Tag Archives: Guaido

Venezuela investigates Guaido over photo with suspected Colombian criminals

Venezuela investigates Guaido over photo with suspected Colombian criminalsVenezuela’s state prosecutor’s office said on Friday it would open an investigation into Juan Guaido after the interior minister presented photos on state television showing the opposition leader in the company of two suspected members of a Colombian drug-trafficking group. Guaido on Friday said the two men had asked to take a photo with him when he secretly crossed into Colombia from Venezuela in February via an informal border route after a Venezuelan court had barred him from leaving the country. “We didn’t ask for their criminal record to take a photo,” he told reporters in Caracas.



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On Venezuelan independence day, Maduro calls for dialogue as Guaido slams 'dictatorship'

On Venezuelan independence day, Maduro calls for dialogue as Guaido slams 'dictatorship'Speaking to a gathering of top military officials, Maduro reiterated his support for a negotiation process mediated by Norway between his socialist government and Guaido, the leader of the opposition-held National Assembly who argues Maduro’s 2018 re-election was a fraud.



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On Venezuelan independence day, Maduro calls for dialogue as Guaido slams 'dictatorship'

On Venezuelan independence day, Maduro calls for dialogue as Guaido slams 'dictatorship'Speaking to a gathering of top military officials, Maduro reiterated his support for a negotiation process mediated by Norway between his socialist government and Guaido, the leader of the opposition-held National Assembly who argues Maduro’s 2018 re-election was a fraud.



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Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido under pressure over alleged misappropriation of aid funds

Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido under pressure over alleged misappropriation of aid fundsVenezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has launched an investigation after two members of his team allegedly stole money destined to help deserting Venezuelans soldiers in Colombia. The pair, Kevin Rojas and Rossana Barrera – sister-in-law of opposition politician Sergio Vergara, Mr Guaido’s right-hand man – are accused of taking the money designated for supporting Venezuelans in the Colombian border town of Cucuta and blowing it on hotels, clubs, designer clothes and cars. A failed attempt to get humanitarian aid into the country on February 23 saw more than 40 soldiers abandon President Nicolas Maduro and swear allegiance to his rival, Mr Maduro. Within three days, that number had swollen to 270 and Mr Guaido, in Cucuta to try and push the aid into Venezuela, praised the deserting soldiers as heroes. He officially designated Mr Rojas and Ms Barrera with the task of caring for the soldiers, who had defected at enormous risk to themselves and their families. Yet Colombian police became suspicious when Mr Rojas and Ms Barrera began living a lavish lifestyle and burning through money. Colombia's President Ivan Duque, left, greets Venezuelan soldiers who defected as he visits the border area near Cucuta on February 23 In one night alone, according to the PanAm Post, they spent over three million Colombian pesos (£700) in a nightclub and hotel. Ms Barrera, the website reported, told Mr Guaido’s team in Caracas that she was paying for seven hotels in Cucuta, used to house the soldiers. Yet in reality she was only paying for two; the other five hotels were paid for by Colombia’s government and the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR. She also claimed there were 1,450 soldiers in her care; in reality the figure was 700. In mid May Ms Barreras, using a false email, invited members of the Bogota diplomatic elite to a fundraiser at the exclusive Pajares Salina restaurant in the city. She said the event was organised by Mr Guaido’s appointed “ambassador” to Colombia, Humberto Calderon Berti. The fundraiser was cancelled when Mr Calderon’s team alerted other diplomatic missions in Bogota that they were not behind the event. Aerial picture showing smoke billowing from trucks which were carrying humanitarian aid and which were set ablaze on the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge between Cucuta in Colombia (left) and Urena (right) in Venezuela, on February 23 Colombian authorities are said to have caught on to the excessive spending and misappropriation of funds and alerted Mr Guaido and fellow Popular Will leader Leopoldo Lopez, but reportedly received no response. Finally, on May 27 Mr Calderon’s team called a meeting in Cucuta, and asked Ms Barrera to show her accounts. She informed them she had spent $ 100,000 (£80,000), but was unable to provide substantial receipts, the website claimed. On Monday Mr Guaido said there would be a full investigation. "Dictatorships cover up corruption," he tweeted. "We don't." Ms Barrera and Mr Rojas are believed to still be in Colombia. He announced that he was appointing Lester Toledo, coordinator of the humanitarian aid, to oversee the inquiry. Juan Guaido stands on a lorry carrying humanitarian aid in Cucuta on February 23. It failed to pass the border “We are fulfilling our promise regarding humanitarian aid with firmness and transparency,” he said. “I’ve told Lester Toledo to head an investigation into Colombia and provide a statement to all the press and international allies.” Mr Toledo on Tuesday demanded prison sentences for those found guilty of corruption, saying they had asked the Colombian attorney general to open an investigation. He also insisted that the $ 213 million (£169m) in aid sent by the United States was managed directly by Washington, and had never entered Mr Guaido’s hands. The scandal has dealt a serious blow to Mr Guaido’s team, however, and has been seized upon by Mr Maduro. A recent poll by opposition-aligned Datincorp found only 36 per cent of Venezuelans recognise Mr Guaido as head of state, down from 49 per cent in February. Mr Maduro, whom Mr Guaido has repeatedly vowed to remove from office, has seen his recognition increase from 34 per cent in February to 41 per cent in June. He has been quick to highlight the alleged opposition theft, saying it shows Mr Guaido's camp cannot be trusted. "Corruption isn't new in the opposition," he said. "The evidence is coming out."



