Tag Archives: Venezuela

Venezuela Congress and U.S. government ratchet up pressure on Maduro

Venezuela Congress and U.S. government ratchet up pressure on MaduroU.S. President Donald Trump’s administration was considering recognizing the leader of the Congress, Juan Guaido, as the country’s legitimate president, according to two people familiar with the matter. White House aides were weighing such a move among a list of options being prepared for Trump in response to the latest Venezuela developments but no final decision had been made, one of the people told Reuters. Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 under an avalanche of criticism that his leadership was illegitimate following a 2018 election widely viewed as fraudulent, with countries around the world disavowing his government.



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Venezuela president Maduro increases minimum wage by 300 per cent as inflation approaches 2 million per cent

Venezuela president Maduro increases minimum wage by 300 per cent as inflation approaches 2 million per centVenezuela‘s president has raised the country’s minimum wage by 300 per cent as part of routine wage increases as his government battles hyperinflation. Nicolas Maduro increased the minimum wage to 18,000 bolivars, around £5.20, per month amid an economy suffering from annual inflation nearing two million per cent. Mr Maduro announced his economic plans at the start of his second, disputed, term on Monday, as calls increased for him to surrender power.



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World leaders to skip Nicolas Maduro inauguration as Venezuela prepares for 'sham presidency'

World leaders to skip Nicolas Maduro inauguration as Venezuela prepares for 'sham presidency'Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be sworn-in for a second, six-year term on Thursday despite his country’s continued economic spiral that has sparked the region’s worst ever migration crisis.   Maduro’s new term will bring further international presssure on Caracas as dozens of countries have called his May re-election fraudulent and pledged not to recognise his new government. The European Union is expected to release a strongly worded warning hinting that further EU sanctions could be levied on the country, should the president continue to flout human rights and the rule of law. Guy Verhofstadt, the influential MEP and leader of the liberals in the European Parliament, told the Telegraph, “The EU should no longer recognise the legality or legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s sham presidency.” The lack of international recognition will be apparent from the lack of foreign visitors inauguration ceremony for Maduro, due to be held at 10 am outside the Supreme Court building. Only Cuba and Bolivia have confirmed their presidents will attend, while a handful of other countries will send diplomats.   Plans to organize a mass boycott of the investiture ceremony by all 28 EU ambassadors to Venezuela appeared to have fallen foul of divisions in the bloc, however. The Telegraph understands that the Spanish and Greek ambassadors will attend, but Britain’s will not. A kilogram of carrots is pictured next to 3,000,000 bolivars, its price and the equivalent of $ 0.46, at a mini-market in Caracas, Venezuela August 16, 2018. Credit: Reuters Other drastic proposals within Latin America, such as the withdrawal of diplomatic missions from the country or the appointment of a parallel president in exile, have also been rejected for now. The isolation and new sanctions could also spark further defections from Maduro’s government circle.  On Saturday, former Supreme Tribunal Justice Christian Zerpa fled to the US, telling Miami broadcaster EVTV he was “disavowing” the Maduro government. “I believe (Maduro) does not deserve a second chance because the election he supposedly won was not free and competitive,” he said. In his new term Maduro will deal with a country in disarray, facing an unprecedented economic crisis with some economists now projecting inflation to reach 10 million percent in 2019.  Since 2015, UN figures show that three million Venezuelans have fled their country and two million could leave this year alone. Even the most basic daily tasks have become nearly impossible; there are shortages of plastic for debit cards, the paper used for making passports, and shortages of medicines and foods continue.  The currency is so worthless that vendors across the border in Colombia make bags and wallets using the bills. “I want somebody to just take this regime out,” said Jacqueline Torres, 48, outside of a Caracas bank on Wednesday.  She had her husband had travelled an hour to Caracas and spent the morning going from bank to bank to get a new debit card, but none had the plastic needed. Demonstrators ride on a truck while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, June 29, 2017. Credit: Reuters Torres, who suffers from a back injury, wants to travel to Colombia for medical exams, but hasn’t received her passport, even though she applied for the document a year ago. “We’re bad off, and they have kidnapped the public institutions,” she said.  “We can’t do anything.” Many of the millions with plans to leave the country view Thursday’s inauguration as the end of any hope for change. “If I stay here, I won’t be able to do what I want and won’t be able to maintain myself,” said Williams Blanco, 30, who plans to leave for Ecuador by bus in three months. “I haven’t bought new shoes in three years, so that gives you an idea,” said the freelance actor and producer. To squash any discontent, Maduro will rely on the armed forces and paramilitary groups known locally as colectivos, as he did during 2017 street protests. In the days preceding the inauguration, local media have reported caravans of government supporters, including masked men on truck beds, passing through downtown Caracas. In one of the city’s most emblematic slums, traditionally a bastion of pro-government support, government supporters fired guns into the air on rooftops. “We’re defending the homeland with arms,” colectivo leader Valentín Santana told local outlet Cronica Uno.



