Boris Johnson Visited Venezuela Last Month

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FORMER UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson undertook a private trip to Venezuela last month meeting with President Nicolás Maduro.

The talks, unofficial and unrelated to the UK government, according to Johnson’s spokesperson.

The visit, initially reported by The Sunday Times, disclosed that Johnson flew to Venezuela via private jet while on holiday in the Caribbean.

The details regarding the initiation and funding of the visit remain unclear.

Nicolás Maduro has been in power since 2013, facing significant protests. His re-election in 2018, widely criticised for lacking fairness, sparked further international scrutiny. The UK maintains an embassy in Venezuela without an ambassador. Colin Dick serves as charge d’affaires.

Johnson’s spokesperson asserted that the former prime minister consistently stressed the need for Venezuela to embrace democracy.

Johnson informed Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron of his travels while on the way. The former prime minister’s office declined to disclose who financed the private jet, saying that neither the UK taxpayer nor the Venezuelan government bore the cost.

Unusual for a former head of government not holding an official role, Johnson’s visit took place amid heightened diplomatic tensions between the UK and Venezuela. The South American nation faces international pressure to conduct fair elections, release detained activists, and ease tensions with Guyana.

Last year, Venezuela claimed sovereignty over the Essequibo region, leading to increased tensions with Guyana. The UK’s deployment of a warship to support Guyana was deemed “hostile provocation” by President Maduro.

Venezuela plans to hold presidential elections on July 28, with international calls for the restoration of democracy. However, challenges persist, including the opposition leader’s continued ban and the reimposition of some US economic sanctions.

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