US & Venezuela Agree to Work for More “Constructive” Relations

US Secretary John Kerry at the OAS Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala.  Photo: OAS
US Secretary John Kerry at the OAS Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala. Photo: OAS

HAVANA TIMES — Following a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Elias Jaua, US Secretary of State John  Kerry announced this week that the United States and Venezuela have agreed to take steps towards establishing a “constructive” relationship between the two countries that will “soon” allow for the normalization of diplomatic relations, DPA reported.

Kerry and Jaua held a 40-minute meeting in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, where the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) was underway from June 4-6.

During the gathering, the United States thanked Venezuela for the release of US documentary filmmaker Timothy Tracy, recently accused of espionage. According to Venezuela’s Minister of the Interior Miguel Rodriguez Torres, Tracy was “expelled” from the country.

At a press conference held in Antigua, Kerry declared that the fact Tracy “has been released” and is back in the United States “is a very positive development.”

“I want to thank the Foreign Minister and I want to thank President Maduro for taking the step to meet here on the sidelines of this conference,” Kerry said.

The head of the US diplomatic delegation also applauded the fact that, on April 23, Calixto Ortega was appointed Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Washington.

In Washington, Kerry’s spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said that the release of Tracy was possible thanks to the “fine work of Ortega” and the US Embassy in Caracas.

Relations between Caracas and Washington have been at the charge d’affaires level since 2010, when the late President Hugo Chavez refused to recognize Larry Palmer as US Ambassador to Venezuela.

“We agreed today, both of us, Venezuela and the United States, that we would like to see our countries find a new way forward, establish a more constructive and positive relationship, and find the ways to do that,” Kerry stated.

According to Kerry, “there will be an ongoing, continuing dialogue at a high level between the State Department and the Foreign Ministry, that we will try to set out an agenda by which we agree on things we can work on together.”

“We are now off and into the process of laying out the specific agenda and the specific steps that would be taken from this day forward,” he stated.


17 thoughts on “US & Venezuela Agree to Work for More “Constructive” Relations

  • June 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm
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    Earlier you said if Venezuela cut off oil shipments to the US, it would “bring a full on depression”. Now you have backtracked to saying it “would have an effect”. Okaaaaaay, I agree with you, the US would likely notice if Cubazuela stop selling us their oil. Let’s hope the little bird that talks to Maduro never tells him to cut us off.

  • June 13, 2013 at 7:04 am
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    Talking about figures, why not go to the US Energy Dept for some that are a little better but then we all know the books are cooked anyway.

    The US gets oil from 80 countries,rankings Canada, Saudis, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia. Canada and Mexico are mere appendages of the US like Colombia and Israel and should be considered states of the USA.

    According to the Energy Dept. the US imports 10 million barrels a day net import/export is 7 million a day and the Saudis are just ahead of Venezuela a few % points meaning by very little.

    Venezuela cutting off the oil would have an effect no matter what you say or the numbers game you are playing because the Saudis oil is 2 weeks away and they can’t ship it because of a tanker problem. If you can’t ship its not their.

  • June 12, 2013 at 11:46 am
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    Cort, my friend, get your facts straight. According to Wikipedia, the US consumes 19,150,000 barrels of oil per day.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

    Do the math, if Venezuela is shipping less than a million barrels a day to the US, the percentage of Venezuelan oil consumed by the US is barely 5%. If the Saudis needed to lease more oil tankers to sell more oil to the US, they would do it. Don’t be naïve. If the difference in the first deliveries of oil between Saudi oil and Veneuelan oil is 10 days (by your estimate 2 weeks versus 4 days), the US has more than 5 years of oil reserves to easily ‘tide us over’ in the switch to more Saudi oil. Another no-brainer. OK, Miami AND New York for private Venezuelan capital. By comparison, how many Americans have their wealth banked in Caracas? Which side cares the most about improving relations?

