Tag Archives: Venezuelans

Venezuelans flee economic crisis at home

Venezuelans flee economic crisis at homeThe Pentagon is preparing to dispatch a hospital ship to Colombia and possibly other parts of South America to help relieve strain on health care systems overloaded by an influx of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.



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Colombia says increasing number of Venezuelans involved in ELN attacks

Colombia says increasing number of Venezuelans involved in ELN attacksColombia on Thursday said an increasing number of Venezuelans were taking part in attacks by Marxist ELN rebels and in criminal activity, as hundreds of thousands of migrants flee over the border to escape a humanitarian crisis at home. Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said he had expressed concern to his Venezuelan counterpart General Vladimir Padrino in a telephone conversation, and that they had agreed to meet to coordinate security plans at the border. Villegas said Venezuelans had collaborated with the National Liberation Army (ELN) in attacks in Colombia and been involved in killings and robberies.



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Venezuelans voting with their feet before Sunday's poll

Venezuelans voting with their feet before Sunday's pollMany Venezuelans have already voted in Sunday’s key regional elections — with their feet, taking a one-way bus ticket out the country convinced the vote will change nothing. In a Caracas bus terminal, Jesus Ravelo and his wife Haydee jostled in the throng to say farewell to their son Josue, following in the footsteps of his elder brother who left a week ago. The poll is seen as a key test for both President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition who failed to unseat him after months of protests in which 125 people lost their lives.



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Cooking gas shortages force Venezuelans to turn to firewood

Cooking gas shortages force Venezuelans to turn to firewoodBy Maria Ramirez and Deisy Buitrago PUERTO ORDAZ/CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuelan homemaker Carmen Rondon lives in the country with the world’s largest oil reserves, but has spent weeks cooking with firewood due to a chronic shortage of home cooking gas – leaving her hoarse from breathing smoke. Finding domestic gas cylinders has become increasingly difficult, a problem that oil industry analysts attribute to slumping oil output in the OPEC nation – which is struggling under an unraveling socialist economy. State oil company PDVSA says the problem is due to difficulties in distributing tanks amid four months of anti-government protests in which its trucks have been attacked.



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Venezuelans vote in referendum on ousting Maduro 

Venezuelans vote in referendum on ousting Maduro Venezuelans on Sunday turned out in force for an unofficial referendum called by the opposition in a bid to topple the "totalitarian" government of Nicolas Maduro, as the oil-rich country teeters on the brink of civil conflict. Long lines curled around polling stations across Venezuela as voters queued from the early hours, many wrapped in the red, yellow and blue of the national flag. Members of the Venezuelan diaspora also voted in large numbers at centres in 360 cities around the world; in London, the queue stretched for four blocks around Bloomsbury Square, forcing organisers to extend voting hours. Helicopter attacks Venezuela's Supreme Court 01:42 Mr Maduro's government has rejected the move as illegal and vowed to defend itself with arms, leading to fears of further violence after almost 90 deaths in three months of protest. Mr Maduro is campaigning for a July 30 vote to form a people's assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution and have the power to bypass state institutions, including the opposition-led parliament.  The plebiscite asks voters three questions: whether they reject Mr Maduro's drive to form a people's assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution; whether they demand that the armed forces defend the constitution and the decisions of the opposition controlled National Assembly; and finally, whether they want the formation of a unity government and fresh elections. Shocking video captures attack on Venezuelan Assembly 01:04 Julio Borges, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, hailed the referendum as a “triumph”. “The people are demonstrating that democracy, liberty, dignity, progress, that national unity is above any totalitarian pretension,” he said at a press conference before the polls closed. The day appeared likely to deliver the "overwhelming" vote against Mr Maduro predicted by the opposition – though most government supporters boycotted the polls. Mr Maduro's government rejected the vote as illegal and had repeatedly vowed to defend itself with arms, leading to fears of further violence after more than 90 deaths in three months of protests. In the end, the day largely passed off peacefully. But in Catia, an impoverished Caracas neighbourhood, an armed pro-government group allegedly opened fire at a church polling station, killing a 61-year-old nurse and injuring three others. Mr Maduro, however, mostly remained quiet, focusing instead on his own July 30 vote to form a people's assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution.  Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro  It is this drive – which would allow Mr Maduro to bypass the opposition-led National Assembly – that triggered Sunday’s plebiscite. Voters were asked three questions: whether they reject the formation of a people's assembly; whether they demand that the armed forces defend the constitution and the decisions of the National Assembly; and finally, whether they want the formation of a unity government and fresh elections. The vote was backed by the country's rebel attorney general, Luisa Ortega Diaz, the formerly loyal Chavista who has turned on Mr Maduro over human rights abuses by government forces and the legislative manoeuvering that she says amounts to a coup d’etat.  Mr Maduro has tried to ward off growing discontent with a combination of threats and gestures, last weekend allowing the transfer of Leopoldo Lopez, a key opposition leader, to house arrest after three years in a military prison.  On Friday, he announced an 80 per cent pay rise for the Bolivarian National Guard, amid increasing signs of discontent in the lower ranks. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that 102 soldiers have been arrested for crimes such as rebellion and desertion since protests began in April. Lower level officers and their families are also suffering from the hyperinflation and devastating shortages of food and medicine that have left many Venezuelans struggling to survive and forced an exodus into neighbouring countries.  In the most dramatic sign of dissent, a rogue police officer last month attacked the country's Supreme Court with a police helicopter before going on the run and posting videos declaring himself part of a faction that was fighting to bring down Mr Maduro's regime. 



