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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro before casting his ballot in his party's primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, June 28, 2015 (AP photo by Ariana Cubillos).

Back-and-Forth Thaw With Venezuela Signals U.S. Return to Diplomacy

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015

On July 3, shortly before Venezuela’s Independence Day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sent a positive message to the Venezuelan people heralding improved relations and looking forward to “further cooperation between our people and governments.” But just a month later, the State Department released a statement criticizing the government’s disqualification of several opposition candidates from scheduled parliamentary elections, suggesting the moves “clearly have the intention of complicating the ability of the opposition to run candidates for the legislative elections.”

In reaction, on Aug. 5, President Nicolas Maduro’s government vigorously rejected the American criticism, calling it interventionist. Yet three days later the Maduro government reiterated its desire to return an ambassador to Washington and improve bilateral relations. ...

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