President Trump and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that there have already been months of "secret" discussions between the two countries, even as the US has stepped up economic sanctions against the socialist regime.
Maduro said on Tuesday that talks had been going on for a long time between top officials in his government and the US administration, while Trump said his government was talking to "various representatives" of the Venezuelan government.
"We've had secret meetings in secret places with secret people that no one knows," Maduro said, noting that the talks were held under his "direct" permission. "There must be contact and we will continue to have contact."
"We've had secret meetings in secret places with secret people that no one knows. There must have been contact and we will continue to have contact. "
WE ARE THE BEST" WHEN "YOU NEED TO BE" IN VENEZUELA, THE NAVAL COMMANDER SAYS the socialist party, Diosdado Cabelo, while Maduro's inner circles began to seek assurances that they would not be prosecuted for their alleged crimes and abuses if they ceded the growing demands for his removal from power.
Cabelo refused to divulge any details of the meeting during a press conference on Monday and even called it a "lie, a manipulation", though he later said he welcomed discussions with anyone until Maduro approved them.
Trump does not confirm whether the contact was specifically made with Cabello, only to have discussions with Venezuelan officials.
"We are talking to various representatives of Venezuela," Trump said. "I do not want to say who, but we are talking at a very high level."
"We are talking to various representatives of Venezuela. I do not want to say who, but we are talking at a very high level. "
WOMEN REFUGEES VENEZUELA EXCEEDED IN HIGHER CATENT POLITICAL CRISIS
Maduro said on Tuesday that relations between countries are ready to settle that he made the same proposal before.
The United States has stated that it no longer sees Maduro as the legitimate ruler of the country and instead endorsed opposition leader Juan Guido as the country's rightful leader.
But despite the support of Western countries, Maduro still holds power. This month, it suspended Norway-sponsored talks between the opposition and the government.
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The UN estimates that at least 4 million Venezuelans have left their country due to hyperinflation and severe food and drug shortages.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.