TheThe United States does not intend to "punish" Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro if he agrees to step down, an American envoy said on Thursday, hinting that there would be no US prosecution.
"We are not trying to pursue it," Elliott Abrams, Special Representative of US Diplomacy for Venezuela, told reporters in Washington.
"We are not seeking punishment or revenge, we want political change," he insisted. US justice routinely prosecutes former senior foreign officials in cases of corruption or human rights violations.
An unprecedented economic crisis
The United States accuses Nicolas Maduro of the unprecedented economic crisis facing his country, and no longer recognizes its legitimacy after denouncing irregularities in recent elections.
Since the beginning of the year, Washington has recognized opponent Juan Guaido as interim president, and is increasing efforts, under diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions, to push Nicolas Maduro to the exit.
"I must admit that I have not yet seen any sign of the willingness to negotiate such a compromise" for the departure of the socialist leader, "which is of course unfortunate because it is the only solution for Venezuela," Elliott Abrams said.