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Venezuela Politics

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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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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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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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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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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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Opposition Boycotts Talks With Maduro Government

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Opposition Boycotts Talks With Maduro Government

“There won’t be anyone traveling to Dominican Republic,” read a Tweet from the opposition Democratic Unity coalition on Tuesday, adding, “We hope that in coming days they meet requirements, our desire is that this comes to fruition.”

President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly accused the opposition and its Western backers of capitalizing on the country’s economic woes, which has been exacerbated by a global slump in oil prices, to undermine his Socialist government.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Slaps Travel Restrictions on Venezuela

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Slaps Travel Restrictions on Venezuela

The measures help fulfill a campaign promise Trump made to tighten U.S. immigration procedures and align with his “America First” foreign policy vision. Unlike the president’s original bans, which had time limits, this one is open-ended.

“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet shortly after the proclamation was released.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Canada Targets Senior Venezuelan Officials With Sanctions

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Canada Targets Senior Venezuelan Officials With Sanctions

As well as President Maduro, the named figures include Vice-President Tareck El Aissami and the head of the constituent assembly, Delcy Rodriguez.

“Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign affairs minister.

“Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to restore democracy in their country.”

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: FM Arreaza Reacts to Trump’s Anti-Caracas Remarks in UN Speech

VENEZUELA POLITICS: FM Arreaza Reacts to Trump’s Anti-Caracas Remarks in UN Speech

“We are quite surprised by the words of the president of the United States this morning. This is supposed to be the house and the headquarters of peace and the international law. And what we heard was the opposite of that. It’s a president who comes for the first time and speaks about war about destroying countries about blockades against countries. And of course the country that violates the human rights all over the world seems to have the moral authority to come and speak to the rest of the countries as they were his employees,” Arreaza added.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Supreme Court Staged Effective Coup: ICJ

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Supreme Court Staged Effective Coup: ICJ

Supreme Court of Justice “effectively claimed legislative powers for itself, depriving the National Assembly of its Constitutional powers and granting sweeping arbitrary powers to the executive,” it said.

“These decisions amount to a coup d’état against the Constitutional order and have ushered in a new reign of arbitrary rule,” Sam Zarifi, ICJ Secretary General, said in a statement.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Possible ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ in Venezuela: UN Rights Boss

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Possible ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ in Venezuela: UN Rights Boss

“There is a very real danger that tensions will further escalate, with the government crushing democratic institutions and critical voices,” Zeid Ra‘ad al Hussein told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“My investigation suggests the possibility that crimes against humanity may have been committed, which can only be confirmed by a subsequent criminal investigation,” Zeid said.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Urges Venezuelans to Unite Against US

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Urges Venezuelans to Unite Against US

“We have no doubt that the new methods of the US government cannot last for long,” Rouhani said on the sidelines of the first science and technology summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Astana.

Rouhani underlined the importance of unity and further cooperation among independent countries in the face of US efforts to create divisions.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: French President Macron Held Talks With Julio Borges

VENEZUELA POLITICS: French President Macron Held Talks With Julio Borges

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said he had filed complaints with the ambassadors of France and three other European countries planning to meet with the Venezuelan opposition figures during their European tour for interference in the nation’s internal affairs.

“These types of expressions are absurd and offensive to the functioning of Venezuelan democracy and its institutions,” Arreaza said.
The developments came two days after a Venezuelan activist was barred from leaving the country in order to join the opposition European tour.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Venezuela to Sue Promoters of US Sanctions

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Venezuela to Sue Promoters of US Sanctions

Member of the assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said charges of treason would be pressed.

“We accept the call of President Nicolas Maduro to initiate, together with the competent state authorities, a historical judgment of treason against those engaged in the promotion of these immoral actions against the interests of the Venezuelan people,” said Cabello.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: ‘US Wants to Recolonize Venezuela’: Daniel Shaw

VENEZUELA POLITICS: ‘US Wants to Recolonize Venezuela’: Daniel Shaw

Daniel Shaw, a Latin America expert said, President Trump’s so-called smart sanctions on Venezuela are in line with Washington’s agenda for “regime change” and “recolonization. America is using a propaganda campaign on elections and democracy in Venezuela as a pretext to hurt the oil-rich country.”

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VENEZUELA POLTICS: Maduro Launches War Games in Face of Trump Military Intervention Threat

VENEZUELA POLTICS: Maduro Launches War Games in Face of Trump Military Intervention Threat

Trump warned earlier this month that the United States was mulling a range of options against Venezuela, “including a possible military option if necessary.” War planes, tanks and 200,000 troops of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) deployed along with 700,000 reservists and civilians as socialist President Nicolas Maduro launched two days of military exercises on Saturday.

“Yankees out!” 60-year-old Erica Avendano yelled as she bashed a rag dummy with her rifle on an assault course. “I hope nothing will happen, but we are ready for anything,” she told AFP.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Signs New Sanctions Against Venezuela ‘Dictatorship’ PDVSA Debt

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Signs New Sanctions Against Venezuela ‘Dictatorship’ PDVSA Debt

“These measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule, protect the United States financial system from complicity in Venezuela’s corruption and in the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people,” the White House said in a statement.

“We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” it said.

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