Tag Archives: Venezuelan

U.S. Senator Rubio, other officials visit site of Venezuelan aid

U.S. Senator Rubio, other officials visit site of Venezuelan aidWhile Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is refusing to allow in the food, medicine and other supplies, opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido has vowed to move hundreds of tonnes of the aid into the country on Feb 23. Guaido, who argues that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was a sham, invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself the country’s leader last month. Most Western countries and many of Venezuela’s neighbors have recognized Guaido as the legitimate head of state, but Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions including the military.



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U.S. Seeks Maduro Regime’s Venezuelan Bond Holdings, Sources Say

U.S. Seeks Maduro Regime’s Venezuelan Bond Holdings, Sources SayTreasury Department officials told investors that its ban on Venezuelan debt trading is in part designed to prevent sales that could benefit the authoritarian government, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter. The restrictions are so sweeping because at this point Treasury can’t be sure which transactions might be providing money to the regime or high-ranking officials, they said. A Treasury Department spokesperson declined to comment.



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Venezuelan opposition envoy says Brazil will send aid to border

Venezuelan opposition envoy says Brazil will send aid to borderVenezuelan opposition envoy Maria Teresa Belandria was received as her country’s official ambassador in Brazil on Monday and said Brazil’s government would provide all possible support to get humanitarian aid to the border. Belandria told reporters that several Brazilian government agencies would be involved in the aid operation, which would open up a second route for food and medicine to enter Venezuela after the main one in Colombia. The lawyer and international law expert was appointed Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by dozens of countries as the head of Venezuela’s legitimate government instead of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.



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Venezuelan military official drops allegiance to Maduro

Venezuelan military official drops allegiance to MaduroAn active-duty Venezuelan army colonel who is a military doctor has dropped his allegiance to President Nicolas Maduro, backing opposition leader Juan Guaido instead. “Ninety percent of us in the armed forces are really unhappy,” said Colonel Ruben Paz Jimenez said in a video released Saturday. A week ago, Air Force General Francisco Yanez also dropped his allegiance to Maduro.



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Exclusive: U.S. in direct contact with Venezuelan military, urging defections – source

Exclusive: U.S. in direct contact with Venezuelan military, urging  defections - sourceThe Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro’s side, the official told Reuters in an interview, despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the United States and dozens of other countries. “We’re still having conversations with members of the former Maduro regime, with military members, although those conversations are very, very limited.” The official declined to provide details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held, and it was unclear whether such contacts could create cracks in the Venezuelan socialist leader’s support from the military, which is pivotal to his grip on power. With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.



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Venezuelan opposition readies U.S. fund to receive oil revenue

Venezuelan opposition readies U.S. fund to receive oil revenueThe fund would receive income accrued by state-run oil firm PDVSA’s U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum Corp since last month, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, Carlos Paparoni said in an interview. Citgo, the eighth-largest U.S. refiner and Venezuela’s top foreign asset, is in the middle of a tug of war as the Trump administration has made aggressive moves to remove it from Maduro’s control. Following a U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry last week, Guaido and the Trump administration have sought to appoint a new board of directors for Citgo.



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Venezuelan general deserts Nicolas Maduro in highest ranking military defection to hit regime

Venezuelan general deserts Nicolas Maduro in highest ranking military defection to hit regimeA general from the Venezuelan air force has announced he no longer recognises Nicolas Maduro as the country's president, in what appears to be the highest ranking military defection to hit the regime.  In a video circulating on social media on Saturday ahead of mass protests planned in Caracas, General Francisco Esteban Yanez Rodriguez says he has disavowed the "dictatorial" authority of Mr Maduro and now recognises Juan Guaido, the self-declared interim president, as Venezuela's leader. Wearing military uniform, Gen. Yanez identifies himself as director of strategic planning in the high command of the Venezuelan air force. His role and identity corresponds with that listed on the force's website.  The general claims that 90 per cent of the country's armed forces "are not with the dictator, they are with the people of Venezuela". "The transition to democracy is imminent," he says, urging Venezuelans to come out peacefully into the streets in support of Mr Guaido.  Gen. Yanez also calls on members of the armed forces not to protect Mr Maduro, saying that if they are afraid of backing Mr Guaido openly due to internal threats, they should "stay at home". "The people have already suffered enough", he says, describing repression and deaths from hunger and lack of medicines. "Do not repress (them) any more." Mr Maduro has two planes on standby to flee the country, the general claims, adding "he should go".  "The time for democracy is now," he concludes.  It is not clear when or where the two minute video was filmed, nor where Gen. Yanez is now. The Associated Press said they had reached him on a Colombian mobile phone number. General de División del Alto Mando de la Aviación Militar, Francisco Esteban Yánez Rodríguez, reconoce a Juan Guaidó como presidente encargado. “Me manifiesto por una Venezuela democrática, por la patria de nuestros hijos y la tragedia que vive nuestro pueblo”. #2Febreropic.twitter.com/3YfgnTsFlY— Venezuela al Dia (@venezuelaaldia) February 2, 2019 The  defection is hugely significant as until now, the high command has remained outwardly steadfast in its loyalty to Mr Maduro.  On January 21, a small group of soldiers in the Cotiza neighbourhood of Caracas announced that they were rising up against Mr Maduro's government, calling on the people to take to the streets. However the rebellion was swiftly put down.  After Mr Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, swore himself in as president in front of a Caracas rally on January 23, General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the country's defence minister, and other members of the top brass, took to the airwaves to pledge their allegiance to Mr Maduro.  The Venezuelan defence attache in Washington released a video last week saying he now supported Mr Guaido. But Gen. Yanez is the first active general to defect. The United States, Canada and a host of Latin American countries have recognised Mr Guaido as interim president, saying that presidential elections last May were not free and fair.  Several European countries, including the UK, have given Mr Maduro a deadline of midnight on Sunday to call fresh elections, saying they will also recognise Mr Guaido as leader if he does not do so.  Mr Guaido has called for supporters to protest in Caracas on Saturday, while a rival rally celebrating the 20th anniversary of the rise to power of Hugo Chavez, Mr Maduro's predecessor, is also to be held.



