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US officials return to Venezuela amid gas price hike

Nicolas Maduro
Posted at 8:02 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 20:02:27-04

Senior Biden administration officials have quietly traveled to Caracas in the latest bid to rebuild relations with the South American oil giant as the war in Ukraine drags on, driving higher gas prices and forcing the U.S. to re-calibrate other foreign policy objectives.

The delegation that arrived on Monday in Caracas includes Ambassador James Story, who heads the U.S. government's Venezuelan Affairs Unit out of neighboring Colombia, said a State Department spokesperson on the condition of anonymity so as not to interfere with diplomatic discussions. It also includes Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy on hostage affairs.

It’s unclear what else the U.S. officials are seeking to accomplish during the mission.

But, as the Associated Press reported, it follows a surprise visit in March by the two men and Juan Gonzalez, the National Security Council director for the Western Hemisphere, that was the first White House trip to the county in more than two decades.