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Former Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to U.S., denounces Maduro

Former Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to U.S., denounces MaduroThe latest defection from the crisis-stricken OPEC nation’s government comes amid growing international pressure on Maduro over his new term, which resulted from a broadly boycotted 2018 vote dismissed by countries around the world as a sham. “I’ve decided to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro,” Zerpa said in an interview with EVTV, which is broadcast over cable and the internet. “I believe (Maduro) does not deserve a second chance because the election he supposedly won was not free and competitive.” The Supreme Court confirmed in a statement that he had fled, referring to him as a former magistrate and adding it opened an investigation of him in November over accusations of sexual harassment by women in his office.



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Peru bars entry to Maduro, Venezuela government

Peru bars entry to Maduro, Venezuela governmentPeru announced Monday it was barring entry to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his cabinet, increasing pressure on the socialist leader days ahead of his second-term inauguration. The move announced by Peru’s Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio followed a decision Friday by 12 Latin American countries and Canada not to grant recognition to Maduro’s hardline government following his controversial re-election in May.



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Mexico defends hands-off stance on Venezuela

Mexico defends hands-off stance on VenezuelaMEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended his administration's hands-off policy on Venezuela Monday, saying it marked a return to the country's longstanding policy of non-intervention.



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Victims of Venezuela crisis despair at prospect of second Maduro term

Victims of Venezuela crisis despair at prospect of second Maduro termA public transport employee who doesn’t earn enough to feed himself, a doctor who watches his patients die for lack of medicines, a lawmaker without a legislature, three generations of one family emigrating — the list of victims of Venezuela’s crisis is long. The opposition boycotted the vote, blaming Maduro for the political, economic and humanitarian crisis that has enveloped the oil-rich country. Jairo Colmenares scrapes by on the equivalent of seven dollars a month, which he earns as a Caracas metro worker.



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Former Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to U.S., denounces Maduro

Former Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to U.S., denounces MaduroThe latest defection from the crisis-stricken OPEC nation’s government comes amid growing international pressure on Maduro over his new term, which resulted from a broadly boycotted 2018 vote dismissed by countries around the world as a sham. “I’ve decided to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro,” Zerpa said in an interview with EVTV, which is broadcast over cable and the internet. “I believe (Maduro) does not deserve a second chance because the election he supposedly won was not free and competitive.” The Supreme Court confirmed in a statement that he had fled, referring to him as a former magistrate and adding it opened an investigation of him in November over accusations of sexual harassment by women in his office.



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Guyana condemns 'hostile act' by Venezuela in local waters

Guyana condemns 'hostile act' by Venezuela in local watersGEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Guyana's foreign ministry has condemned what it says was a dangerous incursion into local waters after a Norwegian ship hired by ExxonMobil was "intercepted" by a Venezuelan naval vessel.



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U.S. preparing 'actions' in coming days against Venezuela: Pompeo to Fox News

U.S. preparing 'actions' in coming days against Venezuela: Pompeo to Fox NewsThe United States is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday. “You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said. “We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say.” He did not give further details on the nature of the planned actions.



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