Britain ready to impose sanctions on Venezuela

Britain ready to impose sanctions on Venezuela

The UK could impose sanctions on Venezuela, a minister hinted today, as a voting technology company that supplies the petrostate said the results of a controversial ballot held on Sunday had been tampered with.

Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister for the Americas, said the Latin American nation was in “meltdown” and praised US financial sanctions introduced against President Maduro as “absolutely right”. He said Britain could be part of a potential global effort to impose a sanctions regime on ...  

Venezuela vote: Turnout figure ‘tampered with’

Venezuela vote: Turnout figure ‘tampered with’

Turnout numbers for Sunday’s controversial vote in Venezuela have been “tampered with”, the company that provided the voting system alleges. Venezuela’s electoral authorities said more than eight million people, or 41.5% of the electorate, had voted for a new constituent assembly.

But the CEO of Smartmatic, Antonio Mugica, said the actual turnout differed by at least one million. The opposition has called for a criminal investigation to be opened.

What did the voting firm have to say?

“It is with the deepest regret ...  

The world must turn back Venezuela’s growing dictatorship

The world must turn back Venezuela’s growing dictatorship

Over the weekend, Venezuela succumbed to dictatorship. It’s going to take a concerted international effort to reverse this ugly development.

On July 30, Socialist strongman Nicolas Maduro held a fraudulent and highly unpopular election. As a result, all 545 seats of a new “Constituent Assembly’ are being filled with candidates hand-picked by Maduro’s National Socialist Party (PSUV). The Constituent Assembly is empowered to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution, expel members of the opposition from the current National Assembly, and consolidate all power in ...  

Brazil’s Temer seen defeating corruption charges in Congress

Brazil’s Temer seen defeating corruption charges in Congress

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Michel Temer is expected to win enough support from lawmakers on Wednesday to survive an unprecedented vote on whether he should stand trial on corruption charges.

The deeply unpopular leader is hoping to put behind him a scandal that paralyzed his administration so that he can focus on passing legislation needed to end a budget crisis and help pull Latin America’s largest economy from its worst recession.

The lower house vote will gauge how much political capital ...  

Nicolas Maduro Says he Will Radically Overhaul Venezuela’s Political System

Nicolas Maduro Says he Will Radically Overhaul Venezuela’s Political System

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro brushed off new U.S. sanctions on him and condemnation at home and abroad of the newly chosen constitutional assembly, saying the vote has given him a popular mandate to radically overall Venezuela’s political system.

Maduro said Monday evening he had no intention of deviating from his plans to rewrite the constitution and go after a string of enemies, from independent Venezuelan news channels to gunmen he claimed were sent by neighboring Colombia to disrupt ...  

Cuba reins in entrepreneurs who take free enterprise too far

Cuba reins in entrepreneurs who take free enterprise too far

A Coral Gables business consultant watched one day in June as Cuban authorities carried out chairs, tables, plates, sound systems and bottles of imported liquor from a popular private restaurant near the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

“They took everything except the drywall and loaded it into a green truck,” said Saul Cimbler, president of U.S.-Cuba Business Advisory. He happened upon the scene outside El Litoral — a stylish paladar known for its high-end cuisine and customers — just as officers from ...  

Top Venezuelan opposition leaders taken into custody amid fears of wider crackdowns

Top Venezuelan opposition leaders taken into custody amid fears of wider crackdowns

CARACAS — Masked security forces staged middle-of-night raids Tuesday to haul away two leading Venezuelan opposition leaders already under house arrest, possibly signaling an expanded crackdown on dissent after widely denounced elections to boost the authoritian government.

The moves against Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma could intensify the international fallout after Sunday’s election that created a new super congress stocked with backers of the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

The vote was decried as fraud by the opposition and prompted the Trump ...  

The Revolution Devours Venezuela

The Revolution Devours Venezuela

Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism. People are now literally starving — about three-quarters of the population lost weight last year — in what once was the fourth-richest country in the world on a per capita basis. A country that has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia is suffering shortages of basic supplies. Venezuela now totters on the brink of bankruptcy and civil war, ...  

Venezuela seizes opposition leaders Lopez, Ledezma from homes

Venezuela seizes opposition leaders Lopez, Ledezma from homes

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan security officials seized two opposition leaders from their homes in overnight raids, their families said on Tuesday, in what critics of President Nicolas Maduro said was further evidence that he is leading a dictatorship.

Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were both under house arrest, the former for his role in leading street protests against Maduro in 2014 and the latter on charges of plotting a coup.

Their apprehension comes a day after the United States slapped sanctions on ...  

Mexico taps member of original Nafta team to lead renegotiation

Mexico taps member of original Nafta team to lead renegotiation

Mexico has chosen a Washington, DC veteran and North American trade expert to lead the latest round of talks with US over modernising the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Mexican economy ministry appointed Kenneth Smith Ramos as the lead negotiator for Nafta talks, set to kick off August 18, reports James Frederick. The announcement was made on Monday at an entrepreneur summit in Mexico City.

Mr. Smith Ramos is currently the head of the trade and NAFTA office at the Mexican ...  

