Venezuelan protests against government leave three dead

Venezuelan protests against government leave three dead

Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant died on Wednesday after being shot during protests against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro, increasing turmoil in the volatile nation amid a devastating economic crisis.

Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities in what they called “the mother of all marches,” denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the oil-rich economy into chaos.

Crowds swelled to hundreds of thousands, including Maduro supporters who held a counter-demonstration in the capital at the urging of ...  

Venezuelan opposition marches against Maduro; student killed

Venezuelan opposition marches against Maduro; student killed

Venezuelan security forces fired tear gas as demonstrators staged what they billed as the “mother of all marches” against President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday, and a student caught up in a clash died after being shot in the head.

Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities, denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the economy into chaos. Crowds swelled to hundreds of thousands, including Maduro supporters who held a counter-demonstration in the capital at the urging of the president.

The dueling ...  

World Bank ready to help Venezuela if asked: Latam chief

World Bank ready to help Venezuela if asked: Latam chief

The World Bank Group stands ready to assist Venezuela, a member and shareholder of the institution, if the government asks for help in dealing with a punishing economic crisis, the bank’s top executive for Latin America said.

Jorge Familiar, World Bank vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the bank has had no engagement with Venezuela since it paid off past loans in 2008 under the late former President Hugo Chavez.

But Familiar ...  

Ecuador presidential recount confirms Lenin Moreno victory

Ecuador presidential recount confirms Lenin Moreno victory

QUITO, Ecuador — A recount of nearly 1.3 million votes cast in Ecuador’s presidential election Tuesday showed no significant differences over previous results handing a narrow victory to Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor.

Lenin Moreno defeated former banker Guillermo Lasso by a slightly larger margin than previously revealed but still less than 3 percentage points, according to the recount of about 10 percent of the votes.

“The recount is over and it has ratified the results,” National Electoral Council president Juan Pablo Pozo ...  

Colombia’s armed groups sow seeds of new conflict as war with Farc ends

Colombia’s armed groups sow seeds of new conflict as war with Farc ends

The guerrillas of the Farc occupied the territory around Argelia long enough to gain the support of some residents, and the loathing of others.

So when local people watched a contingent of 140 rebels file through the town on their way to demobilization camps as part of a peace deal, it was with a sense of ambivalence: some bade farewell – others good riddance.

But since the rebels abandoned the area in late January, supporters and critics have shared the same fears.

Townspeople, ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro seeks to expand armed civilian militias

Venezuela’s Maduro seeks to expand armed civilian militias

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced plans Monday to expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias as tensions in the crisis-wracked South American nation continued to rise.

Maduro said he hopes to expand the number of civilians involved in the Bolivarian militias created by the late Hugo Chavez to 500,000, up from the current 100,000, and provide each member with a gun.

Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of ...  

Nicolás Maduro amenazó a la oposición con “llevar a la cárcel a quien tenga que llevar”

Nicolás Maduro amenazó a la oposición con “llevar a la cárcel a quien tenga que llevar”

En una dura amenaza a la oposición, el presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, aseguró este domingo que no le “temblará el pulso” para “castigar férreamente” a los que quieren “incendiar y llenar de violencia” el país, así como para “llevar a la cárcel a quien tenga que llevar”.

El presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, reveló este domingo un video de la supuesta delación de un activista opositor preso, que acusa a diputados de su partido de pagar para generar violencia en las ...  

Meet the charismatic opposition leader the Venezuela government just can’t silence

Meet the charismatic opposition leader the Venezuela government just can’t silence

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles has taken the gloves off.

The 44-year-old governor of Miranda state kept to the high road during most of his political career, including his two unsuccessful tries for president, losing first to the late Hugo Chavez in 2012, and then in a photo-finish loss to current President Nicolas Maduro in the 2013 contest to be Chavez’s successor.

In both presidential races, he refused to respond in kind to nonstop, scurrilous insults lobbed his way by Chavez, Maduro ...  

Venezuela and the eclipse of American leadership

Venezuela and the eclipse of American leadership

Venezuela’s steady descent into chaos has repeatedly prompted pundits like me to predict that the authoritarian populist regime founded by Hugo Chávez was doomed to collapse, or be ousted. That it hasn’t happened yet says a lot about how this Latin American meltdown is different and worse than any other in the past century. And it may be even more telling about the change in global role of the United States.

Last week, Caracas was again looking like a capital on ...  

Fast and Furious scandal: Suspected triggerman in border agent’s murder arrested

Fast and Furious scandal: Suspected triggerman in border agent’s murder arrested

EXCLUSIVE – The cartel member suspected of shooting and killing Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010 with a gun supplied by the U.S. government was arrested in Mexico Wednesday, senior law enforcement, Border Patrol, and congressional sources told Fox News.

The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, was apprehended by a joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement task force that included the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC).

A $250,000 reward had been sought for information leading to the arrest ...  

Halting Venezuela’s Meltdown

Halting Venezuela’s Meltdown

Venezuela’s crisis combines mind-boggling economic mismanagement, private-sector decimation, the crippling of democratic institutions, the suppression of individual freedom, and widespread human rights violations. Severe shortages of food and medicine coupled with hyperinflation are a daily struggle for most Venezuelans, except for elite government officials, some of whom are facing drug trafficking, money laundering, and corruption accusations. Given that Venezuela’s crisis is man-made, the international community has found it difficult to agree on a unified response. However, Venezuela’s Supreme Court decision ...  

