Oil expert Dan Yergin on why Venezuela could cause a ‘big shock’ to the markets

Oil expert Dan Yergin on why Venezuela could cause a ‘big shock’ to the markets

If the global oil market suddenly loses Venezuela’s 2 million barrels of daily oil production, it would be “a big shock to the system,” according to Dan Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit.

“It would certainly be a very tight market, because of course you already have production restraints by OPEC and non-OPEC,” Yergin told CNBC at the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference on Tuesday.

Oil markets are increasingly worried over potential supply constraints as the economic turmoil in Venezuela deepens. ...  

Cuba: Job sector, a tool of repression as perceived critics face jobless life

Cuba: Job sector, a tool of repression as perceived critics face jobless life

Ordinary Cubans perceived to be even subtly critical of life in the country face a future of harassment at work, or unemployment as authorities use their control over the job market as an additional tool of repression, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

Your mind is in prison explores how decades of arbitrary use of criminal laws and other unlawful practices — including discriminatory and wrongful dismissals from state-employment and further harassment in the emerging self-employed sector — translate ...  

Venezuela’s economy is on the brink of default. Here’s what that actually means.

Venezuela’s economy is on the brink of default. Here’s what that actually means.

Venezuela’s economy has been unraveling for years.

Citizens wait in long lines to buy food and other necessities. Hospitals lack basic supplies and medicine. According to the International Monetary Fund, inflation will hit 650 percent this year and a whopping 2,300 percent in 2018. Things are so bad that the average Venezuelan has lost nearly 20 pounds over the past year because of hunger.

This month, things hit a new low.

A week ago, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro invited investors to the country ...  

Haiti owes Venezuela $2 billion – and much of it was embezzled, Senate report says

Haiti owes Venezuela $2 billion – and much of it was embezzled, Senate report says

A special Haitian Senate commission is accusing more than a dozen former government officials and heads of private firms of embezzling $2 billion in Venezuelan oil loans — money that could have helped the country rebuild after its devastating earthquake in 2010.

An anti-corruption investigation concluded that charges should be filed against two former prime ministers, several ex-ministers and the owners of private firms on grounds they misappropriated and embezzled money that left post-quake Haiti with unfinished government buildings, poorly constructed ...  

Colombia court approves peace tribunals ahead of congressional vote

Colombia court approves peace tribunals ahead of congressional vote

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s constitutional court said in a ruling late on Tuesday that special justice tribunals outlined in a peace deal between the government and the Marxist FARC rebels are constitutional, ahead of a congressional vote on the subject.

The court upheld most of the provisions agreed in the 2016 peace accord for the special courts, which will mete out alternative sentences like landmine removal for ex-guerrilla leaders from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who are convicted of ...  

Venezuela crude output hits 28-year low: OPEC

Venezuela crude output hits 28-year low: OPEC

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) – Oil-dependent Venezuela’s crude output dipped last month below 2 million barrels per day, its lowest level in nearly three decades, global producer group OPEC said on Monday.

The output fall could not come at a worse time, with the economy in crisis and the socialist government struggling to pay its foreign debt. The government opens talks on Monday with creditors to renegotiate its debt and avert a default that would plunge its economy into deeper trouble.

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Investors Leave Venezuela Meeting With No Clear Insight

Investors Leave Venezuela Meeting With No Clear Insight

Venezuela’s socialist government gifted chocolates to creditors at debt talks on Monday, but little else in terms of firm proposals to renegotiate $60 billion in bonds, suggesting the struggling OPEC nation lacks a strategy to avert default.

President Nicolas Maduro confused investors this month with a vow to continue paying Venezuela’s crippling debt, while also seeking to restructure and refinance it.

Both restructuring and refinancing appear out of the question, however, due to U.S. sanctions against the crisis-stricken nation. A default would ...  

Venezuela offers chocolates but little else to creditors

Venezuela offers chocolates but little else to creditors

Venezuela’s socialist government gifted chocolates to creditors at debt talks on Monday, but little else in terms of firm proposals to renegotiate $60 billion in bonds, suggesting the struggling OPEC nation lacks a strategy to avert default.

President Nicolas Maduro confused investors this month with a vow to continue paying Venezuela’s crippling debt, while also seeking to restructure and refinance it.

Both restructuring and refinancing appear out of the question, however, due to U.S. sanctions against the crisis-stricken nation. A default would ...  

Cuba attack mystery may be Cold War flashback, officials say

Cuba attack mystery may be Cold War flashback, officials say

WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials are closely studying Cold War-era Soviet technology as they seek to determine whether an electronic weapon was used to disorient and injure 24 American officials in Cuba earlier this year.

Two intelligence officials tell POLITICO they’re confident that the attacks were conducted with an “energy directed” or “acoustic” device, possibly similar to one used by Soviet intelligence in Havana more than four decades ago, but remain unsure of its exact nature.

That has officials combing classified files ...  

Venezuela meets creditors in bid to dodge default

Venezuela meets creditors in bid to dodge default

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela opens talks with creditors on Monday to renegotiate a crippling debt that has left citizens sifting through garbage for food, as the once-prosperous OPEC nation seeks to avert a default that would plunge its economy into deeper crisis.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government has summoned to Caracas investors who hold some $60 billion in junk bonds in a desperate bid to shore up public finances squeezed by the unraveling socialist economy.

Big investors said they largely planned to skip ...  