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Venezuelans protest as Guaido declares 'greatest escalation of pressure'

Venezuelans protest as Guaido declares 'greatest escalation of pressure'Opposition supporters thronged the streets of Caracas and other cities on Saturday to protest against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, as massive blackouts and the collapse of water supplies further exacerbated a growing political crisis. The United States meanwhile has stiffened its economic sanctions against the government, and one top US official on Saturday warned Venezuela’s military that it must protect the rights of peaceful protesters.



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Guaido Says Imprisoning Him Could Be Maduro's Final Move

Guaido Says Imprisoning Him Could Be Maduro's Final Move“In the event that they want to, or try to, kidnap me, which they can do without a doubt, there is a complete strategy ready to continue with leadership, but also to intensify pressure,’’ Guaido said in an interview following a conference on the opposition’s policy plans to remedy Venezuela’s crisis. Venezuelan law has afforded Guaido, 35, immunity from prosecution because he is the head of the opposition-dominated National Assembly.



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The Latest: Venezuela's Guaidó recognizes risk of arrest

The Latest: Venezuela's Guaidó recognizes risk of arrestCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuela's Crisis (all times local):



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Russian troops in Venezuela violates constitution: Guaido

Russian troops in Venezuela violates constitution: GuaidoVenezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado charged Tuesday that the deployment of Russian troops in the troubled South American country violates its constitution. Guaido, who is recognized by the US and more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s interim president, raised the issue in a speech to the National Assembly, which he heads. “It seems (the government of President Nicolas Maduro) doesn’t trust its own troops, because it is importing others … once again violating the constitution,” he said.



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UPDATE 1-U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuela bank Bandes after Guaido aide's arrest

UPDATE 1-U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuela bank Bandes after Guaido aide's arrestThe United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s development bank Bandes, a day after the Trump administration warned there would be consequences for the arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide. The U.S. Treasury said it was slapping the sanctions on the Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, including its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia. “(President Nicolas) Maduro and his enablers have distorted the original purpose of the bank … as part of a desperate attempt to hold onto power,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the action.



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Venezuela arrests Guaido aide for 'terrorism' in defiance of US

Venezuela arrests Guaido aide for 'terrorism' in defiance of USVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime defied the US on Thursday to arrest a top aide of opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom Washington recognizes as the crisis-hit country’s interim leader. The United States has repeatedly warned Maduro’s government against arresting Guaido or his close aides, saying it would face unspecified repercussions.



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