Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Maduro’

Trapped in Venezuela: Airlines Abandon Fliers Amid Currency Dispute

| August 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By KEJAL VYAS CARACAS, Venezuela—When this city’s professional soccer club traveled to a key match in Peru, its tough rival wasn’t the only challenge. The team also had to endure an arduous four-day journey, including four connecting flights, a layover in neighboring Colombia and a jarring, cross-border bus ride. Like many of their compatriots, the players simply couldn’t get a flight that would take them where they wanted to go.

The 20-man team was a victim of the long-simmering dispute between international airlines and the leftist administration of President Nicolas Maduro. With the cash-strapped government holding back on releasing $3.8 billion in airline-ticket revenue because of strict currency controls, carriers have slashed service to Venezuela by half since January, adding another layer of frustration to daily life here.

The lack of flights is complicating family vacations, business trips and the evacuation plans of Venezuelans who want to leave the country, which is whipsawed by 60% inflation, ... Read More

Maduro prepara mecanismo óptimo de control social: el racionamiento electrónico

| August 25th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald

Se anunció como un instrumento para combatir el contrabando, pero la instauración de un sistema de identificación biométrico en los supermercados venezolanos podría terminar convirtiéndose en un asfixiante mecanismo de intimidación y control social que aumentaría la dependencia del ciudadano al régimen bolivariano y sofocaría en muchos la disposición a protestar.

Analistas consultados dijeron que los polémicos planes de instaurar un sistema de identificación en los supermercados no es nada más que los primeros pasos para establecer un sistema de racionamiento computarizado, inspirado en la experiencia cubana, que terminará siendo utilizado para doblegar la voluntad de disentir de los venezolanos.

“En Venezuela están imitando muchas de las cosas que han hecho Cuba. La influencia cubana, la asesoría cubana, es crítica dentro del chavismo”, comentó Jaime Suchlicki, director del Instituto de Estudios Cubano y Cubano Americanos.

En este caso, se estarían uniendo la experiencia en represión ... Read More

Maduro’s Rating Falls to 39% in Venezuela Poll on Economy

| August 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

By Anatoly Kurmanaev

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s approval rating fell 21 percentage points this year to 39 percent in August, as the economy worsened, according to an Hinterlaces poll.

“The people are waiting for answers, for solutions,” Oscar Schemel, director of the polling company, said by telephone from Caracas today. “There’s a lot of uncertainty about the direction of the economy.”

Currency and price controls pushed annual inflation to 60.9 percent in May, the fastest in the world, while gross domestic product shrank 2.1 percent in the second quarter, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Slumping popularity has made Maduro reluctant to make economic adjustments such as raising gasoline prices or devaluing the bolivar, Eurasia Group analyst Risa Grais-Targow said in a client note Aug. 18. The government will start rationing basic products with biometric sensors before year-end, according to the country’s price controls ombudsman.

Maduro’s approval fell from highs ... Read More

New owners of leading Venezuelan newspaper fire columnists and change editorial line

| August 15th, 2014 | No Comments »
Journalism in the Americas


A leading Venezuelan newspaper that was recently sold to anonymous investors appears to be shifting its opposition editorial line weeks after pledging not to. The managing editor at El Universal, Elides Rojas, told the International Press Institute (IPI) that the newspaper’s new president had “ordered a complete revision of the opinion section” and had suspended or dismissed editorial staff.

El Universal has been a vocal critic of the Venezuelan government, especially on its editorial pages.

Weeks ago, the spokesman for the group of unknown buyers who bought the 105-year-old newspaper last month, Jose Luis Basanta, dismissed fears that the buyers had a political agenda in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“The editorial line is not going to be touched but only the days, the weeks and the months ahead will be able to demonstrate that,” he told Bloomberg.

... Read More

Venezuelan opposition leader quits coalition post over internal strife

| July 31st, 2014 | No Comments »
Global Post

CARACAS, July 30 (Xinhua) — The leader of Venezuela’s opposition alliance, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, has resigned due to strong internal divisions, but will stay within the alliance, according to an announcement made Wednesday.

The general secretary of Venezuela’s opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) was cited as saying “I’m not saying goodbye, what I’m doing is moving places. I’m not leaving this house, but I’m moving to another room.”

“I don’t want my name and the controversy it can generate to continue to be an excuse for them to shoot at the Unity from the ramparts,” he added.

According to Aveledo, “in recent months, a clever and cruel campaign” has been launched against the coalition by “attacking the credibility of its spokesman, yours truly.”

The ranks of the opposition have split again, with hardline activists turning on Aveledo for ... Read More

Chairman Menendez Statement on Administration’s Announcements of Visa Restrictions against Human Rights Abusers in Venezuela

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Administration’s announcement today to apply visa restrictions against human rights abusers in Venezuela.

