The State Department Denies Conducting Secret Talks With Venezuela
The United States authorities do not conduct any secret negotiations with Venezuela. This was announced on Friday at a briefing for journalists by acting assistant Secretary of state for the Western hemisphere Michael Kozak. The transcript of the briefing was distributed by the press service of the State Department.
Kozak was asked "if there are any signs that these not-so-secret talks [with Venezuela]" have led to any progress. "I am not quite sure what you are talking about the US does not conduct any secret negotiations with Venezuela, so I do not quite understand what this reference is about," Kozak replied.
The situation in Venezuela escalated after opposition leader Juan Guaido, whose appointment as speaker of the Parliament was annulled by the Supreme court two days earlier, declared himself acting President on January 23, 2019. The interim head of state recognized by the US, joined by the country Group we (except Mexico), the Organization of the American States, and most EU countries. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the incident an attempted coup and announced the severance of diplomatic relations with the United States. Russia, Belarus, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, and Turkey expressed their support.
Earlier, Reuters, citing its sources, reported that representatives of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, whose leader is Maduro, and supporters of Guaido began negotiations against the background of the situation with the spread of the coronavirus. Guido on Tuesday called false reports about negotiations between the authorities and the opposition in Venezuela.