Tag Archives: Venezuela

Russian and U.S. diplomats to hold Venezuela talks in Italy this week

Russian and U.S. diplomats to hold Venezuela talks in Italy this weekUnited States Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov are due to meet in Rome this week to discuss the situation in Venezuela, diplomats from the two countries said. Venezuela, a close ally of Moscow, is in political turmoil. The United States and many other Western countries back Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who invoked the constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, while Russia says President Nicolas Maduro remains the country’s only legitimate leader.



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U.S. Weighs Curbs on Venezuela Transaction Processing

U.S. Weighs Curbs on Venezuela Transaction ProcessingIf the Trump administration decides to move forward, such sanctions could prohibit U.S. companies from engaging with entities that recognize Maduro as the president of Venezuela. U.S. and other international firms use local institutions to process transactions, and the majority of the local financial institutions are state-owned enterprises.



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Venezuela: prominent journalist taken by intelligence service

Venezuela: prominent journalist taken by intelligence serviceLuis Carlos Díaz, who was charged with inciting violence and ordered not to leave the country, was released late on TuesdayVenezuela’s National Press Workers Union said agents raided Luis Carlos Díaz’s home shortly before dawn, seizing computers as the handcuffed journalist looked on. Photograph: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty ImagesA prominent Venezuelan journalist who had been reporting on the country’s escalating political crisis and electricity blackout out has been seized by secret police, sparking international condemnation.Luis Carlos Díaz went missing at about 5.30pm on Monday after leaving the radio station where he worked in the capital, Caracas.A social media hunt ensued with Twitter users demanding ~~~~ DóndeEstáLuisCarlos or ~~~~ WhereIsLuisCarlos.Fellow journalists confirmed Díaz had been taken by members of Venezuela’s intelligence service, Sebin.He was charged with inciting violence and released late on Tuesday. A judge ordered him not to leave the country and prohibited him from making public statements.Venezuela’s National Press Workers Union said agents raided Díaz’s home shortly before dawn, seizing computers and pen drives as the handcuffed journalist looked on.Díaz was reportedly held in the notorious El Helicoide political prison.Luz Mely Reyes, an internationally acclaimed Venezuelan journalist, told the Guardian her colleague’s detention was part of an escalating war on the press being waged by the country’s embattled leader, Nicolás Maduro.Maduro is fighting for his political life after an audacious challenge from a young opposition leader called Juan Guaidó, who most western governments now recognize as Venezuela’s rightful interim president.“I think one of the things [Maduro] is trying to achieve is to intimidate [journalists] and ensure the stories about what is going on in Venezuela are not told,” Reyes said. “Repression against the press has been growing.”Last week, one day before much of Venezuela was paralyzed by a massive power cut, an American freelance journalist who had worked for the Daily Telegraph was deported after being seized at his home in Caracas. A rightwing German journalist, Billy Six, has reportedly been held in El Helicoide since being detained on suspicion of espionage last year.“It is just a joke,” his father, Edward Six, told the Guardian in a recent interview. “Journalism is not a crime.”Díaz’s detention – which authorities have yet to explain – triggered condemnation in and outside of Venezuela, with Guaidó denouncing Maduro’s “persecution” of journalists.The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet tweeted that she was “deeply worried” by the detention of Díaz, adding that UN officials in Caracas had urgently requested access to him.During a brief conversation in the early hours of Tuesday, Díaz reportedly told Naky Soto, his journalist wife, he had been detained near the Korean embassy in Caracas while riding his bicycle home. Agents said he was suspected of “IT offenses”.Last Friday, Maduro’s second-in-command, Diosdado Cabello, published a conspiratorial video on Twitter insinuating Díaz was part of a “rancid” rightwing US-backed plot to destroy Venezuela’s electricity network.Reyes said she feared Díaz’s detention would not be the last, as the political situation in Venezuela deteriorated. “This is not a game – this is a very serious situation that puts us on alert.”



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Venezuela Blames U.S. for Record Blackout and Orders American Diplomats to Leave

Venezuela Blames U.S. for Record Blackout and Orders American Diplomats to LeavePresident Nicolas Maduro accused Trump of cyber "sabotage"



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Venezuela has endured four days of blackouts. This is what it looks like there

Venezuela has endured four days of blackouts. This is what it looks like thereVenezuela is already experiencing a political crisis. Now, its citizens are enduring the fourth day of blackouts across the country.



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Venezuela plunged into darkness for fourth consecutive day as country teeters on brink

Venezuela plunged into darkness for fourth consecutive day as country teeters on brinkSunday was the fourth day since Venezuela’s power system went down, plunging most of the country, including Caracas, the capital, into sporadic darkness and dampening hopes of imminent resolution to a devastating blackout that has brought the country to the verge of social implosion. “We’re going to arrive at a moment when we’re going to eat each other,” said Zuly González, 40, a resident of Caracas’ Chacao neighbourhood. Venezuela has been devastated for years by hyperinflation and a failing economy that has led millions to flee.