“Today’s announcement sends an unambiguous and direct message to President Maduro, members of his Administration, and the Venezuelan government: the United States will never tolerate systemic human rights violations conducted by a merciless government against its own people. The Administration’s visa sanctions are an important step in the right direction, but more hard hitting sanctions are needed. The Maduro regime will not go unpunished for violating the human rights and freedoms of its people.

“Since February, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan citizens have assembled to protest the country’s political and economic crisis. The freedom to assemble peacefully was met with shocking levels of violence, brute force, and the systemic ... Read More

Declaraciones del Presidente Menéndez Sobré Anuncios de la Administración Para Restringir Visas de Violadores de Derechos Humanos en Venezuela

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

Washington, DC - El senador Robert Menéndez (D-NJ), presidente del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores, emitió las siguientes declaraciones sobre el anuncio de la Administración para solicitar restricciones de visados contra los violadores de derechos humanos en Venezuela.

“El anuncio de hoy envía un mensaje inequívoco y directo al presidente Maduro, los miembros de su gobierno, y el gobierno de Venezuela: Estados Unidos no tolerará las violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos humanos llevadas a cabo por un gobierno contra su propio pueblo. Las sanciones anunciadas por la Administración representan un paso importante en la dirección correcta, pero se necesitan sanciones más contundentes. El régimen de Maduro no continuará sin recibir un castigo por violar los derechos humanos y libertades de su pueblo.

“Desde febrero, cientos de miles de ciudadanos venezolanos se han reunido para protestar la crisis política y económica del país. La libertad de reunión pacífica ha ... Read More

Rep. Salmon Statement on the Imposition of New Visa Restrictions against Venezuelan Human Rights Violators

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives   Washington, D.C.— Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today released the following statement upon the United States’ imposition of visa restrictions against violators of human rights in Venezuela:   “I was pleased to learn that, after months of stalling, the Obama Administration has finally decided to react to the Venezuelan government’s violent repression against protestors.  Today’s announcement of visa denials and prohibitions against Venezuelan officials complicit in the crackdown of legitimate protesters is long overdue, but merely a first step in the right direction.   “Venezuelan pressure for the release of General Carvajal, a known FARC narcotics trafficking collaborator, should be enough to show the Administration that sitting by idly while authoritarian dictators undermine democratic values and violate human rights in our hemisphere is no substitute for deliberate policy that reflects the interests of the United States.  The unraveling of U.S. leadership around the world is not just embarrassing, it threatens peace and stability.”   Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) ... Read More

Dozing U.S. Diplomats Let Venezuelan Narco-General Slip Away

| July 30th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Foreign Policy


Although a retired Venezuelan general and confidante of President Nicolás Maduro just managed to evade U.S. extradition to face drug smuggling charges, the unsealed indictment in his case reveals that U.S. prosecutors have gathered compelling evidence of widespread criminality at the highest levels of the Maduro government. Dozing U.S. diplomats let Major General Hugo Carvajal slip away this past weekend, but the fact that Caracas pulled out the stops to keep him from facing U.S. justice has exposed a regime with a very guilty conscience.

U.S. diplomats were caught off-guard on Sunday when the Netherlands decided to recognize the dubious claims of “diplomatic immunity” by Carvajal, who was being held in Aruba since his arrest last Wednesday at the request of U.S. law enforcement authorities. In court proceedings last Friday, Aruban authorities dismissed Carvajal’s claims of immunity, arguing that he had never been accredited as Venezuela’s consul general ... Read More

Senador Bob Corker ha retirado su objeción al Acto para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y la Sociedad Civil en Venezuela

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate

El senador Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) decidió retirar su voto de objeción en relación a la Ley de Sanciones contra Venezuela después de que el gobierno de Maduro interrumpiera el proceso de extradición de un narcotraficante buscado por los Estados Unidos.

WASHINGTON – Tras los recientes intentos del gobierno venezolano de impedir la extradición del ex general venezolano Hugo Carvajal, quien es buscado por cargos de tráfico de drogas en los Estados Unidos, el senador Bob Corker, republicano y miembro de alto nivel del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado, ha anunciado hoy que ha retirado su objeción a S.2142, Acto para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos y la Sociedad Civil en Venezuela de 2014.

“Un diálogo regional sigue siendo la mejor opción para ayudar a los venezolanos a encontrar una solución negociada, de manera democrática que se ocupe de violaciones sistemáticas a los derechos humanos. Pero la complicidad del gobierno venezolano ... Read More

Aruba faced potentially ‘severe’ economic pressure over Venezuelan general

| July 29th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

Venezuela threatened to extend a flight boycott and sink Aruba’s tourism industry as it fought for the release of a former general who is wanted in the U.S. on drug charges, a State Department official said.

