Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Chávez’

Prevén que Venezuela caerá en recesión

| April 16th, 2014 | No Comments »
La Patilla

Los próximos dos años lucen más desafiantes a lo estimado previamente para las economías de América Latina, con perspectivas de que un crecimiento más lento y una mayor inflación frustren el reciente optimismo respecto a los mercados emergentes, reseña Reuters.

Los pronósticos para el crecimiento económico este año fueron recortados en promedio en 0,8 puntos porcentuales, y ahora se prevé que Argentina y Venezuela caigan en recesión y que Brasil crezca menos de un 2 por ciento, en lo que sería su cuarto año consecutivo de debilidad.

Las estimaciones para el crecimiento económico en el 2014 y el 2015 bajaron en forma generalizada en comparación a un sondeo similar de Reuters realizado en enero para las siete mayores economías latinoamericanas, con excepción de Colombia, según el consenso de las opiniones de más de 50 economistas consultados.

Eso contrasta con señales alentadoras desde otras regiones, como Europa y Estados Unidos. También sugiere que una reciente alza ... Read More

Why The United States Has Done Nothing About Venezuela

| April 11th, 2014 | 3 Comments »
Business Insider

BY LINNETTE LOPEZ

Forty-one people are dead in Venezuela, political leaders are thrown in jail for leading demonstrators through road-blocked streets, food shortages worsen, and inflation continues to rise. Yet the regional power to the north, The United States, says little and does less.

There’s a reason for this, and Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, outed it in an interview with The Guardian this month. He said:

“Is 100 years of intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean not enough: against Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Brazil? Is the coup attempt against President Chávez by the Bush administration not enough? Why does the US have 2,000 military bases in the world? To dominate it. I have told President Obama: we are not your backyard anymore.”

The United States is led by devils, according to Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez. It is trying to overthrow a Bolivarian revolution hundreds of years in the making. The ideology of the ... Read More

Post-Chavez, Venezuela Enters a Downward Spiral

| April 9th, 2014 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch

Beginning in mid-February, Venezuela has experienced a stream of social demonstrations that have left about 30 people dead and hundreds wounded or under arrest, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez among them. The incidents are being called the largest wave of protests in Venezuela in the last decade.

Much like the social revolts that have occurred elsewhere in the world, students were the first in Venezuela to take their frustrations to the streets. They were later joined by others who were similarly concerned with the country’s high crime rate, galloping inflation and chronic shortages of basic goods. According to the country’s Central Bank, nearly 30% of all products — or their substitutes — cannot be purchased in Venezuela.

These economic problems are not necessarily new — such imbalances already existed when Hugo Chavez, who had led the country since 1999, died of cancer last March. But the challenges have recently become more acute. “Venezuela ... Read More

Venezuela charges opposition leader, protests erupt

| April 7th, 2014 | No Comments »
From AFP

Protests erupted in Caracas late Friday after Venezuela’s attorney general charged jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez with responsibility for anti-government demonstrations that have shaken the country since February.

Riot police fired tear gas at crowds of rock-throwing demonstrators in the Chacao neighborhood in what has become an almost regular nightly ritual.

In an ominous sign of possible escalation, a masked man was photographed moving among the protesters armed with what appeared to be a rifle with a telescopic sight.

Leftist President Nicolas Maduro more than once has decried the existence of sharpshooters among the most radical protesters. The government claims the protests are part of a coup attempt orchestrated by the United States and right-wing Colombians.

The protesters, in turn, have long complained about harassment from gangs of armed, semi-official pro-government thugs.

Thirty-nine people have died and another 608 have been wounded since crowds took to the streets in early ... Read More

Venezuela’s Street Protests Are Headed to a Violent End — and Cuba is to Blame

| April 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

BY JOSÉ CÁRDENAS

While the conflict in Ukraine continues to preoccupy the minds of most U.S. policymakers and pundits, two months of violent street protests have racked Venezuela, a country much closer to home and where the United States has strategic interests that are just as significant. Between its important role in the global oil supply chain and its emergence as a key narcotics trafficking corridor, what happens in Venezuela matters to the United States.

Last week, President Nicolás Maduro announced the arrest of three Air Force generals who he accused of plotting to overthrow his government. This time, it doesn’t appear to be just one more of his loony conspiracy theories – it is well known that the Venezuelan military is divided over the disastrous direction of the country under Hugo Chávez’s hand-picked successor.

Indeed, it is clear Maduro cannot rely on the military to confront the protestors. Instead he has had to use poorly trained National Guardsmen ... Read More

Armed pro-government militias wreak havoc on Venezuela protests

| March 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

The masked gunmen emerged from a group of several dozen motorcycle-mounted government loyalists who were attempting to dismantle a barricade in La Isabelica, a working-class district of Valencia that has been a center of unrest since nationwide protests broke out last month.