Treasury Sanctions the President of Venezuela

Treasury Sanctions the President of Venezuela

7/31/2017 Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, which authorizes sanctions against current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela and others undermining democracy in Venezuela. These sanctions come a day after the Maduro government held elections for a National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, or ANC) that aspires illegitimately to usurp the constitutional role of the democratically ...  

Brazil’s Temer Rallies Allies for Congress Vote on Graft Trial

Brazil’s Temer Rallies Allies for Congress Vote on Graft Trial

Brazil President Michel Temer is rounding up allies for this week’s lower house vote on whether he’ll stand trial, marking a shift from a previous strategy to stall the congressional decision.

Temer wants to hold the session rather sooner than later to return attention on economic bills needed to kick-start a sluggish economy, according to interviews with half a dozen legislators and presidential aides. Until recently the government was inclined to delay the vote in case the prosecutor-general decided to file ...  

US considering some sanctions on Venezuela oil sector, sources say

US considering some sanctions on Venezuela oil sector, sources say

President Donald Trump’s administration is considering imposing some U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s vital oil sector in response to Sunday’s election of a constitutional super-body that Washington has already denounced as a “sham” vote, U.S. officials said.

The measures, which could be announced as early as Monday, are not expected to include a ban on Venezuelan oil shipments to the United States — one of the harshest options — but could block sale of lighter U.S. crude that Venezuela mixes with its ...  

U.S. blasts Venezuela vote as “step toward dictatorship”

U.S. blasts Venezuela vote as “step toward dictatorship”

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said early Sunday that more than 8 million people had voted to grant President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling socialist party virtually unlimited powers with a new constitutional assembly — a turnout more than double the estimates of both the government’s political opponents and independent experts.

The U.S. blasted the vote as a “step toward dictatorship,” and the Trump administration vowed a “strong and swift” response. CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports that the U.S. is vowing to respond ...  

Hidden FARC money threatens peace in Colombia

Hidden FARC money threatens peace in Colombia

By Roger F. Noriega

7/28/2017

August 1st marks a major milestone for Colombia’s peace process with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla group: The “zonas veredales” — the location of thousands of demobilized guerrillas — will be transformed into centers for reintegration services. It also marks an important deadline for the FARC to give a full accounting of the assets accumulated from decades of criminal activity, including the production and transit of illegal drugs, human trafficking, extortion, and illegal mining and logging.

When ...  

Venezuela bans protests ahead of vote

Venezuela bans protests ahead of vote

Venezuela’s government says it will ban protests ahead of this weekend’s vote for a special constitutional assembly — a direct challenge to opposition leaders who planned massive Friday demonstrations against the election.

The ban, announced Thursday toward the end of an opposition-led general strike that shuttered some businesses nationwide for two days, begins Friday and continues through Tuesday, interior and justice minister Néstor Reverol said.

He prohibited “all public meetings and demonstrations, gatherings and other similar acts that might disturb the electoral ...  

Is Venezuela Becoming a Cuba-Style Dictatorship?

Is Venezuela Becoming a Cuba-Style Dictatorship?

True to his threat, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, will proceed with an election on July 30 that will start the process for convening a constituent assembly to consider changing the country’s constitution. His adversaries oppose the move as an illegal power grab, predicting that Maduro will stack the assembly with his supporters and move the country closer to a dictatorship. International opposition is building. U.S. President Donald Trump warned of “strong and swift economic actions” if Maduro proceeds with his ...  

US sanctions top Venezuelan officials as general strike paralyzes country

US sanctions top Venezuelan officials as general strike paralyzes country

US President Donald Trump’s administration slapped sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials on Wednesday as the country’s opposition called a two-day nationwide strike ahead of President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to hold an election over the weekend for a special congress to rewrite the constitution.

Millions of people heeded the opposition’s call to join the strike, the second in a week, with highways and streets mostly empty and businesses shuttered across the country as protesters threw up makeshift barricades in some areas.

There ...  

U.S. sanctions Venezuelan officials, one killed in anti-Maduro strike

U.S. sanctions Venezuelan officials, one killed in anti-Maduro strike

WASHINGTON/CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – The Trump administration imposed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials as the country’s opposition launched a two-day strike on Wednesday, heaping pressure on unpopular President Nicolas Maduro to scrap plans for a controversial new congress.

With clashes breaking out in some areas, a 30-year-old man was killed during a protest in the mountainous state of Merida, authorities said.

Venezuela’s long-time ideological foe the United States opted to sanction the country’s army and police chiefs, the national director of ...  

Trump administration is right to sanction Maduro’s henchmen in Venezuela

Trump administration is right to sanction Maduro’s henchmen in Venezuela

Days before a critical vote engineered by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro — one that would all but turn him into an unmovable dictator — the Trump administration fired a warning shot across his bow, with a solid assist from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. It’s not too late for Maduro to get the message.

The Treasury Department on Wednesday levied onerous financial sanctions on several current and former officials in Venezuela on the eve of Sunday’s National Constituent Assembly. The assembly is ...  

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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.