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InicioInternacionalBoris Johnson ‘held unofficial talks with president of Venezuela in February’

Boris Johnson ‘held unofficial talks with president of Venezuela in February’

Boris Johnson flew to Venezuela in February for unofficial talks with its autocratic leader, Nicolás Maduro, according to reports.

The former prime minister spoke to the Venezuelan president about the war in Ukraine, amid concerns that the socialist republic could supply weapons or military support to Russia, according to the Sunday Times.

He also discussed the conditions for normalising relations with the UK, which does not accept the legitimacy of Maduro’s administration. Maduro has been in power for 11 years.

Johnson’s office told the Sunday Times that the foreign secretary, David Cameron, was aware of the visit and that Johnson also spoke to Colin Dick, the most senior British diplomat in the country.

A Foreign Office source said Johnson notified Lord Cameron of the summit en route, saying: “It was a private visit but Boris texted the foreign secretary on the way.”

As it was not an official discussion, permission was neither required nor sought.

The talks are unorthodox given the state of bilateral relations and wider uncertainty about western relations with Venezuela, which will hold presidential elections on 28 July.

The South American country has the world’s largest oil reserves. It has been a supporter of President Putin and blamed the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Nato.

Johnson, 59, is understood to have boarded a private jet in February from a family holiday in the Dominican Republic to a location outside Caracas, where he spent less than 24 hours.

His spokesperson said: “Boris Johnson met Venezuelan government officials with active support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the knowledge of the foreign secretary, in order to emphasise the need for Venezuela to embrace a proper democratic process.

“He repeatedly made clear there can be no hope of normalisation in relations until Venezuela fully embraces democracy and respects the territorial integrity of its neighbours. He also set out the case for the cause of Ukrainian victory to the government of Venezuela.”

Fuente: The Guardian

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