BOGOTA – As tensions rose in Aruba over the fate of a Venezuelan general wanted in Miami on drug charges, the island nation was worried that Venezuela was prepared to cut off air traffic for an extended period and sink its tourism industry, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

Former Venezuelan Gen. Hugo Carvajal went home Sunday after being detained four days in Aruba at the request of U.S. authorities. While an Aruban judge ruled that he could be held pending a U.S. extradition request, the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Sunday said Carvajal had diplomatic immunity, declared him “persona non grata” and sent him back to ... Read More

EEUU: Venezuela amenazó a Holanda por Carvajal

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald


WASHINGTON — Estados Unidos expresó el lunes su malestar ante lo que calificó como “reportes verosímiles” de que Venezuela amenazó a Aruba, Holanda y otros gobiernos para obtener la liberación de Hugo Carvajal Barrios.

“Esta no es la manera en que deben manejarse los asuntos relacionados al cumplimiento de las leyes”, dijo una portavoz del Departamento de Estado quien solicitó el anonimato para cumplir con las políticas de su despacho, sin precisar los reportes ni detallar en qué consistieron las amenazas.

La funcionaria agregó que su gobierno está profundamente decepcionado por la liberación de Carvajal, ya que estuvo justificada por alegatos de inmunidad que “van más allá de las normas internacionales establecidas” y aseguró que Washington solicitó la detención en cumplimiento pleno del tratado de extradiciones que suscribió con Holanda y Aruba.

The Associated Press solicitó una reacción a la embajada venezolana, sin obtenerla de inmediato.

Carvajal, el funcionario venezolano ... Read More

Venezuela traicionada–oportunidad perdida para desenmascarar al régimen

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
By Roger Noriega

[Traducción por IASW]

La decisión Holandesa de liberar al poderoso general retirado venezolano Hugo Carvajal en Aruba, detenido el miércoles por solicitud de los Estados Unidos, es una le hizo un favor  a el narco estado en Caracas. Esto hará que sea más fácil para el gobierno de Obama el continuar ignorando al régimen corrupto y represivo en Venezuela.

Lo que sucede en Venezuela es importante para los EE.UU. Venezuela es el noveno exportador de petróleo más importante del mundo y con las mayores reservas de petróleo probadas. Esa nación de 30 millones de personas y una economía de $400 mil millones tiene una influencia desproporcionada en las Américas.

Su gobierno ha gastado miles de millones de dólares en armas rusas y alentado las actividades criminales de Irán y Hezbollah.

El arresto Carvajal pudo haber expuesto aun más la alianza del régimen con los narcotraficantes colombianos.

Si los fiscales federales hubieran podido juzgar a Carvajal en ... Read More

Netherlands Says Venezuelan Detained in Aruba Has Immunity

| July 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By JUAN FORERO And DAN MOLINSKI CARACAS—Authorities in Aruba on Sunday freed a powerful former Venezuelan general, wanted by the U.S. on drug-trafficking charges, from jail on the Caribbean island after a ruling that he is protected from prosecution by diplomatic immunity.

Hugo Carvajal, who had headed the Venezuelan military-intelligence service and had been named consul general in Aruba, was escorted to the airport and flew to Venezuela on Sunday night.

His release comes four days after Aruban authorities had detained him at the airport on an American warrant, generating angry accusations from Venezuela’s government that Mr. Carvajal had been “kidnapped” and warnings that tiny Aruba would suffer economic consequences for cooperating with the U.S.

“We were ready to do whatever it took to defend the dignity and honor of Venezuela,” President Nicolás Maduro said Sunday night, hailing Mr. Carvajal’s release as a diplomatic victory for the South American country.

“We rescued him through the political, diplomatic operation ... Read More

Retired Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal Detained on U.S. Petition

| July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

U.S. Alleges Carvajal Has Ties to Drug Trafficking, Colombian Marxist Rebels

By Kejal Vyas

CARACAS, Venezuela—A former chief of Venezuela’s military intelligence agency, accused by the U.S. of having ties to drug trafficking and Colombian Marxist rebels, was detained in Aruba on a petition from the American government, officials in the Caribbean island and the U.S. confirmed Thursday.

The detention of Hugo Carvajal, a retired military general who was awaiting confirmation as President Nicolás Maduro’s consul general to Aruba, is among the highest-profile arrests of a Venezuelan citizen in a cocaine trafficking case.

In 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department had put him on a blacklist, which prohibits any American entity from doing business with him, alleging that he had protected the drug shipments of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and also provided the rebel group with weapons and logistical help.

