The United States is willing not to charge or prosecute the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in exchange for his leaving power, as the special envoy for this country, Elliot Abrams, said, although he has acknowledged that there are no signs for now that the president is willing to do so.
“It’s not a chase,” Abrams said in an interview with the ‘New York Times.’ “We are not after him, we want him to have a dignified exit and to leave,” said the diplomat, who has sent a direct message to Maduro: “We do not want to prosecute you and we do not want to persecute you. We want you to leave power.”
Washington’s offer comes a week after US President Donald Trump and his Venezuelan counterpart confirmed that “high level” contacts are taking place between the two countries. Some media have pointed to the president of the National Constituent Assembly and ‘number two’ of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, as one of the interlocutors.
In this regard, Abrams wanted to make it clear that there is no negotiation with Maduro or “a pattern of contacts” but “there have been intermittent messages.” From Washington, the message that has been sent, according to the diplomat, is that “they need to return to being a democratic country. Maduro needs to leave power. He must not run for election. We will not withdraw the sanctions until he is out of the government.” .
So, the US special envoy has considered that for now it is not worth talking directly with the Government of Maduro. As he explained, the messages through intermediaries from Venezuela have been “very rare” since late winter and that the information they contained was doubtful.
All these messages, some of which probably were not sent with the knowledge of Maduro, moved that the president will continue to resist the campaign of international pressure led by the Trump administration, said the diplomat.
On the other hand, Abrams has clarified that in the event that there are finally new elections in Venezuela, the United States will not support them if Maduro or the president in charge, Juan Guaidó, are presented, which Washington was the first to recognize and support.