Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told AP on Thursday that his foreign minister has held secret talks in New York with the US special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, and predicted he would remain in power despite a global campaign to unseat him. The meetings came at the request of the United States according to two Venezuelan officials who were not authorized to discuss the meetings publicly. The first meeting, held on Jan. 26, was described as hostile – with the US envoy threatening to deploy troops in Venezuela, while chastising the Maduro regime for being in league with Cuba, Russia and Hezbollah. The second meeting, held on Monday, was “less tense,” even though it came just four days after Abrams warned that the “time for dialogue with Maduro had long passed.” Abrams insisted in the second meeting that severe US sanctions would result in Maduro’s ouster even if the Venezuelan military was on his side.
Source: Maduro reveals Venezuelan officials in ‘secret talks’ with Trump administration