Kerry explores improvement in badly strained US relations with Venezuela

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is gauging prospects for improving badly strained ties between the United States and Venezuela.

Kerry will meet Venezuela's foreign minister on Wednesday on the sidelines of an Organization of American States meeting in Guatemala to explore ways to repair relations. The brief encounter comes at Venezuela's request and is to occur just hours after Venezuela released from prison an American filmmaker who had been jailed on espionage charges, removing at least one irritant in the relationship.

U.S. officials traveling with Kerry said he wanted to look at areas like counternarcotics and counterterrorism where cooperation could be improved. But they stressed that the U.S. was not going to stop expressing concerns about democracy and human rights in the country, particularly after its disputed April election.