Venezuela's cradle of Chavismo picking new gov in vote re-do
Voters in the home state of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez are casting ballots again Sunday in a special gubernatorial election called after the opposition contender in November’s regular contest was retroactively disqualified as he was ahead in the vote countwashingtonpost.com
Opposition candidate wins in Venezuela's cradle of Chavismo
Voters in the home state of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez have picked an opposition candidate for governor in a closely watched special election called after the contender representing that faction in November’s regular contest was retroactively disqualified as he was ahead in the vote count.
US targets graft in Venezuela's flagship food box program
Federal prosecutors have unveiled criminal charges against an alleged corruption ring accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to a top ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to profit from lucrative contracts to import food and medicine at a time of widespread hardship in the South American country.
Maduro ally appears in court to face corruption charges
A businessman who prosecutors say was a major conduit for corruption by Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle has appeared for the first time in Miami federal court after an extradition that has further strained relations between the U.S. and Venezuela’s socialist government.
Venezuelan security forces ‘threaten’ opposition leader Juan Guaido and arrest ally
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says that the county’s security forces threatend to arrest him at his home and took a close ally into custody. Mr Guaido said that security forces had entered his apartment building in Caracas in an attempt to take him into custody, but left without carrying that out. “The harassment and the threats will not stop us,” said Mr Guaido, according to Reuters.news.yahoo.com
US begins to ease Venezuela sanctions allowing propane deals
The U.S. government on Monday began to ease the crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on Venezuela by allowing companies to export propane to the troubled South American country, a step that could mitigate a shortage that has pushed people to cook on charcoal or wood grills. The long-awaited first policy reversal of the Biden administration toward Venezuela comes as the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro has begun to allow foreign aid into the country and taken other steps to signal it is willing to engage with Washington. The regulation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury authorizes non-U.S. companies to export liquefied petroleum gas to Venezuela without risking sanctions.news.yahoo.com
Report: Venezuela security forces continue killings, torture
Venezuelan security forces carried out fewer extra-judicial killings in the 12 months through April, a U.N. report said Monday, but it accuses them of a continued pattern of torture or cruel treatment of individuals as well as enforced disappearances and incommunicado detentions. The report from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to cease the use of excessive force during demonstrations, dismantle pro-government armed civilian groups and ensure effective and independent investigations of all killings by security forces. “Accountability remains key to preventing and remedying human rights violations and strengthening the rule of law,” said the report, which covers June 1, 2020, through April 30.news.yahoo.com
UN food shipments for school children arrive in Venezuela
The food assistance agency of the United Nations announced Thursday that its first shipments of supplies for vulnerable Venezuelan school children have arrived in the troubled South American country. The World Food Program will begin operations in Venezuela by providing children take-home packages that include rice, lentils, salt and vegetable oil. The agency earlier this year reached an agreement with the government of President Nicolas Maduro that allows it to provide school meals, though classrooms are currently closed.news.yahoo.com
Venezuelan tycoon sues US to lift narcotics sanctions
A top Venezuelan businessman close to President Nicolas Maduro's government has sued the U.S. Department of Treasury, alleging he's the victim of a false campaign identifying him as a international narcotics kingpin. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Samark López in Washington federal court said sanctions in 2017 designating him a “drug kingpin” had devastated his wealth, reputation and economic livelihood. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, in 2017 accused López of serving as a “frontman” for his friend and then Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who was sanctioned the same day.news.yahoo.com
Fears over Iranian gunboats 'delivering missiles' to Venezuela
Concern is mounting over two ships from the Iranian Navy thought to be carrying a cargo of missiles and speeding across the Atlantic Ocean toward Venezuela. The ships were mid-ocean on Saturday, after reportedly departing from the port of Bandar Abbas in early May. It marks the first time that the Iranian military has sent vessels to round the Cape of Good Hope and enter the Atlantic. Satellite images show the larger of the two ships, the Makran, a forward supply vessel, carrying small, fast attnews.yahoo.com
CDC: Heart inflammation in young men higher than expected after Pfizer, Moderna vaccines
A higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to data from two vaccine safety monitoring systems, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday.news.yahoo.com
Leftists scored big victory in Chile, but Venezuela’s Maduro is celebrating too soon | Opinion
Chile, Latin America’s most successful economy in recent decades, made a sharp turn to the left in the May 16 elections for members of an assembly that will draft a new Constitution. Independent leftists and the Communist Party were among the largest minorities elected to the 155-seat body and will have a veto power in drafting the country’s new charter.news.yahoo.com
US weighs policy on Venezuela as Maduro signals flexibility
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is intensifying efforts to court the Biden administration as the new U.S. president weighs whether to risk a political backlash in Florida and ease up on sanctions seeking to isolate the socialist leader.
