Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro waves upon arriving for a meeting of the National Council of Productive Economy in the emblematic Cerro El Avila natural park, at the Humboldt hotel in Caracas, on September 21, 2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Venezuelan government continues a covert dialogue with Washington, a process led by National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday. “The president of the National Assembly, who is also the head of the ‘Your Venezuela’ company, the head of the negotiating commission with the US, is leading the dialogue with the United States of America — it’s a secret dialogue, so please don’t talk about it in public. He is the head of the peace talks with the far-right groups called the ‘Unitary Platform of Venezuela’ and he is also leading a political dialogue with all the opposition political groups of Venezuela. And he has enough time to write poetry and tales, Jorge Rodriguez Gomez,” Maduro was quoted as saying by a Venezuelan broadcaster at the opening of a book fair. In October, the US Treasury Department announced that it had issued a six-month waiver easing US sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas industry, which will be renewed only if Venezuela meets its commitments under the electoral roadmap, as well as other commitments with respect to those who are wrongfully detained. In response, Maduro expressed his readiness to resume relations with the US and to reach the full lifting of the sanctions. AmericasVenezuela’s Losses Due to US Sanctions Amount to $232Bln Since 201522 April 2023, 06:09 GMTIn June, a Spanish newspaper reported that Rodriguez had held a secret meeting in Qatar with US President Joe Biden’s adviser to establish a direct channel of communication between the countries. Rodriguez stated in April that Caracas had lost $232 billion since 2015 when the administration of then-US President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on the South American country. Obama declared Venezuela a national security threat and ordered the US Treasury Department to freeze the foreign property and assets of several Venezuelan officials. Washington has since expanded its sanctions against the country. There are now 930 restrictive measures in place against Venezuela, with their combined impact on the country valued at $642 billion.