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Venezuela’s Maduro says settlement talks could soon resume

August 29, 2019
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2019 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro lead a rally condemning the economic sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, that his delegates will start meeting again with the opposition to restart negotiations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2019 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro lead a rally condemning the economic sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, that his delegates will start meeting again with the opposition to restart negotiations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says his representatives could return to negotiations with the opposition in talks he abruptly halted earlier this month.

Maduro said in an interview released Thursday that “good news” could come in the next few days about settlement talks hosted by Norway. He’s under pressure to leave power from opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has backing from the United States and more than 50 other nations.

“Contacts with Venezuelan opposition delegates have resumed,” Maduro said in an interview with the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency. “The next few days will bring good news about the dialogue.”

Maduro ended the talks this month when the Trump administration hit his government with a new round of punishing economic sanctions. The measures froze all Venezuela’s U.S. assets and blocks companies and individuals from doing business with Maduro’s government.

The socialist Maduro said in the interview that his representatives are in contact with the opposition as well as Norwegian officials who have overseen the talks held on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Maduro, who often calls Guaidó a puppet of the U.S. capitalist empire, remains in power with backing from the Venezuelan military and international allies including Cuba, Russia, China and Turkey.

Venezuela’s opposition hasn’t commented, but Guaidó has said that he expected Maduro’s representatives to return to the talks because they have no other options.

The possibility of resumed dialogue comes amid a historic economic and political crisis in Venezuela that has driven more than 4 million people to flee the country in recent years.

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