Second trip to Caracas by a high-level delegation from Washington, more than three months after the first meeting that surprised the world. “Jorge Rodríguez at this time is receiving a delegation from the United States, which arrived two hours ago and is working to give continuity to the communications that began on March 5, as well as the bilateral agenda between the US government and the US government. of Venezuela,” announced Nicolás Maduro before handing over the National Journalism Award to former Chavista deputy minister Felipe Saldivia, head of one of the media outlets bought by revolutionary figureheads to screw up communication hegemony.
Ambassador James Story and the special envoy for American hostages abroad, Roger Carstens, repeat in the delegation sent by Joe Biden. The absence of the head of the first delegation, Juan González, Biden’s main adviser for Latin America, who played a prominent role in the last Summit of the Americas, held in Los Angeles with the absence of the three dictatorships of the continent.
“A lot is still missing, a lot of diplomacy, a lot of dialogue and a lot of understanding,” Maduro stressed. On the first trip, two prisoners of US nationality were released and certain advances have not materialized to resume negotiations between the government and the opposition in Mexico. Maduro insists on the prior release of Colombian tycoon Alex Saab, his alleged figurehead, imprisoned in Florida awaiting trial, and on the participation of his ally Russia in a preferential role.
On the US side, it has been known in recent weeks that Washington granted the lifting of its sanctions for Carlos Malpica, the favorite nephew of the first revolutionary combatant Cilia Flores, who served as Vice President of Finance of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and as commissioner presidential.
The Biden administration also gave the green light for the American oil companies Chevron, Italian ENI and Spanish Repsol to return to producing and exporting black gold to Europe, with the intention of alleviating the current energy crisis.
The meeting weighs on the physical condition of the American prisoner Matthew Heath, who according to his family tried to commit suicide. Heat, who denounced torture during his trial, was arrested in 2020 accused of being a spy. The hostage pointed directly at his torturers, soldiers from the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), who had appeared as witnesses for the accusation.
A “welfare visit,” a State Department spokesman called the trip by White House officials, referring to the American hostages. To those already known, the group of executives of the oil subsidiary Citgo, and the mercenaries who accompanied the Venezuelan military rebels in the failed landing two years ago, the famous Operation Gideon, have been joined by three new detainees. They are accused of illegal entry into the country, conspiracy and criminal association.
With its return to Caracas, the US government not only exhibits energy interests, but also geopolitical ones, increased by the war in Ukraine and Russian influence in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. The Kremlin’s propaganda finds a wide echo on the continent from the first day of the invasion.
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