CARACAS, Venezuela - Three months back, before he won the recent election that gave him superior political powers, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lashed out at Donald Trump, who called him a ‘dictator.’
Maduro has now extended a friendly hand towards Trump, months after he told the new American President to get his “dirty hands out of” Venezuela.
On Friday, the Venezuelan leader said he wants to meet with Trump and improve relations with the United States - after his government previously attacked the “genocidal nature” of American leaders.
The beleaguered president made the shocking comments while addressing the 545 members of the new, all-powerful constitutional assembly.
The Trump administration has previously called Maduro a “dictator,” and has accused his government of violating human rights and undermining the country's democracy amid an escalating political and financial crisis.
Maduro, however, said on Friday, “Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand.”
He added that he wished to have as strong relations with the U.S. as well as with Russia.
The change in tone hit headlines as Maduro had publicly accused Trump of interference and said three months ago, “Enough meddling ... Go home, Donald Trump. Get out of Venezuela. Get your dirty hands out of here.”
The Venezuelan government has also alleged that the U.S. was attempting to destabilise Venezuela and accused the Trump administration of crimes “against humanity and its own people.”
A government statement said, “The extreme positions of a government just starting off only confirmed the discriminatory, racist, xenophobic, and genocidal nature of U.S. elites against humanity and its own people, which has now been heightened by this new administration which asserts white Anglo-Saxon supremacy.”
Moments before he extended a friendly hand towards Trump, Maduro had forcefully warned the U.S. president that Venezuela “will never give in.”
Maduro’s comments also come a day after Credit Suisse bank banned the trading and use of Venezuelan bonds, citing “recent developments and the political climate” in the country.
A company spokeswoman said that the bank said that it will no longer trade, nor accept as collateral, two specific types of Venezuelan securities as well as any bonds the country issued from June 1 going forward.
Venezuela currently faces mounting international criticism over its crackdown on opponents and moves to consolidate power, even as the country suffers a severe economic downturn caused by low oil prices and poor government policies.