Enter the prince of shady black ops for the highest bidder, per Bloomberg:
“Erik Prince, a private security mogul with ties to the Trump administration, held secret talks in Caracas last month with Venezuela’s vice president after briefing at least one senior U.S. official on his plans, according to people familiar with the situation.”
He met with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, Maduro’s outspoken number two, and who happens to be a sanctioned individual.
It appears a weird Trump admin “back-channel” situation of sorts, perhaps realizing the campaign to foist Juan Guaido on the population has failed.
Prince apparently pushed for the release of six imprisoned Citgo executives, which appears to have happened, according to the report (or at least they were put on “house arrest”).
Bloomberg speculates, “For the Maduro regime, holding talks with an arch-enemy like Prince makes sense because they could present an opportunity for a deal that would alleviate the financial pressure the oil-producing country is under. While Maduro has successfully managed to stave off Guaido’s bid to take control of the government, top officials have been hamstrung by crippling U.S. economic sanctions.”
As I detailed a while back for a UK media outlet, former Blackwater executives continue to be found all over the Trump administration, even if in an unofficial capacity, so it make sense that these would be the very ones doing the White House’s shady back dealings and “dirty work” even while official policy remains regime change.
The logic probably goes: if our efforts at supporting a couple recent military coup attempts failed so miserably, then why not pursue soft entrances with some possible “concessions” to get that oil flowing our way again? (Remember that Citgo is the US arm of Venezuela state oil, based in Houston and majority-owned by PDVSA).