  • June 12, 2013 at 7:12 am
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    So 30% is not a significant amount of the US market and if you look at the graphs it was 1 million barrels or more for a long time till near the 3rd quarter of last year. Cut off the oil, those goes the economy, the Saudis can not ship if they don’t own the tankers and its 2 weeks away.

    I never said it was weighed towards Venezuela, I said they have more power than they realize over the US economy and now I see your hedging of the capital of Venezuelans.

    I have also lived a few times in the Miami area and yes a lot of the private capital is in Miami, Doral, Homestead and Broward but that does not mean anything comapred to the other banks worldwide, even in NY.

  • June 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm
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    Hold on Cort, you said “about a million barrels a day” in your earlier comment and now you post a link
    that says 601,000 barrels per day? Is this the skillet calling the kettle black? The difference may be due to the fact that my numbers are based on only refined
    deliveries and yours includes refined products as well as crude. Okay, let’s agree that it’s less than a million and more than 100,000. My point is that whatever the amount, it is not a significant amount for the US market. The US is slowly but surely becoming less dependent on foreign oil in general and especially Venezuelan oil. You asserted that the US-Venezuelan relationship was weighted towards Venezuela. That is simply not true. Venezuela needs the US as a customer, but the US could easily replace Venezuela as a seller. I stand by my claim regarding Venezuelan capital. I should have been more specific and said “private capital”. While Venezuelan government bonds are indeed held largely by Chinese banks (paid by the delivery of subsidized oil), the largest amount of PRIVATE capital owned by Venezuelan private citizens and held outside of Venezuelan is deposited in Miami banks or invested in Miami real estate or funding Miami-based businesses.

  • June 11, 2013 at 7:22 am
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    Gustavo Coronel is no expert but a hack for the opposition and if you read even US Energy Information Administration, it certainly not at that level and US imports from OPEC and Mexico are also down.

    Also just to comment on your Miami money being the second largest outside of Caracas, maybe you should consider the many others countries banks such as China. If I were you I would click on the url to see the graphs from the US government on US imports from Venezuela over the last decade.

    One wonders how you can be so wrong on most everything, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

    http://settysoutham.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/us-venezuela-fuel-trade-plummets/

    APRIL 30, 2013 · 2:26 AM

    US-Venezuela fuel trade plummets

    Both ways, this month.

    US purchases of oil and refined products from Venezuela fall to 601,000 barrels a day in February. Other than a couple months of oil strike 10 years ago, the February purchases were the lowest by the US since February 1986, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

    Please examine closely to determine trend

    Shipments of southbound fuel also slowed dramatically, with conventional gasoline shipments from the US to Venezuela falling to 7,000 barrels a day from 113,000. That’s a 94 percent decline. That, plus the recovery of MTBE shipments (from 0 in January to 22,000 barrels a day in February) indicate Venezuela’s refineries are getting back on line.

  • June 10, 2013 at 11:43 am
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    Cort, check your facts. “The U.S. government figures also show a sharp drop in the amounts of refined oil products arriving from Venezuela, from 288,000 barrels a day in 2005 to 79,000 barrels a day in the first 11 months of 2011. Gustavo Coronel, an energy consultant and former executive of PDVSA, said “the impact of this decline on the U.S. market is small. It is easily compensated by Saudi Arabia, Canada and other suppliers.” Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-oil-exports-us-decline-150038661.html. …But Venezuela’s exports to the United States fell by 5 percent to 5.9% of the US total last year, dropping to the lowest level in two decades. Source: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/150444802/where-does-america-get-oil-you-may-be-surprised

  • June 10, 2013 at 10:06 am
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    Cort, I have been paying attention. Especially to the fact that barely less than 50% of Venezuelan voters rejected Chavismo. Given the many factions that ultimately make up the 51% majority which elected Maduro (including those dead people who voted), your comments seem to support Capriles claim that Maduro truly represents only a small fraction of the coalition that supports him. Does that ‘anger’ you write about stay contained or will internal friction increase. If Maduro is being forced to kiss up to the polar extremes of GPP and US Secretary of State Kerry all on the same weekend, what does that say about his capacity to rule independently?

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