The barricades’ defenders had been hurling rocks, sticks and other objects at the attackers, who included perhaps a dozen armed men, witnesses told The Associated Press.

Lisandro Barazarte, a photographer with the local newspaper, Notitarde, caught images of several of the men shooting into the crowd while steadying their firearms on their palms.

“They were practiced shooters,” Barazarte said. “More were armed, but didn’t fire.”

When it was over, two La Isabelica men were dead: a 22-year-old student, Jesus Enrique Acosta, and a little league baseball coach, Guillermo Sanchez. Witnesses told the AP the first was shot in the head, the second in the back. They said neither was at the barricades ... Read More

US Senator Rubio Calls for Sanctions on Venezuela (Video and Transcript)

| March 31st, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Latin American Herald Tribune

By U.S. SENATOR MARCO RUBIO

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The reason why I come to the floor today is to call attention to a crisis that has fallen off of the front pages over the last few weeks and that’s the situation in our own hemisphere that’s occurring in Venezuela. And I recognize there’s been new stories about an airline that’s been tragically potentially lost or has been lost, we don’t know the full outcome of that yet. I know that the situation with Ukraine has captivated the attention of the public, and rightfully so. And I’m pleased to see today that the Senate has taken important steps towards addressing that issue.

But I want to talk about something that’s happening in our own backyard, in our own hemisphere. In fact, something that is impacting hundreds of thousands of people that live in Florida because they have family members who still live in ... Read More

Ignoring our Venezuelan Friends of Freedom

| March 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Joe Kauffman

By Joe Kaufman

It can be argued that, in 2009, had President Barack Obama aided the Iranians demonstrating against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs, there would be no need for talk of the possibility of a nuclear armed Iran today. Iran’s leaders had dedicated much of their existence to hatred of America, referring to the U.S. as “Satan” and supporting anti-U.S. terror. But instead of assisting those calling for regime change, Obama turned his back on the protesters and ignored their pleas.

This was not the case in other parts of the Middle East, where Obama announced his full support to rebels looking to overthrow their respective governments – in Egypt, Libya and Syria. Each of these revolutions, though, were led by Islamists, who unlike the overtly pro-U.S. Iranian demonstrators, have much enmity for the United States and her allies.

Now, in a reprise of his attitude toward Iran, President Obama has chosen ... Read More

Ignorando a nuestros amigos venezolanos

| March 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Joe Kauffman

Por Joe Kaufman

Se puede argumentar que, en el 2009, si el presidente Barack Obama hubiera ofrecido ayuda a  los iraníes que se manifestaban contra Mahmoud Ahmadinejad y los mulá, no habría ninguna necesidad de hablar de la posibilidad de un Irán con armas nucleares en la actualidad. Los líderes de Irán han dedicado gran parte de su existencia a promover el odio hacia los Estados Unidos-refiriéndose a nuestro país como “Satanás” y apoyando a agrupaciones terroristas que buscan atacarnos. Pero en lugar de ayudar a aquellos que pedían un cambio de régimen, Obama les dio la espalda a los manifestantes y no hizo caso de sus súplicas.

Este no fue el caso en otras partes del Medio Oriente, donde Obama declaró su pleno apoyo a los rebeldes que buscaban derrocar a sus respectivos gobiernos, como en Egipto, Libia y Siria. Cada una de estas revoluciones, no obstante, fueron conducidas por islamistas, ... Read More

Venezuela Opposition Lawmaker Returns in Challenge to Government

| March 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

BY VYAS AND EZEQUIEL MINAYA

CARACAS, Venezuela—A leading opposition lawmaker, facing accusations of treason during a visit abroad, returned home on Wednesday and vowed to fight efforts to remove her from office, setting up a showdown with the government.

Lawmakers from the ruling party are pushing to investigate María Corina Machado, who has called for President Nicolás Maduro’s government to step down, as Caracas intensifies a crackdown on antigovernment protesters who have roiled this nation for two months. On Tuesday, the government arrested three generals—still unidentified—who Mr. Maduro said were plotting a coup.

Mr. Maduro’s legislative allies say they have stripped Ms. Machado of her title as congresswoman and the immunity from criminal investigation granted to lawmakers. They vowed to block her from the National Assembly. She rejected that.