President Trump to meet with Argentina’s Macri at the White House

President Trump to meet with Argentina’s Macri at the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump will welcome his Argentine counterpart, Mauricio Macri, to the White House on April 27.

Trump and Macri plan to discuss “bilateral and regional issues, including the deteriorating situation in Venezuela,” the White House said Wednesday.

“The two leaders will exchange views on a range of bilateral and regional issues, including the expansion of trade, security sector collaboration, and the deteriorating situation in Venezuela,” the White House said.

Trump and Macri will also discuss “ways to deepen the ...  

Venezuela’s opposition holds its biggest protests in years. Will they change anything?

Venezuela’s opposition holds its biggest protests in years. Will they change anything?

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s opposition is putting up its most determined challenge to President Nicolás Maduro in years, with near-daily protests that are backed by widening international condemnation of the government’s authoritarian rule.

Calling for early elections, the release of political prisoners and a return to democratic norms, thousands of Maduro’s opponents have repeatedly attempted to march toward downtown government buildings in Caracas in the past two weeks, only to be repelled by police truncheons and clouds of tear gas.

The protests ...  

Venezuela’s Maduro jeered by crowd as unrest grows

Venezuela’s Maduro jeered by crowd as unrest grows

Angry Venezuelans threw objects at President Nicolas Maduro during a rally on Tuesday, as protests mount against the unpopular leftist leader amid a brutal economic crisis and what critics say is his lurch into dictatorship.

State television footage showed a crowd mobbing the vehicle that Maduro was standing on as he waved goodbye at the end of a military event in San Felix, in the south-eastern state of Bolivar. Amid the commotion, people threw objects at Maduro, who was wearing a ...  

In Venezuela, A Home-Grown Version Of ‘Shock & Awe’ Tearing Country Apart

In Venezuela, A Home-Grown Version Of ‘Shock & Awe’ Tearing Country Apart

Venezuela is going through its own version of “shock and awe” as protests continued again on Tuesday. The economy is in shambles. Its political landscape is inching closer to dictatorship. President Nicholas Maduro banned one of his biggest ideological rivals from running for office against him. And the brain drain continues, as thousands flee to Brazil, Colombia, the United States and Spain to flee this socialist failed state.

The country is Latin America’s new drama queen. It has surpassed Brazil with ...  

AG Sessions vows to confront cartels, gangs on visit to US-Mexico border

AG Sessions vows to confront cartels, gangs on visit to US-Mexico border

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called Tuesday for a new focus on immigration enforcement during his first visit as the nation’s top law enforcement officer to the U.S.-Mexico border, vowing to confront the gangs and cartels plaguing the region and declaring: “This is a new era, this is the Trump era.”

Sessions met with law enforcement, members of the military and border agents in Nogales, Ariz., urging their confidence in the administration as they push to implement policies boosting agents working to ...  

Trump must stand for democracy, human rights in Venezuela policy

Trump must stand for democracy, human rights in Venezuela policy

By Roger F. Noriega

4/11/2017

As desperate Venezuelans lose their fear and take their battle to the streets against a brutal regime, it is clear that U.S. policy makers miscalculated tragically by favoring stability over democracy in the past 18 months. That policy must be overhauled now, so the United States can help avert a bloody disaster.

The Trump administration already has taken some halting steps in the right direction. An Oval Office meeting with the wife of a jailed opposition leader, Leopoldo ...  

Trump debe replantear la política de EE.UU. en Venezuela

Trump debe replantear la política de EE.UU. en Venezuela

Por Roger F. Noriega

[Traducción realizada por IASW]

Mientras que venezolanos desesperados pierden el miedo y llevan la batalla a las calles contra un régimen brutal, está claro que políticos en Estados Unidos hicieron un cálculo trágicamente errado al favorecer la “estabilidad” sobre la democracia en los últimos 18 meses. Esa política debe revisarse cuanto antes para que Estados Unidos pueda ayudar a evitar un baño de sangre.

La Administración del Presidente Trump ya ha dado algunos pasos en la dirección correcta. La ...  

Venezuela: Maduro Government Must Stop Silencing Opposition Voices

Venezuela: Maduro Government Must Stop Silencing Opposition Voices

The United States views with grave concern the Venezuelan government’s actions to bar Miranda State Governor Henrique Capriles—a prominent, democratically-elected member of Venezuela’s political opposition and former presidential candidate—from participating in the country’s public life for 15 years.

We note the largest public demonstration of the year on Saturday, as well as protests today, and echo the Venezuelan people’s calls for prompt elections, respect for the constitution and the National Assembly, and freedom for political prisoners. We urge demonstrators to express ...  

New Venezuela clashes, US voices ‘grave concern’

New Venezuela clashes, US voices ‘grave concern’

Caracas (AFP) – Venezuela erupted Monday in a fifth day of violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro as the United States voiced “grave concern” over moves to stifle one of his main opponents.

In the latest clashes in the once-booming oil exporter, riot police in Caracas fired tear gas at stone-throwing demonstrators — whose leaders vowed not to let up the pressure on Maduro.

“This is a battle of resistance. We will see who gets tired first: us of fighting, or them ...  

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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.