Blinken discussed Lula’s visit to the White House in Venezuela with top Brazilian diplomats

They also spoke about Venezuela, ministry sources told Reuters.

They said the new Brazilian government could build a bridge to Caracas because of Lula’s rapport with Venezuelan leaders at a time when the Biden administration is easing some sanctions against Venezuela.

Blinken invited Vieira for a 40-minute talk that covered environmental and trade cooperation.

“We look forward to continuing the strong partnership between the United States and Brazil on trade, security, sustainable development, innovation and inclusion,” Blinken said on Twitter on Sunday, congratulating Lula on his victory.

“A bright future for our countries — and the world,” he wrote in his message.

Both governments are working on a suitable date for Lula to visit Washington, but no date has yet been agreed upon.

According to a source, the trip could take place in February.

Lula, who defeated his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro in an October election, will make his first foreign trip to neighboring Argentina from January 23-25, the traditional first visit of new Brazilian presidents. Another trip to Portugal is planned for April.

President Nicolás Maduro’s relationship with the Venezuelan government was discussed with Lula before his inauguration on Sunday.

In early December, US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan and President Joe Biden’s adviser for Latin America, Juan Gonzalez, visited Lula, and Venezuela was on the agenda.

Sullivan told Lula that an election should be held in Venezuela so that Washington might consider it “fair” to recognize the winner, said Brazil’s former foreign minister Celso Amorim, who attended the meeting.

Washington last month allowed US oil giant Chevron to expand operations in Venezuela and bring Venezuelan crude to the US as part of renewed political dialogue.

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Bolsonaro, who flew from Brazil to Florida 48 hours before Lula’s inauguration, cut diplomatic ties with Maduro, expelled his ambassador to Brasilia, and instead endorsed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Lula mended ties and invited Maduro to the inauguration, but the Venezuelan president did not attend.

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