Thursday, April 9, 2015

Venezuela's President Sees Opportunity for Better U.S. Ties

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said he saw an opportunity to improve strained ties with the United States, softening his stance toward U.S. President Barack Obama in the run-up to a hemispheric summit in Panama.

The two nations historically tense relations took a turn for the worse last month when Washington slapped sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights violations and declared the OPEC nation a security threat. Maduro, who has said he will protest that measure during the summit in Panama, commended Obama for saying in an interview that the United States did not in fact see Venezuela as a threat. "The statements by President Barack Hussein Obama ... could temporarily open a door to begin a new era of historic relations between Venezuela, a free and sovereign Latin America and the empire of the United States," Maduro said at a rally.

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