The Venezuelan president urges the country’s parliament to “take initiatives” for a “new start” with Washington.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he hopes for better relations with Washington under US President Joe Biden, nearly two years after diplomatic ties broke off under the Donald Trump administration.
“We have to say to the United States: we want to improve our relationship, to make it a relationship of respect, of mutual recognition, a relationship with a future,” Maduro said Wednesday during a televised presentation.
He urged the pro-government legislature, the National Assembly, to “take initiatives” for a “new start” with Washington.
After years of icy relations, Caracas and Washington completely severed diplomatic relations on January 23, 2019, when the US government recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela.
Biden’s candidate for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, described Maduro as a “brutal dictator” and, during his Senate confirmation hearing, said he supported Trump’s policy of supporting Guaido.
The Trump administration has issued sanctions against the socialist government of Venezuela, imposed an oil embargo, and refused to recognize Maduro’s re-election in 2018, among others.
Analysts believe the Biden administration will take a more moderate stance and support international mediation for the transition to a new government.
Maduro, who said he listened to Biden’s inauguration speech “three times”, called on the new US administration to “turn the page … after four years of Trumpist brutality.”
Guaido wrote earlier that he and his supporters will continue to work for “Venezuela’s freedom and free elections.”
He said his “ambassador” in Washington was present at Biden’s inauguration.