The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro two days after the embattled socialist leader kicked out the top U.S. diplomat in the country.
There was no immediate comment from Republican Sen. Bob Corker's office about the nature of the surprise visit.
Maduro was re-elected Sunday to a second term in a vote condemned by the U.S. as rigged. In the wake of his victory, he threw out American charge d'affaires Todd Robinson for allegedly conspiring to sabotage the vote.
Accompanying Corker in Caracas was his aide Caleb McCarry, who was behind backchannel talks earlier this year aimed at securing the release of imprisoned American Joshua Holt. Holt has been held for two years without a trial on what he considers trumped-up charges.