Trump opens the door to a meeting with Maduro

Trump ouvre la porte à une rencontre avec Maduro

Washington | us president Donald Trump has opened the door to a meeting with his venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, while minimizing the weight of his opponent Juan Guaido, in an interview published Sunday by the news site Axios.

Venezuela is experiencing since the January 23, 2019 a power struggle between Juan Guaido, the president of the national Assembly, which was then proclaimed himself president ad interim to try to oust Mr Maduro at a time when the socialist president began a second term, after elections boycotted by the opposition and criticised by the international community as fraudulent.

Sixty countries, the United States, have recognized Mr. Guaido but China and Russia have supported Mr. Maduro, whose regime was hit with sanctions by Washington.

Mr. Trump, however, said he was open to a meeting. “Maybe I could think about (…), Maduro insists that we meet. And I’m never opposed to dating –you know, I’m rarely opposed to the meetings”, he said to Axios. “I always say, you don’t lose much to meet. But for the moment, I declined.”

Mr. Maduro, was charged in march for “narcoterrorism” by the american justice, with a premium of $ 15 million promised for his arrest.

At the same time, at the end of march, in the face of failure of their strategy to oust Maduro from power, the United States has proposed a new “framework for a democratic transition” in Venezuela, calling Mr. Guaido to make a not of his side in the expectation of presidential elections “free and fair”. A proposal immediately rejected by Caracas.

In early may, the venezuelan government has said they have fail in two communities in the North of Venezuela, Macuto and Chuao, an “invasion” aimed at a “coup” against Maduro and announced the arrest of 52 people, including two former u.s. soldiers. Caracas has accused Mr. Guaido have mounted the operation with a third former u.s. soldier, Jordan Goudreau, and a Venezuelan in Miami, Juan José Rendón. Mr. Trump had assured him that the United States was not behind the operation aborted.

According to Axios, during the interview, which was conducted on Friday, Mr. Trump has “hinted that he had not much confidence in Mr. Guaido”. While saying it was “firmly opposed to what is happening in Venezuela,” he observed with regard to recognition of M. Guaido: “I was okay with it (…) I don’t think it has had a great significance, one way or another.”

The publication of this interview comes as the White House in the face of the explosive revelations from a book by ex-national security adviser, Donald Trump, John Bolton.

According to extracts published by Axios, Mr. Bolton wrote that Mr. Trump “thought that Guaido was “low” in contrast to Maduro, who was “strong” and referred to Mr. Guaido as “the Beto O’rourke of Venezuela”, in reference to an ex-pretender to the investiture democrat who was abandoned early in the race for the White House.

In his interview to Axios, Mr. Trump qualifies Mr. Bolton of “cracked” that could be “the human being the most stupid on Earth” with his support for the war in Iraq.

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