UPDATED 6:31 AM PT — Tuesday, January 29, 2019
The foreign minister of Venezuela is urging talks between the Maduro regime and President Trump.
In a statement Monday, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the Maduro regime is ready to work with the U.S. to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela. The official said his department has discussed ways to ease tensions with a U.S. envoy in the country.
Arreaza said the Maduro regime wants to send a team of negotiators to Washington to establish what he called “relations of peace and respect.”
“At this moment diplomacy in the United States is a little bit schizophrenic, but we want to believe in the reality because we want to believe in the authorized spokespeople and the mechanism of diplomacy that the United States is openly developing with the government of President Nicolas Maduro,” stated the Venezuelan foreign minister.
Following the official’s remarks, the Treasury Department slapped an oil embargo against the Maduro regime.
Vice President Mike Pence welcomed the new sanctions. In a tweet Monday, Pence said the new sanctions are targeting the corruption of embattled President Nicolas Maduro and his affiliates.
.@POTUS’ EO today ends Maduro’s ability to steal his country’s wealth for his own corrupt ends & preserves these resources for the Venezuelan people. We will continue to hold Maduro accountable for Venezuela’s ruin & oppression & we will always stand WITH the people of Venezuela. https://t.co/JZpY7xqzF1
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 28, 2019
This comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ended all U.S. purchases of oil from PDVSA on Monday.
Pence stressed the U.S. stands with the people of Venezuela to hold Maduro accountable for his crimes.