Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday that he is “ready” to discuss with his US counterpart Donald Trump after the latter expressed his willingness to meet the socialist president.
“If necessary, I am ready to discuss respectfully with President Donald Trump,” Maduro said in an interview with the Venezuelan News Agency broadcast on state television.
Trump had initially announced his willingness to meet Maduro, but he returned and made it clear that any meeting between him and the Socialist President would have one goal: to negotiate terms for the leader’s relinquishment of power.
Trump’s statement came during an interview published on Sunday by the “Axios” news website, which was quoted by the White House as saying in response to a question about the possibility of meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart, “I can think of this, Maduro wants to meet”.
I never opposed meetings, as you know, I rarely opposed holding meetings”, Maduro said.
I have always said, we don’t lose much from holding meetings, but until now I refused”.
However, the US president rushed to Twitter to clarify his position on his Venezuelan counterpart, saying in a tweet on Monday, “I will only meet Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!”.
However the Venezuelan president did not mention in the interview what Trump announced in his tweet.
Maduro said only, “As I spoke with Biden, I can speak with Trump,” referring to the meeting he held in 2015 with then US Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for the current US presidential election.
Since January 23, 2019, Venezuela has been witnessing a power struggle between Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly, who declared himself a transitional president of the country in an attempt to exclude Maduro, while the Socialist President began a second term after elections boycotted by the opposition and denounced by the international community, considering them rigged.
About fifty countries, led by the United States, recognized Guaido as transitional president, but China and Russia supported Maduro, whose regime is subject to US sanctions.
According to Axios, during a Friday interview, Trump hinted that he “does not trust Guido very much”.
Expressing his strong opposition to what is happening in Venezuela.
On the admission of Guaido, Trump said, “I agreed, I don’t think this has had a significant impact in one way or another”.