US lets Venezuelans stay temporarily, will review sanctions
AdA senior Biden administration official portrayed that as a failed strategy. “The United States is in no rush to lift sanctions," the official said, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the policy. Any easing of sanctions would likely face opposition in Congress, but the granting of temporary protected status for Venezuelans has bipartisan support. Temporary protected status is a more formal status that cannot be as easily reversed. Citizens of 10 countries, totaling about 400,000 people, are in the United States now with temporary protected status.
Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million
(AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)MIAMI – Newly filed lobbying records show Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same time it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation. Federal prosecutors in Miami are also investigating whether the Republican broke foreign lobbying rules. Payments came from a little-known, Delaware-registered subsidiary, PDV USA, which provided shareholder services to PDVSA independent of Citgo's oil operations. “Wiss was engaged to provide PDV USA and its affiliates with legal services only,” she wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. PDV USA said Wiss provided updates on disputes involving PDVSA and advice on immigration, insurance, and cryptocurrency.
Maduro's 'miracle' treatment for COVID-19 draws skeptics
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. “Ten drops under the tongue every four hours and the miracle is done,” Maduro said in a televised appearance on Sunday. Other leaders too have embraced solutions dismissed by scientific studies. Maduro said the treatment, which he called carvativir, has been under testing for nine months among Venezuelans ill with the coronavirus. She said colleagues at a local health center and some neighbors have died from COVID-19.
Trump blocks Venezuelans' deportation in last political gift
Trump signed an executive order deferring for 18 months the removal of more than 145,000 Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their crisis-wracked homeland. He cited the “deteriorative condition” within Venezuela that constitutes a national security threat as the basis for his decision. The Trump administration was the first of now more than 50 countries in the world to recognize Guaidó as Venezuela’s president shortly after the young lawmaker rose up to challenge Maduro’s rule two years ago. More than 700 Venezuelans have been removed from the U.S. since 2018, while 11,000 more are under deportation proceedings, according to the TRAC immigration data base of Syracuse University. All are accused of helping the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA evade earlier U.S. sanctions designed to stop the president from profiting from crude sales.
Trump hits Cuba with new terrorism sanctions in waning days
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Monday re-designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” hitting the country with new sanctions that could hamstring President-elect Joe Biden's promise to renew relations with the communist-governed island. The designation, which had been discussed for years, is one of several last-minute foreign policy moves that the Trump administration is making before Biden takes office Jan. 20. Since Trump took office, after a campaign that attacked Obama's moves to normalize relations with Cuba, ties have been increasingly strained. The latest sanctions put Cuba alongside North Korea, Syria and Iran as the only foreign nations deemed state sponsors of terrorism. Obama’s removal of Cuba from the “state sponsors of terrorism” list had been a major target of Trump, Pompeo and other Cuba hawks in the current administration.
Pompeo to designate Yemen's Houthi rebels as terrorist group
(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP, File)WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that he will designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a “foreign terrorist organization” as time runs down on the Trump administration. In addition to the Houthi designation, Pompeo in coming days is also expected to likely re-designate Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism," according to several admininstration officials. On Saturday Pompeo angered China when he declared restrictions on U.S. diplomatic contacts with Taiwanese officials to be null and void. The administration had been weighing the formal designation of the Houthi rebels as a “foreign terrorist organization” for months. On Saturday, Pompeo announced that he was rescinding all restrictions on contacts between U.S. diplomats and Taiwanese officials.
Yemen, China, Cuba top Pompeo to-do list as time runs down
The announcement comes as Pompeo and his top aides rush to complete actions they believe will cement their legacy and the president’s. In addition to the Houthi designation, Pompeo in coming days is also expected to likely re-designate Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism," according to several admininstration officials. On Saturday Pompeo angered China when he declared restrictions on U.S. diplomatic contacts with Taiwanese officials to be null and void. “The United States recognizes concerns that these designations will have an impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen,” Pompeo said in his statement. On Saturday, Pompeo announced that he was rescinding all restrictions on contacts between U.S. diplomats and Taiwanese officials.
