Nicolas Maduro’s future will be weighed up today by two key players as Vladimir Putin and Mike Pompeo meet in Russia to discuss Venezuela’s fate.
Mr Pompeo, on his first visit to Russia as secretary of state, travels to Sochi armed with the knowledge Mr Putin is not committed to propping up Mr Maduro.
“Vladimir Putin detests Nicolas Maduro,” one Venezuelan source with decades of dealings with Russia told The Telegraph.
“It’s just a question of how to get out of this mess.”
Until recently Russia was thought to have seen Venezuela as a prized geopolitical gem, rich in resources and located at a valuable crossroads, and worth fighting for.
But Mr Putin is believed to have told President Donald Trump during their hour-long phone call on May 3 that he disliked Mr Maduro, and was prepared to negotiate for his departure.
“The primary focus throughout the call was about helping the people of Venezuela,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary.