Venezuela hopes to ‘turn the page’ with US

Jorge Jraissati

CARACAS, Venezuela (AA) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expressed willingness Saturday to “turn the page” with the US now that Joe Biden is in charge in Washington.

Maduro’s desire is that the two nations can reach a “new path” after years of tension between the Maduro government and the Trump administration. The Venezuelan president said the path should be based on “mutual respect, dialogue, communication, and understanding.”

He said that government should focus on “breaking the blockage, achieving an economic recovery, and establishing a great national dialogue.”

The US officially broke diplomatic ties in January of 2019, when the Trump administration recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. At the time, Guaido was serving as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly.

Later that year, the US imposed a series of economic sanctions against Venezuela and its oil industry, PDVSA.

The measures, according to Maduro, have resulted in Venezuela losing 99% of its revenues. Similarly, Vice President for Planning Ricardo Menendez estimated that the country has lost more than $40 billion because of the sanctions.

In November, when Biden won the US presidential election, Maduro congratulated the then-president-elect and said his government was “ready for dialogue and good understanding with the people and government of the United States”

Maduro repeated the message in December. Later that month there were reports that the Biden was ready to reestablish talks with Venezuela.