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Maduro reaches out to Trump on Twitter

Monday, February 19, 2018

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro took to the US president's favourite medium, Twitter, on Monday to ask him to start a dialogue between the two countries.

"@RealDonaldTrump campaigned pledging to promote non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. It's time to keep your pledge," Maduro wrote, encouraging Trump to hold a meeting in Washington or Caracas.

Maduro and senior government officials, including Attorney General Tarek William Saab, have alleged that the US is orchestrating an alleged plan for a "military invasion" of Venezuela from neighbouring Colombia.

"The military bombing, the military invasion, the blood and fire occupation of a peaceful country like Venezuela are being planned," Saab charged last week, an allegation Colombia has flatly denied.

On a recent tour of Latin America, top US diplomat Rex Tillerson floated the idea of slapping sanctions on Venezuela's oil exports, the source of 96 per cent of the country's revenues.

Tillerson met in Bogota with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

The United States has already imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela, forbidding its citizens and companies to negotiate debt issued by the Maduro government and the state oil company PDVSA.

Maduro has assured that he will travel to Lima in April for the Summit of the Americas, which Trump will attend.

But the Peruvian government announced that it will not allow Maduro to attend, on the grounds that he has broken with his country's democratic institutional order.

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