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US to pull all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela

US to pull all remaining diplomatic staff from VenezuelaThe United States will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas as the crisis in Venezuela deepens, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late Monday. The move worsens already tattered relations, with President Donald Trump having said he rules out no options including military intervention to oust President Nicolas Maduro as Washington monitors rapidly unfolding events in the oil-rich but crippled South American nation supported by Russia and China. The US has already imposed sanctions designed to choke off Venezuelan oil sales, the lifeblood of the leftist government in Caracas.



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Race against time in blackout-hit Venezuela to save food stocks

Race against time in blackout-hit Venezuela to save food stocksVicente Fernandez has not opened his freezer since the massive blackout began in Venezuela on Thursday. “I’m afraid it has all gone bad,” says Fernandez, a 54-year-old who sells telecoms equipment. Venezuelans, already feeling the pinch due to food and medicine shortages, are suffering even more now that the power has gone down.



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PDVSA Crude Output Plunges on Venezuela Power Cuts

PDVSA Crude Output Plunges on Venezuela Power CutsOil wells were halted and production stopped in some parts of the country as the industry depends on the national electricity grid, said the official, who asked not to be named since he’s not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Consultant Energy Aspects Ltd told clients in a note that Venezuelan oil production had fallen temporarily to as low as 500,000 barrels a day, more than 50 percent below 1.1 million barrels a day that the nation pumped in January. The impact will be reflected in official production reports for March and company president and Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo should provide details on the situation this week, the person said.



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Thousands of protesters take to the streets of Caracas amid nationwide Venezuela power outage

Thousands of protesters take to the streets of Caracas amid nationwide Venezuela power outageThousands of people took to the streets of Caracas on Saturday amid a nationwide power cut that has plunged crisis-hit Venezuela into further chaos and desperation for two days. The capital bristled with the security forces of Nicolás Maduro as supporters of Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly leader recognised as the legitimate interim president by more than 50 countries, poured into the city centre. It was a daring move by opponents of the Maduro government, both for the march’s unusual proximity to state installations and for it taking place amid the blackout that has almost entirely brought down the country’s communications.  The National Guard and riot police were out in force across the city, in some areas blocking the demonstrators’ passage. The Telegraph counted eight army trucks full of soldiers and nine armoured vehicles and tanks in a convoy approaching the protest route.  A supporter of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido, holds a policeman's face during a demonstration in Caracas Credit: AFP On Avenida Victoria, the march’s destination, protesters faced off with riot police before the rally even officially began, following an early morning confrontation that had seen security forces fire tear gas at locals as they tried to detain those erecting a platform for speeches. The atmosphere simmered as protesters, their anger heightened by the blackout, shouted at riot police with their shields raised. “You are killers!” one woman shouted. “There is still no electricity, people are dying, and you are going to pay for this!” “Soldiers, friends, the fight depends on you!” chanted others in the crowd, urging the security forces to come over to their side. Once again, it was almost impossible to communicate in Caracas or across most of the country. Power had been restored in some areas of the capital and elsewhere for a few hours on Friday afternoon, before cutting out in the early evening. The grid began to partially function again on Saturday morning, but by midday the blackout had resumed.  Mr Maduro and his ministers have pinned the outage on “sabotage” at the Guri hydroelectric dam, accusing the US of waging an “electric war” against Venezuela. Jorge Rodriguez, the communications minister, has singled out Florida senator Marco Rubio for blame.  A police officer tries to put out a fire during a demonstration in Caracas Credit: AFP But at the march in support of Mr Guaidó, such claims were ridiculed. “They always have an excuse to blame others,” Miguel Useche, a 72-year-old pensioner, told The Telegraph. “They have taken everything, I don’t know how many millions of millions they have looted,” he said, attributing the electrical collapse to corruption and lack of maintenance. The outage has brought further hardship to a country where many are already struggling to survive amid punishing shortages of food and medicine. As well as communications, water pumps have failed, food is rotting in fridges, businesses are shuttered and transport is virtually non existent. Petrol stations and grocery shops are running dry, with huge queues snaking around the few still operating.  At hospitals across the country, back up generators have failed or been insufficient to power life saving equipment. At a number, medical staff have been left ventilating premature babies or patients in critical condition by hand.  On Saturday an NGO reported that fifteen Venezuelans with advanced kidney disease had died after being unable to get dialysis during the country's extended power outage. "Between yesterday and today, there were 15 deaths for lack of dialysis," said Francisco Valencia, director of the Codevida health rights group. Carmen Yagres, a 38-year-old engineer, said Mr Maduro’s government must go. “We are here because people are dying,” she told the Telegraph. “It seems it doesn’t matter to them.” She implored the US to intervene to end the crisis. “We need international help,” she told The Telegraph. Mr Maduro, too, called supporters to the streets of Caracas on Saturday. The hardcore militants of his Socialist PSUV turned out, chanting patriotic slogans in defence of the fatherland against “imperialist aggression”. But away from the rank and file, the mood was subdued, the thronging crowds of fervent supporters he has in the past commanded nowhere to be seen.



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