Venezuela's socialists take control of once-defiant congress
The ruling socialist party assumed the leadership of Venezuela's congress on Tuesday, the last institution in the country it didn't already control. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)CARACAS – Parading giant portraits of Hugo Chavez and independence hero Simon Bolivar, allies of President Nicolas Maduro retook control of Venezuela's congress Tuesday, the last institution in the country it didn’t already control. “They are trying to annihilate Venezuela’s democratic force,” Guaidó said in his online address, which was overshadowed by the government’s celebratory session in the legislature downtown. Rodriguez emphasized that urgent work would be needed to mitigate the fallout from U.S. sanctions, which have exacerbated Venezuela's many homespun economic problems. He also reiterated a desire for dialogue with the opposition at the same time that Maduro and others have threatened arrest for Guaidó.
Company targeted by vote fraud claims strikes back at Trump
MIAMI – The head of an electronic voting company being targeted by allies of President Donald Trump said baseless claims that it helped flip the 2020 election for Joe Biden threatens to undermine Americans’ faith in democracy. The company is being represented by Erik Connolly, a Chicago-based lawyer behind some of the biggest defamation cases of late. That’s why they are so effective.”Smartmatic’s initial success is partly attributable to major contracts from Chavez’s government, an early devotee of electronic voting. The claims by Trump allies of meddling by Smartmatic rely in part on sworn testimony from an unnamed witness matching the description of a former Chavez bodyguard. In the 2020 U.S. election, Smartmatic technology was used in a single district — Los Angeles County, California.
Maduro opponents claim big turnout in Venezuelan protest
That includes the 5 million Venezuelans who have fled the nation’s hyperinflation and lack of basic services such as reliable running water, electricity and gasoline, they said. The Trump administration took the lead, imposing sanctions on Maduro, dozens of his political allies and the state-run oil firm PDVSA. On Jan. 5, the term of the current opposition-dominated National Assembly ends and Maduro’s political allies take over the last governmental body not controlled by the president’s socialist party. Guaidó and his political allies vow to continue fighting. Democracy must return to Venezuela.”Support among Venezuelans for the opposition has waned amid growing frustrations over Maduro remaining in power.
Venezuela's Guaidó: Time to revise international sanctions
“We must review these mechanisms at the international level to exert pressure on this dictatorship and find a solution,” Guaidó said. Maduro said taking the National Assembly back will help him end opposition-led violence in Venezuela’s streets fomented by Guaidó as well deflect crushing international sanctions. “One thing I can guarantee is that I’m staying in Caracas,” Guaidó said. Guaidó declined to say whether he's made contact with Biden's incoming administration, but he said there's a need to revise U.S. financial sanctions and support from world leaders. But Guaidó said it is time to revisit the sanctions, which have not forced out Maduro.
Legislative election leaves Venezuela in political standoff
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)CARACAS – President Nicolás Maduro has cemented formal control over all major institutions of power in Venezuela with authorities reporting Monday that his political alliance easily won a majority in congress. Yet he remains a pariah to much of the world following an election critics called deeply undemocratic. “The results of the election show a discouraged, tired people, the vast majority doing everything possible to survive,” Shifter said. The U.S., Panama, Canada and Germany have repeated their condemnation of the the election by Maduro's government following announcement of the results. "The international community now has to decide whether it wants to live with that or restore the democratic path for Venezuela.
Venezuela vote likely to give Congress to Maduro's party
The vote, championed by President Nicolas Maduro, is rejected as fraud by the nation's most influential opposition politicians. Critics say he's guaranteed that by rigging the system to smother the last remnants of democracy in Venezuela. The European Union, the U.S. and several other nations have already declared the vote a sham. “I came to vote, and in less than half a second I have voted, quickly,” Caracas resident Rafael Espinoza said. “I don’t feel like wasting my time, giving these people the opportunity, so I simply don’t vote,” she said.
Venezuela's Maduro seeks to tighten his grip via election
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks to supporters during a closing campaign rally for the upcoming National Assembly elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Venezuelans will vote for a new National Assembly this Sunday, Dec 6. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, 37, rose to head the National Assembly in early 2019, declaring presidential powers and vowing to oust the 58-year-old Maduro. Abrams said he also expects broad international support for Venezuela's opposition to remain firm, even as Maduro's government tries to push them out of Venezuela's political landscape. "We’re getting instead an election that doesn’t deserve to be called an election."