Mr. Carvajal, who was detained Wednesday night on a provisional arrest request ... Read More

Does a caged chavista sing the blues?

| July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch

By Juan Cristobal Nagel| Caracas Chronicles

A few months ago, Nicolás Maduro appointed former general Hugo Carvajal to be Consul General of Venezuela to the Dutch island of Aruba. Yesterday, as Carvajal laid low in the island waiting for the Dutch government to approve his position, he was detained. The US had asked the Netherlands to incarcerate and extradite him.

Carvajal was head of Venezuela’s military intelligence (DGIM) for years. A high-ranking chavista military if there ever was one, he was a close confidant of Hugo Chávez, and is suspected of aiding and abetting Colombia’s FARC guerrillas. Ironically, among other posts he also headed the National Office against Organized Crime.

This 2008 story on Carvajal by the Colombian magazine Semana (in Spanish) is well worth a read. The story includes everything: torture, drug smuggling, coordination with the guerrillas. Una joyita, puej. The money quote is a whopper:

Although all of the aforementioned events leave serious doubts as to General Carvajal’s actions, perhaps the most serious of them all ... Read More

Maduro necesita $15,000 millones para desmantelar el control cambiario

| July 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »
El Nuevo Herald


El régimen de Nicolás Maduro necesita conseguir cerca de $15,000 millones para que el desmantelamiento del sistema de control de cambio no se le salga de las manos y hunda decididamente a Venezuela en un proceso hiperinflacionario, advirtieron analistas.

El régimen, que busca desesperadamente alguna fórmula que le permita lidiar con la grave crisis económica que aflige al país, tiene previsto anunciar en agosto sus planes para unificar en una sola tasa los tres distintos tipos de cambio vigentes, ante las abundantes señales de que el esquema cambiario actual está asfixiando aceleradamente lo que aún queda del aparato productivo nacional.

Pero expertos consultados dijeron que la unificación cambiaria –plan impulsado por el zar de la economía y ministro de Energía y Minas, Rafael Ramírez– no es suficiente para lidiar con los problemas que enfrenta la economía venezolana.

El proceso debe estar acompañado de una eliminación de las restricciones del mercado, ... Read More

China’s Xi eyes increased investment in Cuba

| July 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

Havana (AFP) – Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Cuba with hopes of expanding political and economic ties in the fellow communist nation.

The tour of the Americas’ only one-party communist nation is the last leg of a weeklong trip in the region that has already taken Xi to Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, as he reaches out to resource-rich countries often shunned by the United States and Europe.

The Chinese leader arrived in Havana late Monday from Caracas for the two-day official visit.

Xi aims to make his country — already Cuba’s second-largest trading partner after Venezuela and its primary source of credit — a major investor on the Caribbean island.

Coinciding with his trip, about 50 Chinese entrepreneurs traveled to Havana to explore business opportunities, attracted by foreign investment incentives and the future Mariel free trade zone outside the capital.

“We want Chinese businessmen to invest in Cuba and partner with Cuban companies,” said ... Read More

Leopoldo Lopez’s jailing is a symptom of a sick Venezuela

| July 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

By Lilian Tintori

Lilian Tintori, wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, lives in Caracas.

This year, my husband, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López , spent his 43rd birthday behind bars. To mark Leopoldo’s birthday, our children, Manuela, 4 , and Leopoldo, 1, and I tried to bring him a birthday cake at the Ramo Verde military prison. We were turned away. We were forced to celebrate on the street outside the prison, where our family sang “Happy Birthday” to a life-size picture of him.

For our children, this was a poor substitute for seeing their father. It’s been a month since we last visited Leopoldo, and we miss him each day. In his absence, I am a single mother, a circumstance that has taken a toll on our family.

The irony is that my husband is not a criminal but rather a devoted father, husband and politician whose “offense” was urging Venezuelans to peacefully exercise their ... Read More

An Average Of 35 Protests Per Day In Venezuela, A Total Of 6,369 This Year

| July 21st, 2014 | No Comments »
From Fox News Latino

During the first half of 2014, Venezuela endured an average of 35 protests per day across the nation, according to a report released by the NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict (OVCS).

So far this year, the number of recorded rallies is 6,369, the NGO said.

In the report entitled “Social Unrest in Venezuela in the First Half of 2014,” OVCS indicated that the first six months of this year have had the most protests seen in the last 10 years.

It estimated an increase of 278 percent over the first semester of 2013, when there were 1,687 rallies.

The wave of protests, which intensified in February, began with demands for the right to public safety as a response to astronomical rates of street crime and violence. In the following weeks, the NGO wrote in its report, the theme of the protests expanded to include demands for a range of rights: food, political participation, ... Read More

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