‘Various contacts’ made, says embattled president, amid reports he is negotiating a way to stand down

Nicolás Maduro has confirmed top Venezuelan officials have been talking to members of Donald Trump’s White House, after reports his second-in-command had been negotiating his downfall with the United States.

“I confirm that for months there have been contacts between senior officials from Donald Trump’s government and from the Bolivarian government over which I preside – with my express and direct permission,” Venezuela’s authoritarian leader said in a televised address on Tuesday night.

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