World leaders hope for fresh start after Biden win
Other leaders who supported Trump, including President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, congratulated Biden, indicating they rejected Trump’s claim the election wasn’t over. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia told reporters he looked forward to a “great partnership” with Washington. Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan said he looked forward to working together to end illegal tax havens and on peacemaking in Afghanistan. Others expressed hope Biden will help to heal divisions in American society and global politics. Prime Minister Janez Jansa was the only leader who congratulated Trump even before all votes were counted and showed support after Biden’s win was announced.
US case against Venezuela's oil minister hits another snag
FILE - In this May 19, 2018 file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, right, and then Vice President Tareck El Aissami tour the construction site of La Rinconada baseball stadium on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela. The prosecution of El Aissami, Venezuelas Oil Minister, for violating U.S. sanctions has run into another snag after a federal judge on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, allowed one of his co-defendants to withdraw a guilty plea over allegations U.S. attorneys withheld evidence in the case. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)The prosecution of Venezuela’s Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami for violating U.S. sanctions has run into another snag after a federal judge allowed one of his co-defendants to withdraw a guilty plea over allegations that U.S. attorneys withheld evidence in the case. Like Mones, Marin owns a flight charter company that allegedly arranged flights for El Aissami and Lopez. The same unit is prosecuting El Aissami, who has celebrated the prosecutorial setbacks.
Venezuelan president: Key oil refinery attacked; 2 detained
Maduro tasked El Aissami, who later became Venezuela's Oil Minister, with restructuring their nation's oil giant PDVSA in February 2020. The president also said two foreigners tied to extremist groups were detained a day prior to the incident with plans to kill Venezuelan leaders. Maduro did not identify the them, give their nationality or explain whether they had ties to the refinery attack. Venezuela was once a wealthy oil nation, but its broken refineries fail to produce enough fuel for drivers to fuel up their cars. “It seems like a very good idea to buy missiles from Iran,” Maduro said.
Experts cite 'crimes against humanity' in Maduro's Venezuela
The experts delved into nearly 3,000 cases, looked at more than 5,000 killings and concluded that Maduro and his defense and interior ministers were aware of the crimes committed by Venezuelan security forces and intelligence agencies. They further alleged that high-level authorities had both power and oversight over the forces and agencies, making the top officials responsible. Critics have already accused Maduro’s government of crimes against humanity. Maduro’s government has come under increasing political pressure from the United States and dozens of other countries which consider politician Juan Guaidó the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Venezuela was once wealthy, sitting atop the world’s largest oil reserves, but it has tumbled into economic and political crisis.
Washington says pardons by Venezuela's Maduro are token acts
FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. Restoring constitutional rights that were illegally taken away should not be applauded," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. Maduro in a Tuesday address on state TV accused President Donald Trump of leading a campaign to topple and even kill him. Maduro defended his pardons, saying he assumed full responsibility for the decision done in the spirit of peace and dialogue. The State Department described the pardons as token actions" and said conditions required for free and fair elections are clear.
