U.S., Venezuela meet in Haiti to discuss repairing icy relations

Venezuela protesters demonstrate outside of Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida, March 7, 2014, before a visit by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. File photo: UPI / Gary Rothstein

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, June 14 (UPI) — Representatives of the United States and Venezuela met in a high profile summit in Haiti this weekend to mend diplomatic ties between Washington and Caracas, officials said Sunday.

According to media reports, Thomas Shannon, a counselor to the US Secretary of State, met the chairman of Venezuela’s national assembly, Diosdado Cabello, on Saturday.

The meet lasted for about 90 minutes and was facilitated by Haitian President Michel Martelly, the Haiti Sentinel reported. It wasn’t immediately disclosed whether progress was made, or how much, during the summit.

The meeting was aimed at repairing the crumbling relations between both governments, which have long been at odds over various issues.

Word of the summit was revealed on Twitter, where Venezuelan officials addressed the meet and said the efforts there were aimed at thawing the nations’ icy approach to one another.

Earlier this year, Venezuela accused the United States of plotting a coup to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. In turn, Washington labeled the South American republic a security threat.

Venezuela responded by ordering the United States to cut embassy staff in Caracas and imposed a new visa requirement for American visitors. Firing back, U.S. officials ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials suspected of corruption and human rights abuses.

Then last month, U.S. officials also began investigating Cabello over alleged involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering.


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