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Venezuela Willing to Have a "Friendly" Relationship with the U.S.

Calixto Ortega Ríos, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States, said yesterday that the Maduro administration is willing to have a “friendly” bilateral relationship with the United States, although efforts to improve ties taken in June are currently “interrupted”, according to a statement made to news agency EFE and published by El Universal, a Venezuelan newspaper.

“The goals expressed in Guatemala in the meeting between foreign ministers are currently suspended … the path was interrupted in the conversation which began in Guatemala,” Ortega told EFE.

Several days ago the Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs categorically rejected statements made by Samantha Power, nominated to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in her confirmation hearing at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Power declared that part of her job would be “contesting the crackdown on civil society” in several countries, including Venezuela.

A communiqué sent by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry read in part: “[Power’s] disrespectful opinion have been lauded and backed by the Department of State, contradicting the tone and content of what Secretary of State John Kerry expressed in a meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Elías Jaua Milano, in the city of Antigua, Guatemala, last June.”

Ortega, who is currently in Caracas for meetings in the Foreign Ministry, indicated that President Maduro and Foreign Minister Jaua “have been very clear” in saying that they are willing to have “friendly relations based on mutual respect between the government of President Obama and Nicolás Maduro, as two sovereign States,” El Universal reported.

The diplomatic said that his office, which he has held since last April, is currently in touch with “the contacts that are necessary … [for] operations, which we have with some officials from the State Department.”

Finally, El Universal reported that Maduro said on Tuesday that if the U.S. Government “corrects” its attitude, a bilateral dialogue could be restarted.

El Universal / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / July 26, 2013

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