Gold in London bank sparks battle between Venezuelan rivals
FILE - In this March 12, 2020 file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela. The political battle over control of Venezuela has turned to a $1 .8 billion stack of gold bars sitting in the Bank of England's vault in London, where a judge is expected to decide soon on who has the rightful claim to the bullion. Maduro says he needs the gold to help his cash-starved nation fight the coronavirus pandemic. But the central bank for the United Kingdom, whose government recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as his country's legitimate leader, has refused to hand it over to Maduro's socialist administration. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)
US veteran behind failed Venezuela plot says two American mercenaries detained
A U.S. military veteran who has claimed responsibility for a failed armed incursion into Venezuela to oust President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that two U.S. citizens working with him have been detained by Venezuelan authorities. Venezuelan authorities said 10 people involved in a "mercenary incursion" were detained on Monday along the Caribbean coast, saying the 10 were part of the U.S.-backed plot. Venezuelan state television said two U.S. citizens were among those detained but did not provide their identities. But the American military veteran, Jordan Goudreau, who leads a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA, on Monday told Reuters that two Americans working with him, Aaron Berry and Luke Denman, had been captured. Washington has imposed tough economic sanctions against Venezuela in an effort to oust Maduro, whom it accuses of having rigged elections in 2018.cnbc.com
Iran, Venezuela and other U.S. foes fight coronavirus amid American sanctions
Now as virtually every country in the world grapples with the health crisis, the American pressure campaign against its foes is drawing attention. The Trump administration last week tightened its sanctions, adding more Venezuelan officials to its blacklist, which bars them from doing business with U.S. citizens and companies. Iran, similarly, has lashed out at Washington, blaming sanctions for tying its hands in fighting the disease. AdvertisementThe Trump administration has refused, noting that U.S. sanctions do not apply to medicines or most other humanitarian aid. Gen. William Barr said the move during a health crisis was well-timed because it might persuade Venezuelans to finally rise up against their leaders.latimes.com
News Analysis: The new U.S. hope for replacing the president of Venezuela: Coronavirus
If there were anything that could force the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro and his opposition to work together, it might have been the coronavirus. But this past week, the United States torpedoed that possibility by indicting Maduro and 14 of his top associates on drug-trafficking and related charges. The U.S. indictments come as coronavirus panic is growing in Venezuela. Theres a clear message to the opposition, Shifter, who is in contact with Venezuelan opposition figures, said. The United States is not comfortable with a possible truce.latimes.com
U.S. indicts Venezuelan President Maduro on drug trafficking charges
The Trump administration announced sweeping indictments Thursday of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and some of his associates on federal drug-trafficking and related charges, in a major escalation of the U.S.-led campaign to topple Maduro and his socialist government. Maduro and his allies pocketed profits, and the rebels received weapons, prosecutors allege all while Venezuela descended into poverty and social collapse. It has betrayed the Venezuelan people and corrupted Venezuelan institutions. While the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and proceeds of the corruption. This has to come to an end.The indictment naming Maduro means he would be subject to arrest if he leaves Venezuela.latimes.com
Venezuela expands quarantine as number of coronavirus cases climbs to 33
CARACAS/MARACAIBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela will implement a nationwide quarantine after detecting 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro said, adding that the total number of cases in the South American country had risen to 33. In a state television address on Monday evening, Maduro said that the quarantine had been successful so far, but that more drastic measures were necessary. BANKS CLOSE, OIL PRICES FALLAuthorities on Monday set up military checkpoints on the main roads entering Caracas and were turning away some drivers, according to Reuters witnesses. Maduro said that at current oil prices, the value of a barrel of Venezuelan oil was below the cost of production. We need to guarantee the functioning of the economy during the quarantine, Maduro said.feeds.reuters.com
Many Venezuelans can't afford to stay indoors as Caracas enters quarantine
A crowded bus with people using protective masks passes through a checkpoint after the start of quarantine in response to the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Caracas, Venezuela, March 16, 2020. Many Venezuelans say they fear contracting the virus as they know there are few healthcare resources to treat them if they need treatment. Maduros government is encouraging all Venezuelans to buy masks, or fashion their own, for protection. But Jose Luis Nieves, a 32-year-old foraging for food in a rubbish dump by Caracas Plaza Venezuela, said he could not afford to stay indoors. I dont think its coronavirus, she said, while praising the quarantine to limit its spread.feeds.reuters.com
State of the Union highlights: Trump honors Limbaugh, and Pelosi rips up speech
Trump doesn't shake Pelosi's hand, she rips up his speechThe night began and ended with dramatic acts of partisanship. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to shake the president's hand after Trump handed her what appeared to be a copy of his remarks. At the end of the speech, Pelosi ripped up the papers and cast them aside. Pelosi and Trump have tangled over politics and matters of temperament, with tensions rising particularly high during the impeachment process. In May, even as she resisted calls for impeachment, Pelosi suggested that Trump's staff should stage "an intervention."cnbc.com
Venezuela crisis is 'comparative to Syria': Opposition leader Juan Guaido pleads for international support in Davos
