Venezuela official: US in talks to improve frosty relations

Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza speaks during the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in New Yo...

Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza speaks during the United Nations Security Council at the U.N. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in New Yo...

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza says Venezuelan government officials have been meeting with the top U.S. diplomat in Caracas, despite the two nations cutting ties.

Arreaza appeared on state TV Monday holding up photos that he says are evidence.

The two countries broke relations last week after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader, even as embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro holds the reins of power.

Maduro ordered all U.S. Embassy staff out of the country, later backtracking in order to open a dialogue over the issue.

Arreaza says U.S. Charge d'Affaires James Story met with Venezuelan officials four times last week and displayed a photo of Story and a top government official as proof.

The U.S. government didn't immediately confirm whether the meetings occurred.