US, Venezuela officials meet in Haiti to ‘normalize ties’
Senior officials from the United States and Venezuela have met in Haiti in an attempt to “normalize relations” between the two countries.
On Saturday, US State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon met with the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, to discuss diplomatic relations, AFP reported.
The meeting took more than an hour and a half.
Cabello, who is considered to be Venezuela’s second most powerful man after the president, said the meeting was “aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations with respect to international law, sovereignty and self-determination of people.”
Cabello added that the talks “represent an important step towards full restoration of relations between the countries.”
Cabello was accompanied by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez. The meeting arrangement was facilitated by Haitian President Michel Martelly.
No more details were provided about the meeting.
In April, Shannon also met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the capital, Caracas, to ease political tensions between the two countries.
Caracas and Washington have been at odds since late Hugo Chavez became Venezuela’s president in 1999. Both sides have refused to exchange ambassadors since 2010. The countries have charges d’affaires running their respective embassies.
Tensions rose between Washington and Caracas when the former imposed sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials in March over allegations of human rights violations.
Washington has admitted that it endorsed a coup that briefly toppled late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002.