DAVOS, Switzerland Venezuela's Juan Guaido pleaded for international support at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, saying the deepening crisis in Caracas was "comparative to Syria." His arrival in Davos comes exactly one year after the National Assembly leader took to the streets to declare himself the South American country's rightful interim president. At the time, it marked the boldest challenge to President Nicolas Maduro's leadership in years. But Maduro with the broad support of the military has refused to cede power. In an emotional address to world leaders at the forum, Guaido said the oil-rich but cash-poor country is facing an "international criminal conglomerate, and we need your help."cnbc.com
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido takes new oath amid chaos
In the name of those who have no voice, the mothers who weep, the political prisoners; in the name of Venezuela, I swear to fulfill the duties of acting president, opposition leader Juan Guaido said Tuesday as he took the oath of office. Guaido and dozens of fellow legislators who oppose President Nicolas Maduro succeeded where on Sunday they had failed in spectacular fashion. Opposition leader and reelected president of the National Assembly Juan Guaido attempts to get through a blockade to the National Assembly entrance on Jan. 5. This is a show of what can happen when we are united, Guaido said Tuesday at the National Assembly. AdvertisementMaduro refuses to recognize the National Assembly and created a parallel constituent assembly made up of loyalists.latimes.com
Giuliani reportedly made a back-channel call with Venezuelan President Maduro
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, called Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro late last year in an attempt to oust him from the presidency, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the endeavor. In September 2018, Giuliani and former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, called Maduro as part of a back-channel effort to broker a negotiated exit for the embattled Venezuelan leader, according to the Post. Several months later a conference call was held with several participants, including Congressman Sessions and Mayor Giuliani," he said. People familiar with the State Department told the Post that officials there did not organize or participate in Sessions' communications with Maduro. In August 2018, Parnas met with Giuliani and two American executives with business investments in Venezuela to talk about the back channel to Maduro, the Post reported.cnbc.com
U.S. senators call for probe of Brazilian meatpacker JBS
This meat-processing conglomerate has engaged in illicit financial activities and has business ties with the Maduro regime, the Twitter post said. In a statement, JBS said it had always cooperated transparently with U.S. authorities regarding passed events in Brazil. It had improved the management of the companies it acquired in the United States, delivering solid results that contributed to farm sector growth, JBS added, and continues to provide opportunities to farming and cattle-raising families. In August, Washington froze all Venezuelan state assets in the United States and threatened sanctions on any company continuing to do business with the government. We ask CFIUS conduct a review of JBS SAs acquisition of U.S. companies to assess the implications for security and safety of Americas food supply and, in turn, our national security, the senators said in their letter.feeds.reuters.com
Ecuador government leaves capital city amid protests
Ecuador TV via CNN(CNN) - Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has announced that his government will leave the capital city of Quito amid violent protests over his move to end state fuel subsidies. The military stepped in to rescue dozens of personnel held by indigenous groups protesting the end to fuel subsidies, Ministry of Defense officials said Monday. On Monday, Ecuador's Secretary of State Juan Sebastian Roldan asked indigenous groups leading the protests to put an end to the ongoing looting and violence. Moreno blamed foreign influences such as Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and leftist former president Rafael Correa for the unrest engulfing the nation. The president enjoys support from businesspeople and the military, and has moved Ecuador towards the political center after taking over from Correa.
Venezuela's Maduro says Trump merits 'a thousand impeachments'
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, September 30, 2019. Donald Trump should have a thousand impeachments against him for the thousand calls and thousand acts of extortion he has carried out against governments to harm Venezuela, Maduro added at a news conference in Caracas. Some analysts believe the impeachment inquiry may distract Trump from foreign policy priorities, including leading international efforts against Maduro. But the Venezuelan leader did not share that view. We laugh at the European Union sanctions, scoffed Maduro, casting the bloc as a failed group following U.S. orders.feeds.reuters.com
US, Latin America move to keep pressure on Venezuela
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The US is making a push for new international sanctions against Venezuela, a senior State Department official said Monday, as Latin American states voted to pursue and possibly extradite regime leaders. "We want to make sure the issue of a transition in Venezuela remains very high on the international agenda," a State Department official said Monday. A Wednesday meeting of heads of government will also focus on Venezuela, the State Department official said. The State Department official emphasized that the battle against Maduro is broader than a US-Venezuela standoff. "Then we would like to see sanctions that affect broader targets in the regime," said the State Department official.
Wall Street Journal: No MLB players to Venezuelan league
1933: The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game is played in Chicago's Comiskey Park. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in All-Star game history as the American League defeated the National League 4-2. (CNN) - Major League Baseball will not allow its players to play in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League this coming winter while determining how to follow the Trump administration's new economic sanctions on Venezuela, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing several people familiar with the matter. It will not impact Venezuelan players traveling back to the country during the off-season, and was communicated by MLB to teams starting on Thursday, the paper reported. The Venezuelan state-owned oil company heavily sponsors the nation's baseball league, which has taken a hit from the recent political instability, the Journal reported.
