeve, Nicolas Maduro, ensuring that the contacts "at a very high level" with Caracas evoked by Donald Trump actually aimed at "departure" of the socialist president.
The imbroglio was born of Donald Trump.
Tuesday, during one of these very long and informal exchanges that he likes with the media, the president of the United States is questioned, among several other subjects, about contacts between the White House and the "number two of the regime Maduro ", the president of the Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello.
"We are in contact, we are talking to several representatives of Venezuela", "at different levels", replies Donald Trump. "I do not mean who, but we speak at a very high level," he adds.
In the process, Nicolas Maduro "confirms", on the radio and television of his country, "that there have been for months contacts between senior officials of the US government, Donald Trump, and the Bolivarian government "he presides. As if to cut short in advance the idea that these contacts take place behind his back with members of his entourage out of ban, he insists that they received his "express authorization".
A dialogue between the Trump administration and the "rogue regime" it continues to denounce?
On Wednesday, Washington released an update, via a tweet from National Security Advisor John Bolton.
"As the president has said on several occasions, in order to stop the theft of Venezuelan people's resources and persistent repression, Maduro has to leave," he said.
"Those who contact us on the back of Maduro are only talking about his departure and free elections," added this close adviser to Donald Trump, hinting that the only exchanges take place with members of the camp of the socialist leader ready to to work at his fall.
- Diplomatic relations broken -
Nicolas Maduro's Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with the United States when the Trump administration admitted Juan Guaido in January as acting president of the South American country in crisis. And in March, Washington withdrew all its diplomats.
But the Trump administration has already said in the past that it retains a diplomatic channel with the power of the socialist leader.
"We have contacts with the de facto regime, by which I mean the Maduro regime, we have contacts with it because we are concerned about issues such as the security of Americans," had for example recognized the US envoy at the end of January. Elliott Abrams.
"We have had contacts in many countries for a long time with people who do not enjoy our diplomatic recognition," "it is not a problem when it is in the interest of the United States," he said.
Subsequently, the US government also hinted that it was working behind the scenes to return members of Maduro Camp. He thus lifted his sanctions against former Venezuelan intelligence chief Christopher Figuera, who turned his back on Caracas power and defected, and promised to do the same for all future defectors.
For months, the United States continues to strengthen their sanctions and their diplomatic pressure to push Nicolas Maduro to the exit. But what they hoped to be a lightning campaign got bogged down and the Socialist leader is still in power despite support from more than 50 countries for Juan Guaido.
© 2019 AFP