“I will be congresswoman until the people decide otherwise,” Ms. Machado said Wednesday to a rally of a few hundred supporters, while flanked by supporting ... Read More

Venezuelan institutions unite against opposition

| March 27th, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s military, congress and Supreme Court are rallying behind President Nicolas Maduro and joining forces in an increasingly blunt response to the country’s opposition as protests continue.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced the opposition mayor of a restive border city to a year in jail for failing to remove road barricades put up by anti-government activists. It sent another mayor to jail last week for the same reason.

Maduro has repeatedly accused the protesters of trying to stage a coup against his socialist government and drive him from power before his term ends in 2019. He also accuses the opposition of ignoring his mandate after pro-government candidates prevailed in mayoral elections in December.

On Tuesday, Maduro dramatized the allegation of anti-government plotting by announcing that three air force generals had been arrested for planning a coup, allegedly after meeting with members of the opposition. He later promised to seek ... Read More

Venezuela death toll rises to 34 as troops and protesters clash

| March 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

By Diego Ore and Brian Ellsworth

CARACAS (Reuters) – Three Venezuelans died from gunshot wounds during protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, witnesses and local media said on Saturday, pushing the death toll from almost two months of anti-government demonstrations to 34.

Troops briefly clashed with a small group of protesters who attempted to block a highway in an upscale neighborhood of Caracas after thousands of opposition sympathizers marched to demand the release of students imprisoned during the unrest.

Demonstrators complaining of soaring prices and product shortages have vowed to remain in the streets until Maduro resigns, although there are few signs that the country’s worst turmoil in a decade will force him from office.

Argenis Hernandez, 26, was shot in the abdomen as he was demonstrating near a barricade in the central city of Valencia and died early on Saturday in a nearby hospital, according to local media reports.

A motorcyclist attempted to cross ... Read More

Opinion: Venezuela trapped in violent stalemate

| March 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Deutsche Welle

BY MARC KOCH

Venezuelan students have been protesting for nearly six weeks now. The government is using force to clamp down, and the conflict has reached total standstill. It can only be resolved externally, says DW’s Marc Koch.

Nothing works anymore. Venezuela is trapped. For weeks, the country has been teetering on the brink of a civil war. The hopelessly overburdened government of President Nicolas Maduro can think of nothing better than repression and outrageous rhetoric to solve the conflict with the protesting students. And Venezuela’s opposition is – once more – not able to present itself as a serious, democratic force and a realistic alternative.

No will for a solution

Barricades are set alight every night and people are dying in Caracas and other cities, but there is no solution to the political standstill. The student protests are yielding little for the country and their cause, though they have brought themselves some short-term international attention. ... Read More

Who Is Killing Venezuela’s Protesters?

| March 24th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

New evidence suggests that Chávez recruited today’s political militia from among the army.

BY MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY

Masked and armed “chavista” thugs on motorcycles—and not the police or the National Guard—have inflicted the most serious damage on antigovernment protesters in Venezuela, according to eyewitness accounts. The death toll since Feb. 12 is now at least 34, with many more serious injuries.

President Nicolás Maduro blames the violence on the political opposition, the U.S. and even on former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe. Mr. Maduro’s supporters are in the streets, he says, only to lend support for the elected government.

‪This has always seemed unlikely. It is even harder to believe in light of new evidence I obtained last week. Six documents stamped with the seal of the Venezuelan army show clearly that as far back as December 2001, agents of then-President Hugo Chávez —Mr. Maduro’s mentor—sought to build a paramilitary. What is more, the recruitment efforts ... Read More

NORIEGA Y CARDENAS: Washington no debe olvidar a Venezuela

| March 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
Article Appeared in The Washington Times

POR ROGER NORIEGA Y JOSÉ R. CÁRDENAS

La anexión rusa de Crimea es una violación flagrante a las normas internacionales que exige una reacción internacional concertada. No obstante, mientras los  ‘expertos’ en política exterior se acomodan en su zona de confort eurocéntrica , Washington no debe descuidar sus intereses estratégicos en un mundo cada vez más interconectado.

Tome en consideración a Venezuela. Un país con una gran riqueza petrolera, con lazos históricamente profundos con Estados Unidos y estratégicamente situado en medio de las principales rutas de contrabando de drogas hacia Estados Unidos. Por más de 30 días, Venezuela ha estado rodeada por protestas callejeras que han sido reprimidas brutalmente por el gobierno. Desafortunadamente, parece que sólo un pequeño grupo en el Congreso de EE.UU está interesado en una respuesta eficaz por para lidiar con el caos que se vive en Venezuela.