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To Florida's Venezuelan exiles, Pence vows more pressure on Maduro

To Florida's Venezuelan exiles, Pence vows more pressure on MaduroIn a visit to the largest community of Venezuelan exiles in the United States – and flanked by four prominent Florida Republican politicians – Pence rejected calls for talks with Maduro, and said all options were on the table to force him to leave. This is time for action,” Pence told a few hundred people at a rally in a local church, many of whom waved Venezuelan flags and shouted “Libertad!” “The time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all,” said Pence, who has emerged as one of the strongest voices against the Venezuelan leader in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. government has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.



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Mike Pence tells Venezuelan exiles in Miami: 'This is no time for dialogue. This is time for action'

Mike Pence tells Venezuelan exiles in Miami: 'This is no time for dialogue. This is time for action'Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, has said that Venezuela needs “action” rather than dialogue, rallying Venezuelan exiles in Miami to the cause of “interim president” Juan Guaido and demanding that President Nicolas Maduro step down. Mr Pence told the Florida gathering that “all options are on the table”, and warned Mr Maduro “not to test the resolve of the United States”. “This is no time for dialogue. This is time for action," he said. "The time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all.” Removing Mr Maduro has been a priority for Mr Trump right from the beginning of his presidency, but has become an obsession for the White House since Mr Guaido, president of the national assembly, declared himself “interim president” on January 23. Mike Pence addressing Venezuelan exiles in Miami On Friday John Bolton, the national security adviser and one of the most strident Venezuela hawks, attempted to reduce the temperature somewhat, saying he did not believe US military intervention was imminent. He reacted angrily to reports that Mr Maduro was planning to send 15 tonnes of gold from central bank vaults to the United Arab Emirates in coming days, in return for euros in cash. Oil sanctions announced by the US last week are hitting hard, and Mr Maduro is becoming increasingly desperate to find means of keeping his regime afloat – including accessing $ 1.5 billion of gold kept in the Bank of England’s vaults. “Not only does Maduro require foreign paramilitary support to keep remaining threads of a failed dictatorship, but reports show he is flying out Venezuelan assets by the plane full,” Mr Bolton tweeted. “Is he stealing resources from the people to pay for Russian intervention?” Venezuelan exiles listen to Mike Pence in Miami on Friday Mr Guaidohas urged his supporters to take to the streets on Saturday and demand the resignation of Mr Maduro, who is clinging to power with the support of Russia, China and Iran. Mr Maduro, 56, on Friday tweeted a video of himself inspecting troops. The military, which has so far remained largely loyal, is seen as holding the key to Mr Maduro’s future. Mr Guaido has appealed to the forces to defect, and wrote an open letter to soldiers offering amnesty – which many of them publicly burnt. Comandos de Alto Vuelo dispuestos a defender la Patria con la misma valentía de nuestros Libertadores. ¡Dios los Bendiga Muchachos! pic.twitter.com/5Dh3QzVXUi— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 1, 2019 The 35-year-old published an open letter to Mexico and Uruguay, turning down their offer of mediation in talks with Mr Maduro and saying he would only consider talks “when the usurpation is over”. He argues that Mr Maduro’s May election was fraudulent, and so the end of his term, in January, marked the end of his legitimate rule. He insists that, with the presidency “vacant”, he, as the president of the national assembly, becomes under the constitution the “interim president”. Juan Guaido with his 20-month-old daughter at his home in Caracas, which was visited by Venezuelan police on Friday Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, expressed dismay at Mr Guaido’s position, siding instead with his friend Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of Mexico, and criticising the British foreign secretary for calling for further sanctions. “The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. Jeremy Hunt's call for more sanctions on Venezuela is wrong. We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else. “There needs to be dialogue and a negotiated settlement to overcome the crisis.” The European Parliament officially recognised Mr Guaido on Thursday, and urged the European Union to follow suit. A series of European countries, among them Britain, Spain, France and Germany, have set a deadline for Sunday for Mr Maduro to call elections, or else they will join the US, Canada, Australia, Israel and many Latin American nations in recognising Mr Guaido. Pro-Maduro protesters holding up a poster of the late Hugo Chavez take to the streets of Caracas on Thursday Francisco Sucre, the head of the international committee of Venezuela’s national assembly, on Friday called on Mr Maduro to step down. Speaking in Spain, at the end of a trip designed to rally support for Mr Guaido, he said that the "international contact group" announced on Thursday by the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, "should help to cease the usurpation of power by Maduro and establish a transitional government until new elections." He added: "There is no possible discussion here, Maduro has to leave." He said Venezuela, under Mr Guaido, welcomes the EU's involvement "because we are going to need its cooperation during the initial stages of the recovery of our country." "Power is evaporating from Maduro's hands with the passing of the hours," he said. "We have been contacted by diplomatic workers across Europe who are ready to take a step forward, but they are waiting for the right moment."



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Guaido Says Venezuelan Police Came to His Home to Intimidate Him

Guaido Says Venezuelan Police Came to His Home to Intimidate HimDuring a news conference on the opposition’s economic plans, Guaido, who is gathering international support in his bid to unseat President Nicolas Maduro, abruptly announced that the feared Special Action Force had come to his house. “They came into my home asking for Fabiana,” Guaido said, referring to his partner, who accompanied him on stage.



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