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US officials return to Venezuela amid gas price hike

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS, Jun 28, 2022 1:28 AM - REPORT AN ERROR

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 recalibrate other foreign policy objectives.

The delegation that arrived 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. The State Department official described Carstens' trip as a welfare visit focused on the safety of several U.S. citizens detained in Caracas, including a group of oil executives from Houston-based Citgo jailed more than four years ago.

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

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