Venezuela Requests Mediation with United States
Thursday, February, 12, 2015
After years of having no official relationship backed by fiery denunciations, the Venezuelan government called for a “relationship” with the United States and suggested international mediation between the countries in order to established diplomatic contacts.
President Nicolas Maduro suggested that Ernesto Samper, Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations, would be an ideal mediator between the two nations. The United States recalled its ambassador in 2010 and has not had normal diplomatic relations with the country since.
The poor relations between the two countries has deep roots, but in most recent years can be traced to the election of Hugo Chavez to the Venezuelan Presidency. Chavez immediately took action to take control of Venezuela’s oil reserves, pushing out U.S. oil companies that had dominated the market there for almost a century. Although popular in Venezuela, Chavez’s actions were considered illegal by the United States. When Chavez pursued strong ties with China, Russia, and Cuba, the United States condemned these moves and relations grew increasingly cold until the mutual recall of diplomats in 2010.
President Maduro has described the USA’s actions in sanctioning Venezuelan officials and imposing economic restrictions on the country as a “coup attempt” aimed at regime change. Maduro recently aimed specific accusations at United States Vice President Joe Biden as a key plotter in the coup attempt, an accusation Biden called “baseless and patently false.” However, he also stated that his suggestion at re-opening a dialog with the United States is made in “goodwill.”