Venezuela blames 'electromagnetic attack' for blackout
A woman walks out from a building during a power outage in Caracas, Venezuela. (CNN) - Large swathes of Venezuela remained without power on Tuesday, the day after the country suffered its fourth nationwide blackout this year. The blackout, which officials blamed on a hostile "electromagnetic attack," affected almost the entire country, including the capital Caracas. A government statement called the blackout "an electromagnetic attack," though stopped short of providing details about who might have been responsible or how it was carried out. Then, as now, Maduro blamed the blackout on hostile attacks, accusing the United States of sabotaging power plants and the electricity grid.
Trump administration diverts Central America aid to U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela
The Trump administration plans to divert more than $40 million in humanitarian aid from Central America to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela, according to an internal memo and interviews. President Trump late last year said he was cutting all aid to Central America until the countries stopped the flow of migrants across Mexico and toward the U.S. southern border. AdvertisementCutting aid to Central America is one of numerous punitive steps Trump has taken as part of his stated goal of curbing legal and illegal immigration to the United States, especially by people from Latin American and Muslim-majority countries. Its a terrible idea not to spend that money in Central America, said Geoff Thale, programs vice president at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights research group. AdvertisementThe administration has made great strides in mustering international support for Guaido, joining with about 50 other governments in declaring Maduros rule illegitimate.latimes.com
Venezuelan opposition, Maduro government to hold talks in Barbados
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Negotiations are set to resume Monday between the Venezuelan government and the opposition group calling for its ouster in a bid to end months of political instability, the two sides announced. Talks will be held in Barbados and mediated by Norway, which hosted a Oslo meeting in May that failed to reach an agreement between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido. Guaido declared himself acting president of Venezuela in January, challenging Maduro's claim to have won a 2018 election that international observers said lacked legitimacy. Maduro has accused Guaido, his allies and international backers -- most notably the United States -- of attempting to organize a coup. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, have for years been accused of triggering a humanitarian catastrophe through their hardline socialist economic policies.
Venezuelans protest after UN report alleges deaths and cover-ups
In the middle-class streets of Eastern Caracas, protesters gathered in large numbers at the call of opposition leader Juan Guaido. UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who oversaw the report, they said, had simply been following a script written by Washington. The OHCHR reportIssued one day earlier, the 16-page report has renewed longstanding criticisms of the embattled Maduro regime. It was created by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a group Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has repeatedly criticized as "biased." In 2018 alone, 5,287 Venezuelans were killed while "resisting authority," the report said, citing the Maduro administration's own figures.
Venezuelan Navy captain dies in custody after abuse allegations
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (center) speaks at the Balcn del Pueblo of the Miraflores Government Palace on Jan. 23, 2019, in Caracas, Venezuela. CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) - A week before he died, a Venezuelan navy captain was arrested and accused of plotting to remove embattled President Nicolas Maduro from power. Rafael Ramon Acosta Arevalo's death Saturday remain a mystery in a country marred by political and humanitarian crises. In recent months, dozens of active and retired military officers have been detained by Venezuelan counterintelligence officers on treason charges. But Acosta is the first known military officer to die in custody amid allegations he was tortured.
'Our country is dying': Guaido envoy urges international community to help Venezuela reclaim its freedom
Venezuelan opposition leader and National Assembly Leader Juan Guaido speaks during a press conference with international media at Centro Plaza on June 17, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela. Our country is dying, our people are dying, and the international community is increasingly alarmed with what they are seeing. When asked whether she feared the failed uprising would represent the beginning of an enduring political stalemate in the crisis-stricken country, Neumann replied: "No. Our country is dying, our people are dying, and the international community is increasingly alarmed with what they are seeing." "Diplomatically, we really need the international community to help us reclaim our freedom," Neumann said.cnbc.com
Caracas mayor arrested, accused of plotting coup
Caracas mayor arrested, accused of plotting coup CBS News producer Naomi Choy Smith talks about how Venezuela's opposition leaders are demanding the release of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma. He's accused of plotting violence against the government of President Nicolas Maduro.cbsnews.com