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  • President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview.

    President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview. | Photo: Twitter / @PresidencialVen

Published 15 February 2019 (20 hours 28 minutes ago)

In the interview, the Venezuelan head of state indicated that Arreaza invited Abrams to visit Venezuela "in private, in public, in secret."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday that his Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met with the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, whom the president invited to visit the South American nation.

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During an interview with The Associated Press (AP) aired Thursday, President Maduro criticized the belligerent position of his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump towards his government, although he said he hopes to hold a meeting with him to resolve in order to resolve the tension created by Trump’s recognition of opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as “interim president” after he declared himself as such in violation of the country’s laws.

In the interview, the Venezuelan head of state indicated that Arreaza invited Abrams to visit Venezuela "in private, in public, in secret," without conditions from the Venezuelan side, stressing that his country is open for dialogue with all parties involved in the political standoff in order to avoid any military confrontation or violence.

The last of two meetings took place four days after Abrams claimed that the time had passed to hold a dialogue with the government of President Maduro.

During the interview, the Venezuelan head of state said that there were "indirect" mechanisms for a possible meeting in 2018 with Trump, although this will not come to fruition.

President Maduro said that all "intelligence sources" indicate that Trump is "deceived" about what is happening in the Caribbean country.

The United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America have come out in support of a right-wing coup attempt against the Venezuelan government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro after they supported a decision by opposition lawmaker, named Juan Guaido, to declare himself an “interim president” of Venezuela on Jan. 23 in violation of the country’s constitution.

In return, Maduro has repeatedly called for the restoration of talks between his government and the opposition in order to maintain peace and avoid a U.S.-backed coup, or even military intervention by the United States in favor of removing him and placing an unelected right-wing government.

Guiado and his allies Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his National Security advisor have so far responded to such calls by escalation and rejection of any dialogue. They continue to call for the military to intervene, while sources in the United States have revealed that Trump is “seriously considering” military intervention into Venezuela if Maduro does not step down.

To further the pressure, the United States imposed harsh economic sanction on the Venezuelan oil industry and its national oil company, while also blocking the bank accounts of the Venezuelan state in the United States, vowing to only remove such restrictions when Guiado achieves control of the state institutions.

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