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Americas Political News

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Election Dispute Risks Rekindling Unrest, New Sanctions

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Election Dispute Risks Rekindling Unrest, New Sanctions

At home, it seems unlikely opposition supporters are willing to return to the streets after four months of gruelling protests this year failed to pressure the government into holding an early presidential election, freeing jailed activists or accepting humanitarian aid.

At least 125 people died, while thousands were injured and arrested in violence that brought parts of Venezuela to a standstill as hooded youths battled security forces.

“Obviously, this was a brutal fraud,” said David Osorio, 21, who lost an eye when hit by a gas cannister during the clashes. “But I don’t know if going back to the streets is best … because the same will happen and many are simply not willing.”

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Socialist Party of Maduro Claims Election Victory, Opposition Rejects Results

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Socialist Party of Maduro Claims Election Victory, Opposition Rejects Results

President Socialist Party of President Nicolas Maduro hailed the results as an “emphatic victory” over his rivals.

“We have 17 governorships, 54 percent of the votes, 61 percent participation, 75 percent of the governorates, and the country has strengthened,” said the president Maduro.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Gubernatorial Elections Take Center Stage

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Gubernatorial Elections Take Center Stage

“When you vote, you will be sending a message to the imperialists,” the Socialist Party’s powerful No. 2 Diosdado Cabello said at a campaign rally this week, blasting the United States which has imposed some sanctions on Venezuela.

“We must vote for the legacy of Hugo Chavez,” Cabello added, referring to the populist firebrand and Maduro predecessor who ruled between 1999-2013 before dying from cancer.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Carlos Ocariz Hopes for Victory in Regional Elections

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Carlos Ocariz Hopes for Victory in Regional Elections

Polls project opposition candidates like Ocariz are likely to win a majority of the 23 governorships up for grabs Sunday. If opponents of President Nicolas Maduro win a decisive victory, it would be the first time since 2000 that the late President Hugo Chavez’s ruling socialist party faces a nation led primarily by opposition governors.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Nigeria, Brazil Unite to Improve Food Security

BRAZIL POLITICS: Nigeria, Brazil Unite to Improve Food Security

“Nigeria sees Brazil as a very special partner with shared historical and cultural similarities. We want to deepen the corporation between us. We have great admiration for Brazil and will want it to include Nigeria in the More Food Programme policy. We need soybeans and want to improve our beef production. We don’t look after cattle here because of shortage of water. There is also the perennial clash between farmers and herdsmen,” Ogbeh said.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Court Freezes Rousseff’s Assets Over 2006 Refinery Deal

BRAZIL POLITICS: Court Freezes Rousseff’s Assets Over 2006 Refinery Deal

Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year for breaking budget rules, was chief of staff for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the time of the refinery purchase and chaired the Petrobras board of directors.

In 2014, when the operation was being investigated for alleged graft, then-President Dilma Rousseff said she had been given incomplete information by directors responsible for the deal.

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BOLIVIA POLITICS: Evo Morales’ Bid to Extend Term Backfires

BOLIVIA POLITICS: Evo Morales’ Bid to Extend Term Backfires

Morales’ administration criticized the demonstrations on Tuesday, saying that the country’s right-wing opposition wants to make sure that the president cannot run for a fourth term in the 2019 race.

“Any constitutional reform needed can be implemented when the will of the people is at stake,” Justice Minister Hector Arce told TV channel Cadena A.

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BOLIVIA POLITICS: Ernesto Che Guevara 50th Death Anniversary Takes Center Stage

BOLIVIA POLITICS: Ernesto Che Guevara 50th Death Anniversary Takes Center Stage

Cuban President Raul Castro, who was present at a mass rally at the Che Guevara Mausoleum in the town of Santa Clara, paid tribute to the guerrilla fighter that helped overthrow Cuba’s dictatorship and bring his late brother Fidel to power.

“Che Guevara is not dead … His persona grows larger as time goes by and younger generations recognize his revolutionary paradigm,” Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel said at the memorial. He is now a “universal symbol” and inspiration in the struggle for the liberation of different nations “oppressed by imperialism,” he added.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Government vs Opposition Battle for Votes

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Government vs Opposition Battle for Votes

Opposition leaders want their demoralized supporters to turn out en masse at the gubernatorial polls to overturn Maduro’s majority in 20 of Venezuela’s 23 states.

“In Barinas, defeating the government means defeating the Chavez family who have wielded power at whim for 18 years,” counters opposition rival Freddy Superlano, 41, wearing a shirt with the image of his arrested party leader Leopoldo Lopez.

Maduro supporters say the opposition, backed by Venezuela’s elite and the U.S. government, is intent on taking power by force to seize control of the nation’s oil riches.

“They want war for Venezuela. We want peace,” said 65-year-old retiree Ramon Alvarran, proudly wearing a red T-shirt depicting the eyes of Hugo Chavez at a rally for his brother.

“Look at our ‘dictatorship’ then: an election where most candidates are from the opposition!” Chavez ironically told Reuters, as red-shirted supporters danced around him at a rally.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Indigenous Woman Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency in 2018

MEXICO POLITICS: Indigenous Woman Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency in 2018

Patricio Martinez, a traditional healer and native Nahua speaker, is originally from the central Mexican state of Jalisco. Her support from the Zapatistas marks a more visible turn for the insurgent movement, which has faded in recent years.

