Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP upends Venezuelan politics with scoop on secret US-socialist talks

Joshua Goodman for acting on a source’s tip to reveal the existence of a secret
backchannel that the U.S. had opened up with socialist party boss
Diosdado Cabello. The news was a shocking development in Venezuela’s
grinding crisis and was bound to cause heartburn in Washington and
Caracas because of Cabello’s alleged ties to drug trafficking — and
allegations he ordered a hit on U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Goodman took
the off-the-record tip to senior Trump administration officials, who
agreed to talk out of concern that the explosive scoop would make them
look desperate.

The story dominated the week’s news cycle in
Venezuela, and in a first for the AP’s aggressive coverage of the
ongoing Venezuelan crisis, President Donald Trump confirmed the meetings
from the White House, as did National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said that he had authorized the
contacts – even though the U.S. said Cabello and others were negotiating
behind his back. The story received top billing in the Miami Herald and
other news organizations scrambled to match the AP story.

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