Tag Archives: Venezuelan

Venezuelan opposition leader denies ties to criminal gang

Venezuelan opposition leader denies ties to criminal gangVenezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó rejected allegations Friday that he has ties to an illegal armed group in Colombia, as officials launched an investigation based on photos appearing in social media purportedly showing him posing with members of the gang. The pictures were allegedly taken in late February when Guaidó crossed into Colombia and made a surprise appearance at a concert organized by billionaire Richard Branson aimed at helping deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela. Government officials loyal to President Nicolás Maduro are holding up the photos as proof that Guaidó’s covert journey was orchestrated with the help of a Colombian criminal gang known as the Rastrojos, an accusation he denies.



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Venezuelan officials reached out to discuss Maduro exit: US

Venezuelan officials reached out to discuss Maduro exit: USVenezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said Wednesday his rival Nicolas Maduro had been made to look ridiculous by insisting he had authorized back channel talks with Washington, only for a top US official to reveal it was Caracas who had made the initial approach behind the president’s back. The sole aim of the secret talks was to discuss Maduro’s exit from power and organizing free elections, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Wednesday. Bolton’s comment came after Maduro said he had authorized the contacts with high level US officials, casting them as a long-standing initiative that he was aware of and had approved.



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U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraft

U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraftThe U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of “aggressively” shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, in yet another sign of the increasing hostility between the two nations. The encounter between the U.S. and Venezuelan planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was sanctioning four top officials in Venezuela’s military counterintelligence agency. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly used sanctions in an effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election has been deemed illegitimate by the United States and most Western nations.



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U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraft

U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraftThe U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of “aggressively” shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, a fresh sign of growing hostility between the two countries. The encounter between the two planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was imposing sanctions on four top officials in Venezuela’s military counterintelligence agency. The U.S. military did not give details of the EP-3′s mission nor say where the encounter took place.



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UPDATE 2-U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraft

UPDATE 2-U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraftThe U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of “aggressively” shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, a fresh sign of growing hostility between the two countries. The encounter between the two planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was imposing sanctions on four top officials in Venezuela’s military counterintelligence agency.



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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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Venezuelan deputy faces trial for drone 'hit' attempt on Maduro

Venezuelan deputy faces trial for drone 'hit' attempt on MaduroA Venezuelan politician accused of an attempt to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro using explosing drones will face trial after a court on Monday accepted charges against him, his lawyer said. Opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens faces 30 years in prison if found guilty of the brazen attempt to kill Maduro as he attended a military parade in downtown Caracas on August 4, 2018. Two drones packed with explosives flew towards President Maduro, causing panic among soldiers and civilians when they detonated during his speech.



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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UN calls for independent probe into Venezuelan navy captain's death

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UN calls for independent probe into Venezuelan navy captain's deathCARACAS/GENEVA, July 1 (Reuters) – Venezuelan authorities must conduct an independent and transparent investigation into the death in custody of a navy captain amid allegations of torture, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday. President Nicolas Maduro’s government over the weekend confirmed the death on June 29 of Rafael Acosta, arrested eight days earlier for alleged participation in a coup plot, without providing details on the cause of death or commenting on the torture accusations. Human rights organizations and political leaders have accused Maduro’s government of torturing Acosta to death and refusing to clarify the circumstances.



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Outrage as Venezuelan navy captain dies under 'torture' after arrest over alleged coup plot

Outrage as Venezuelan navy captain dies under 'torture' after arrest over alleged coup plotThe United States and Venezuela's opposition on Sunday condemned the death under "torture" of a naval officer detained for alleged trying to oust President Nicolas Maduro. Washington blamed Maduro for the death of Rafael Acosta Arevalo, which came amid a standoff between Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido and the president that's stretched for more than five months. "The United States condemns the killing and torture of" Acosta, the State Department said in a statement. The officer "died while in the custody of Maduro's thugs and their Cuban advisers," it added. National Assembly leader Mr Guaido, recognized as interim president by the United States and about 50 countries, said on Saturday evening that Acosta died "after being tortured." Acosta was part of a group of 13 people arrested for alleged involvement in a failed "coup d'etat" against Mr Maduro, which the government has tied to Guaido. Mr Maduro's government has claimed the coup was to have taken place on June 23 and 24 and involved the assassination of the president and several other senior officials. The Lima Group, made up of a dozen Latin American countries and Canada, condemned the "assassination" of Acosta and called for the intervention of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. Ms Bachelet, a former Chilean president, visited Caracas last week and called for the "release" of imprisoned political opponents in the country, which NGO Foro Penal says number close to 800. Tamara Suju, a Venezuelan lawyer and human rights activist exiled in the Czech Republic, tweeted that Acosta appeared in court on Friday in a "wheelchair with severe signs of torture." Venezuela's defence ministry confirmed in a statement that Acosta had "fainted" during the court hearing and that the judge ordered him transferred to a hospital, "where he died." Former intelligence chief Manuel Christopher, who joined a failed April 30 uprising against Maduro and later fled the country, in a letter on Sunday called on military commanders to "join the side of those in need and stop crossing your arms while our people and our soldiers are killed and tortured." Without referring to the mistreatment allegations, Attorney General Tarek William Saab, who is close to Mr Maduro, announced an "objective, independent and impartial investigation" following the officer's death. The National Assembly made a series of demands following Acosta's death, including an investigation by the UN rights chief, an autopsy of Acosta by an "independent international forensic team" and a "verification of the state of health" of military personnel held on accusations of "conspiracy." But the National Assembly's resolutions and laws are considered null and void by Venezuela's Supreme Court and the Constituent Assembly, both of which are controlled by Maduro loyalists. The death of Acosta comes amid heightened tensions between Maduro's government and the opposition following two rounds of unsuccessful talks held in Norway. However Mr Maduro recently said "dialogue will continue," without specifying a schedule or agenda. On top of the fraught political situation, Venezuela is also grappling with its most-severe economic crisis in recent history, with the country in the grip of power cuts and shortages of basic goods and medicines. According to the United Nations, more than seven million Venezuelans – a quarter of the country's population – need emergency humanitarian aid.



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