NEWYORK TIMES — A top American diplomat said the United States would not prosecute or otherwise seek to punish President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela if he voluntarily left power, despite bringing his country to the verge of economic collapse and humanitarian disaster.
Elliott Abrams, the State Department’s special envoy for Venezuela, said he had seen no indication that Mr. Maduro was willing to step down. But his offer of amnesty was a message to Mr. Maduro after both countries’ leaders described high-level talks that Mr. Abrams unequivocally said did not happen.
“This is not a persecution,” Mr. Abrams said of Mr. Maduro on Tuesday evening in an interview. “We’re not after him. We want him to have a dignified exit and go.”
He added: “We don’t want to prosecute you; we don’t want to persecute you. We want you to leave power.”