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Chief prosecutor urges Venezuelans to reject Maduro's constitution rewrite

Chief prosecutor urges Venezuelans to reject Maduro's constitution rewriteMaduro ordered the national electoral council to convene the assembly, stating it was his constitutional right, a position the opposition rejects. Venezuela’s chief prosecutor has called the country’s people to reject President Nicolás Maduro’s push to rewrite the nation’s constitution and urged the supreme court to annul the process immediately, further deepening her divide with the government.



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Venezuelans clog roads in new anti-government protest

Venezuelans clog roads in new anti-government protestVenezuelans in cars and on motorcycles, bikes and even horseback clogged roads and police fired tear gas at them in another day of protest against President Nicolas Maduro. Security forces also used tear gas to disperse protesters in the northern city of Valencia and soldiers blocked the procession from reaching its intended destination. In the capital Caracas, protesters’ goal was to fill 25 kilometers (16 miles) of a key highway leading to the coastal state of Vargas.



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Venezuelans battle with shields, gas masks, fecal bombs

Venezuelans battle with shields, gas masks, fecal bombsCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Hands straining at a giant elastic exercise band, three young protesters form a giant human slingshot to hurl a jar filled with feces at Venezuelan officers firing tear gas at demonstrators who are in the streets to demand new elections.



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Defying crackdown, Venezuelans stage new march

Defying crackdown, Venezuelans stage new marchVenezuelan protesters planned a new march Wednesday against President Nicolas Maduro, defying his government despite the deaths of more than 25 people in an increasingly violent political crisis. Twenty-six people have died so far this month in violence around the protests, including four minors, according to Attorney General Luisa Ortega. Maduro put the figure at 29 deaths in a speech Tuesday evening, without giving details.



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‘Pregnant’ schoolgirl display shocks Venezuelans

By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) – A display showing mannequins of pregnant schoolgirls at a Caracas mall is shocking shoppers and stirring debate over sex education in Venezuela. The idea is to draw attention to an adolescent pregnancy rate they say is one of the worst in South America with one girl under-18 becoming pregnant every three minutes and 23 percent of all births coming in that age category. Her friend Auriselvia Torrealba, 20, was more sympathetic, seeing a higher purpose to the shock campaign. You see pregnant girls all the time on the streets.
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