The United States and Venezuela are set to restore their diplomatic ties eight years after Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez expelled the US ambassador on suspicion of a coup conspiracy. The latest round of talks will start soon in Caracas.
The announcement came last week when Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodríguez met with Secretary of State John Kerry during the 46th Organization of American States General Assembly in the Dominican Republic.
President Nicolás Maduro, under tremendous stress to revive the country’s economy, has reportedly expressed delight at the talks. The United States, it seems, is Maduro’s last ray of hope, because Brazil and Argentina have been increasingly critical of his policies.
American companies are not immune to the Venezuelan crisis. Reports say more than a dozen US companies have been forced to sell, stop or reduce their operations in the South American country in the past three years.
Over 100 of Venezuela’s shops were reportedly looted in the coastal town of Cumana last week. The humanitarian crisis has put the country on the brink of a popular revolt, forcing Maduro to face a referendum whether or not to continue in office.
The Organization of American States (OAS) has threatened that it might invoke its ‘democratic charter’ to suspend Venezuela. The United States has however confirmed that it would not back OAS’s call for suspension, but has insisted that Venezuela release its political prisoners.