Existen muchas razones por las cuales el gobierno de EE.UU debe poner ... Read More

Suspende Air Canada vuelos a Venezuela por ‘inseguridad’

| March 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
Excelsior

La compañía informó en un comunicado publicado en su página web que la suspensión es indefinida “hasta nuevo aviso”

CARACAS, 18 de marzo.– Air Canada anunció ayer la suspensión de sus vuelos a Caracas por razones de “seguridad” ante las protestas que sacuden Venezuela desde hace más de un mes, mientras que una decena de aerolíneas redujeron sus operaciones por un millonario adeudo del gobierno.

“Debido a los disturbios civiles que siguen aconteciendo en Venezuela, Air Canada ya no puede garantizar la seguridad de sus operaciones y ha suspendido los vuelos a Caracas hasta nuevo aviso”, informó la compañía en su sitio web, sin vincular esta decisión a la deuda del gobierno.

La suspensión de operaciones se produce luego de que el viernes pasado el presidente Nicolás Maduro amenazara con no permitir el regreso de aerolíneas que se retiren de Venezuela, en momentos que las compañías reclaman una deuda de tres mil 700 millones ... Read More

John Kerry says Venezuela ‘terror campaign’ must end

| March 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
BBC

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the government of Venezuela must end its “terror campaign against its own citizens”.

Mr Kerry said the Organisation of American States (OAS), allies and neighbours should demand accountability of Venezuela over the protests.

Authorities say 28 people have died since they began more than a month ago.

Venezuela accuses the United States of helping “right-wing fascists” to plot a coup with the unrest.

Mr Kerry’s remarks are the starkest from Washington since the protests began.

Engagement

“We are trying to find a way to get the [President Nicolas] Maduro government to engage with their citizens, to treat them respectfully, to end this terror campaign against his own people and to begin to, hopefully, respect human rights in an appropriate way”, Mr Kerry told a committee in the US Congress.

American legislators have been debating whether or not to impose sanctions on the oil-rich nation.

President Maduro said his week ... Read More

The crisis in Venezuela: Another day, more bodies

| March 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Economist

THICK clouds of teargas hung in the air over the north gate of the Central University (UCV) in Caracas on March 12th. A police helicopter clattered overhead; on campus, plain-clothes gunmen on motorcycles, some bearing the initials of the national guard, harassed student demonstrators.

A month after the government crack-down on protesters began, Venezuela’s crisis is deepening. This was the bloodiest single day since three people were killed in Caracas on March 12th. Eighteen injuries were reported at the UCV, after a previously peaceful student march to demand the resignation of the Venezuelan government ombudsman was halted on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro.

But it was the city of Valencia, 125km west of the capital, that bore the brunt of the violence. Three people were shot dead there, including a national-guard officer and two civilians. The government blamed “snipers”; opposition sources insist the only people seen shooting belonged to the pro-government colectivos some ... Read More

Senador Menéndez presenta la Ley para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y Sociedad Civil en Venezuela

| March 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

Comité del Senado de Estados Unidos para Relaciones Exteriores

WASHINGTON , DC

PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA:

13 de marzo 2014

Presidente Menéndez presenta la Ley para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y Sociedad Civil en Venezuela

Legislación fortalece a la sociedad civil venezolana , pide sanciones enfocadas en respuesta a violaciones graves de los Derechos Humanos y de las Libertades Fundamentales

Washington, DC – El presidente del comité, Robert Menéndez (D -NJ ), se unió a los senadores Marco Rubio (R -FL ) y Bill Nelson (D -FL ) para impulsar la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Venezuela y la Ley de la Sociedad Civil de 2014.

Esta legislación bipartidista autoriza $15 millones en nuevos fondos en el presupuesto del año fiscal 2015 para defender los derechos humanos, el apoyo a las organizaciones democráticas de la sociedad civil , ayudar a los medios de comunicación independientes y fortalecer el buen gobierno y el imperio de la ... Read More

Southern Command: Venezuela on the brink of a catastrophe

| March 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

(TRANSLATION BY IASW)

BY LUIS ALONSO LUGO

WASHINGTON – The Commander of the United States Southern Command, General John Kelly, testified Thursday that it is necessary that Venezuelans resolve the internal conflict before it gets out of control and violence escalates.

“It’s a situation that obviously is falling apart in front of us,” Kelly said during in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Unless there is some kind of miracle in which the opposition or Maduro’s government pull back, this will turn into a catastrophe in terms of the economy and democracy.”

To a question from Sen. Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Kelly expressed his hope that “somehow Venezuelans resolve this themselves, without [the situation] spiraling out of control with much more violence.”

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz asked if Southern Command may limit the possible Iranian and Cuban assistance to Caracas to “use cyber tools against Venezuelan citizens,” but Kelly did not answer the question ... Read More

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