Local media reported that after Patricio Martinez registered with the National Electoral Institute (INE), she pledged not to accept any funding from the government to run her campaign.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Ballot Sheet Unfair for October Vote: Opposition Says

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Ballot Sheet Unfair for October Vote: Opposition Says

“That’s the fraud the government wants to commit,” coalition official Tomas Guanipa told a news conference of the election board’s stance, which was ratified by the similarly pro-Maduro Supreme Court on Thursday.

“We invite all Venezuelans who can see how the government is trying to mock them and put up obstacles, to come out and vote massively for the unity candidate in the states. The government’s tricks will become a boomerang.”

While the opposition wants the Oct. 15 vote to demonstrate Maduro’s unpopularity and undermine his power at regional level, the government is trumpeting the election as proof against growing criticism Venezuela has become a dictatorship.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

“We are deeply worried by what the U.S. has added recently in the free-trade negotiations,” said Senator Marcela Guerra, who heads Mexico’s Senate committee on North American affairs.

U.S. President Donald Trump argues that NAFTA has hollowed out U.S. manufacturing, sending jobs to Mexico and fueling a U.S. goods trade deficit of more than $60 billion with its southern neighbor.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Congress Sets Up Fund to Cover Lack of Campaign Finance

BRAZIL POLITICS: Congress Sets Up Fund to Cover Lack of Campaign Finance

The fund was meant to be part of improvements to Brazil’s discredited political system to reduce a proliferation of parties that has made it hard to govern Latin America’s largest nation without unwieldy coalitions based on self-interest.

“It is shameful that this fund will be used by unethical politicians who should not be sitting here in Congress,” said Julio Delgado, leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB). “Not a single lawmaker under investigation has opposed it.”

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: US Congress to Pentagon: Prepare to Intervene in Venezuela

VENEZUELA POLITICS: US Congress to Pentagon: Prepare to Intervene in Venezuela

It is noteworthy that the Pentagon should be considered to have a key role with regard to a regional “catastrophe” supposedly resulting from “Venezuela’s situation”, above all given the precedents involving the U.S. and NATO armed forces in their lamentably notorious “humanitarian interventions” in the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia in recent decades.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Protesters Block Goldcorp’s Top Peñasquito Mine in Mexico

MEXICO POLITICS: Protesters Block Goldcorp’s Top Peñasquito Mine in Mexico

The entrances to the Peñasquito mine have been occupied since Thursday by protesters who demand the company make good on a commitment to supply nearby communities with water, said Felipe Pinedo, a leader of the protesters.

Pinedo said the protesters were only allowing workers to leave the mine, which is located in northern Zacatecas state and last year produced 465,000 ounces of gold.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Maduro Slams Spain’s Mariano Rajoy Over ‘Repression’ in Catalonia

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Maduro Slams Spain’s Mariano Rajoy Over ‘Repression’ in Catalonia

“Mariano Rajoy has chosen blood, sticks, blows, and repression against a noble people. Our hand goes out to the people of Catalonia. Resist, Catalonia! Latin America admires you,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Lula Leads in 2018 Vote Despite Graft Conviction: Poll

BRAZIL POLITICS: Lula Leads in 2018 Vote Despite Graft Conviction: Poll

Lula would beat all potential contenders in a runoff vote, the poll said, expect in an unlikely contest against Sergio Moro, the judge who convicted him of corruption in July. Moro has repeatedly denied being a candidate.

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PERU POLITICS: Keiko Fujimori Investigated Over Odebrecht Bribes

PERU POLITICS: Keiko Fujimori Investigated Over Odebrecht Bribes

“Prosecutor José Pérez orders that investigation against Mark Vito and #KeikoFujimori be made to the #CrimenOrganized Act (Law 30077) and the New Criminal Procedure Code,” the prosecution announced through its official Twitter account.

Fujimori is only the latest prominent politician in Latin America to fall into an Odebrecht-related bribery scandal. Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas is also under significant scrutiny.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Temer Popularity Drops to 3 Percent

BRAZIL POLITICS: Temer Popularity Drops to 3 Percent

The number of people who see Temer’s management “bad” or “very bad” has jumped to 77 percent from 70 percent, while 16 percent deem it “acceptable.”

When asked whether they trust Temer, 92 percent said no. A total of 2,000 residents of 126 Brazilian cities were surveyed September 15-20.

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BRAZIL POLITICS: Far-Right Jair Bolsonaro Aims to be Brazil’s Trump

BRAZIL POLITICS: Far-Right Jair Bolsonaro Aims to be Brazil’s Trump

“Trump faced the same attacks I am facing – that he was a homophobe, a fascist, a racist, a Nazi – but the people believed in his platform, and I was rooting for him,” Bolsonaro told Reuters in an interview this week in his office in Brasilia, decorated with the portraits of five military presidents from Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship.

A seven-term congressman, Bolsonaro is emerging as the law-and-order and anti-corruption candidate for the October 2018 vote. His support is fed by a surge in violent crime and Brazil’s worst-ever graft scandal, which has implicated much of the political class, including President Michel Temer.

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