WASHINGTON – The White House will reject Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal for a meeting, according to reports.
“As we said last August, President Trump will happily speak with Venezuela’s leader as soon as certain measures are taken and Maduro’s regime reinstates democracy in that great country,” an anonymous National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson told EFE.
This comes after President Maduro invited Trump to start a dialogue with him in a Monday tweet, asking him to respect his own campaign promises.
The Trump administration has previously rebuked Maduro’s calls for dialogue with the United States as well as his attempts to advance talks with the Venezuelan opposition.
The United States is demanding Venezuela’s government “carry out free, just and credible elections, and release political prisoners,” along with allowing “the immediate entrance of international humanitarian help” before agreeing to any meeting or dialogue.
“[Donald Trump] campaigned promoting non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. It’s time to fulfil it and change his agenda of aggression for one of dialogue. Dialogue in Caracas or Washington D.C.? Time and place, and I’ll be there,” tweeted Maduro on Monday.
Washington has imposed sanctions on Venezuela, which has complicated the South American country’s ability to import basic food and medical products.
Following a recent meeting of the so-called Lima Group of nations, embattled Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he would not allow Maduro to attend next Summit of the Americas, to be held on April 13 and 14 in Lima. The decision was also backed by the United States, but rejected by others such as Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Cuba.
“It’s important that Venezuela be present to hear the different positions on its problems, and above all, the recommendations and the suggestions. We will never be in favor of intervention of any kind, much less military,” Ecuadorean Vice President Maria Alejandra Vicuña told EFE on Tuesday in Washington.
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said Maduro would be present at the summit regardless. Trump’s presence has not yet been confirmed.–BERNAMA-NNN-EFE