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Blinken Calls Venezuela Move to Leave Mexico Talks ‘Unfortunate’

  • Negotiations were between Maduro government and opposition
  • Venezuela walks out after a Maduro ally is extradited to U.S.
Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken

Photographer: Johis Alarcon/Bloomberg

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Venezuela’s decision to withdraw from talks with the political opposition “deeply unfortunate,” saying the move showed how President Nicolas Maduro put his own interests ahead of his country’s.

Speaking at a news conference in Quito, Ecuador, Blinken said the extradition of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, an ally of Maduro’s, had been “going on for the better part of a decade.” He denied any link between the move and the U.S. push for Maduro to clear the way for democratic elections in Venezuela.