18:04 GMT15 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The founder of the Blackwater security company Erik Prince did not transport any official US government messages during his recent trip to Venezuela, US Special Representative Elliot Abrams told reporters on Friday.

    "He carried no message from the United States government,"  Abrams said during a press briefing. "He was not going on our behalf."

    Abrams said he was unaware of whether Prince briefed somebody in the US government about his trip.

    "I have yet to find a US official who would say he was briefed by Mr. prince on his trip," he added.

    Prince recently held a private meeting with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Caracas to discuss security matters, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

    Venezuela has been suffering from a severe political crisis since late January when US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the country's interim leader in a bid to oust President Nicolas Maduro from power. Maduro has accused Guaido of being a US puppet, working with Washington to orchestrate a coup so that the United States can control Venezuela’s natural resources.

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