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By Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Venezuela have embarked on their most extensive dialogue in years in an attempt to improve their acrimonious relations, according to a senior U.S. administration official. The quiet diplomacy, the extent of which has not been previously reported, is a sign that U.S. detente with Communist Cuba may be helping to reshape another troubled Latin American relationship. The effort by Latin America's most ardently anti-Washington government and major U.S. oil supplier to improve relations comes as President Nicolas Maduro struggles with a decaying state-led economy that has been left more isolated by close ally Cuba's warming U.S. ties.
The United States and Cuba on Wednesday agreed a historic deal to re-establish full diplomatic relations, severed 54 years ago in the angry heat of the Cold War. Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro exchanged letters agreeing to unfreeze ties on July 20, when embassies in Washington and Havana can be reopened.