Russia Says It Will Ease Debt Burden on Venezuela

Russia Says It Will Ease Debt Burden on Venezuela

With Venezuela on the edge of default, Russia has thrown it a life preserver.

The Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, announced on Wednesday that the two countries had agreed to the restructuring of roughly $3 billion in Kremlin loans.

The amount is tiny compared with Venezuela’s crushing $120 billion debt, but it may help President Nicolás Maduro’s government make hundreds of millions of dollars in payments over the next few weeks to other creditors and help reassure bondholders that a default is ...  

12 tons of cocaine, worth $360 million, seized in massive Colombia raid

12 tons of cocaine, worth $360 million, seized in massive Colombia raid

Colombian authorities seized 12 tons of cocaine worth an estimated $360 million in the country’s largest-ever drug bust — and they put the goods on display.

Four hundred anti-narcotics officers found the cocaine stored underground in four farms in a banana-growing region of northwest Antioquia province, near the border with Panama.

Officials said the drug belonged to the Clan del Golfo, an illegal armed group that has sought to take over drug trafficking operations in zones previously occupied by the Revolutionary Armed ...  

Exclusive: Venezuela’s PDVSA misses debt payments to India’s top oil producer

Exclusive: Venezuela’s PDVSA misses debt payments to India’s top oil producer

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil-firm PDVSA has not made debt payments to India’s top oil producer ONGC (ONGC.NS) for six months, and has previously used a Russian state-owned bank and another Indian energy company as intermediaries to make payments, two sources familiar with the transactions said on Wednesday.

ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of ONGC, confirmed that PDVSA had fallen behind on the payments, but declined to give details on the delays.

“They have got certain challenges at this ...  

Venezuela is in hyperinflation, says opposition-led National Assembly

Venezuela is in hyperinflation, says opposition-led National Assembly

Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly has put out its own economic figures after President Nicolas Maduro refused to do so. Lawmakers have warned that inflation could rise up to 1,400 percent by the end of 2017.

Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly said on Tuesday that the country had entered a state of hyperinflation. According to Reuters news agency, the country’s inflation rate was now at a staggering 826 percent – and could hit 1, 400 percent by the end of the year.

“This is ...  

Observers call for murder inquiries after Nicaragua election

Observers call for murder inquiries after Nicaragua election

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The Organization of American States mission in Nicaragua is calling on the government to investigate and punish those responsible for at least five killings following local elections.

The ruling Sandinista Front won 135 of 153 mayoralities in voting Sunday.

The police have not provided details on the killings. Deputy director of the police, Gen. Francisco Diaz, said Tuesday that 67 people were also injured in violence in 13 municipalities.

The most serious violence was along Nicaragua’s northern Caribbean coast. …

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Why Venezuela’s Sliding Toward Dictatorship, Default: QuickTake

Why Venezuela’s Sliding Toward Dictatorship, Default: QuickTake

Venezuela has more oil than Saudi Arabia and more poverty than Brazil. Its previous leader, the late Hugo Chavez, sought to use the country’s reserves to light a leftist path to prosperity for Latin America’s poor. Under his protege and successor, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela hasn’t always been able to keep the power on, and with U.S. sanctions biting, the country faces possible default on its debt. With reduced oil prices, the country, once one of Latin America’s richest, is plagued ...  

Gramercy Says Venezuela Saga to Be Worse Than Argentina’s

Gramercy Says Venezuela Saga to Be Worse Than Argentina’s

Of the many sovereign bonds restructurings Robert Koenigsberger has witnessed in his three decades in the business, none will come close to Venezuela, he says.

The 52-year-old distressed debt investor says that the Trump administration’s sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro and other Venezuelan officials will wreak incalculable havoc on any attempts at a negotiated solution. The resulting chaos is likely to be worse than what was seen during Argentina’s 15-year battle with holdout creditors led by billionaire Paul Singer — considered ...  

U.S. plans to end temporary residency permit program for Nicaragua

U.S. plans to end temporary residency permit program for Nicaragua

The Trump administration is planning a January 2019 end to a temporary residency permit program for 5,000 citizens from Nicaragua who have lived in the United States for almost two decades.

The administration is also postponing a decision until next July on how to deal with a similar program for 86,000 residents from Honduras.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said Monday that the program, known as Temporary Protected Status, is no longer necessary for Nicaraguans in the U.S. Duke said ...  

Maduro’s allies strip leading Venezuela opponent of immunity

Maduro’s allies strip leading Venezuela opponent of immunity

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s pro-government constitutional assembly has stripped opposition leader Freddy Guevara of his immunity from prosecution in a case that is fueling fears of another crackdown on President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents.

Guevara, who has taken refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas, released a video saying he doesn’t regret his call for civil obedience after the unanimous vote Monday.

Guevara was one of the leaders of this year’s deadly protests against Maduro and the second highest-ranking member of the ...  

Venezuela opposition politician Freddy Guevara seeks refuge

Venezuela opposition politician Freddy Guevara seeks refuge

A prominent Venezuelan opposition politician has taken refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas, after the Supreme Court stripped him of his immunity from prosecution on Friday. Freddy Guevara is accused of instigating violence during opposition protests.

The opposition say Mr Guevara is the victim of political persecution. Mr Guevara, 31, is the vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly. Chile’s foreign ministry said he had asked for protection from what he considered to be imminent threats to his security and added ...  

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About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.