Political crisis in Venezuela
LATEST UPDATE: April 15, 2019 - 8:17pm
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April 15, 2019

China on Monday lashed out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for accusing Beijing of prolonging the crisis in Venezuela, slamming his remarks as "lies".

Beijing has been Venezuela's main creditor and maintains relations with the government of President Nicolas Maduro, which also enjoys support from Russia.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Pompeo had "wantonly slandered" China-Latin America relations, and that it is Washington that views the region as its "backyard".

"For some time, some US politicians have been carrying the same version, the same script of slandering China all over the world, and fanning the flames and sowing discord everywhere," said foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

"The words and deeds are despicable. But lies are lies, even if you say it a thousand times, they are still lies. Mr Pompeo, you can stop," he said. — Agence France-Presse

April 11, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announces an agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross to bring humanitarian aid into a once-rich country now enduring acute shortages of food, medicine and such basics as soap and toilet paper.

As the economy of the oil-rich nation implodes, Maduro is locked in a power struggle with the increasingly popular leader of the opposition, national assembly speaker Juan Guaido. — AFP

April 11, 2019

The International Monetary Fund will not have any contact with Venezuela, nor allow the country to access its reserves held by the institution, until the international community recognizes a government in Caracas, an IMF spokesman says.

The country's leadership has been in question since late January when national assembly leader Juan Guaido challenged embattled President Nicolas Maduro as the country's acute economic crisis worsened. — AFP

April 6, 2019

The United States announces sanctions on ships of Venezuela's state oil company and companies that link it to key ally Cuba, hoping to cut off vital lifelines for President Nicolas Maduro.

Vice President Mike Pence has unveiled the latest measures in Washington's bid to oust Maduro, a leftist firebrand who has nonetheless held on to power for more than two months, and vowed further pressure on Cuba -- a bugbear of the United States for a half-century. — AFP

April 6, 2019

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has urged his supporters to demonstrate in the streets to maintain pressure on his rival President Nicolas Maduro, amid rising anger over the collapse of public services.

Thousands of opposition supporters are expected to march through the capital Caracas as Venezuela's power struggle is exacerbated by massive blackouts and the collapse of water supplies. — AFP

April 4, 2019

The US is prepared to pump dollars into Venezuela to fortify its economy if President Nicolas Maduro leaves, the top White House economic advisor says, as American senators introduced legislation to authorize $400 million in humanitarian aid.

Larry Kudlow says that Washington is already working with banks and the International Monetary Fund on a rebuilding plan to revitalize the country's crushed economy and said that, when the time comes, "we will be moving as fast as we can." — AFP

April 4, 2019

The US is prepared to pump dollars into Venezuela to fortify its economy if President Nicolas Maduro leaves, the top White House economic advisor says Wednesday, as American senators introduced legislation to authorize $400 million in humanitarian aid.

Larry Kudlow told reporters that Washington is already working with banks and the International Monetary Fund on a rebuilding plan to revitalize the country's crushed economy and said that, when the time comes, "we will be moving as fast as we can."

"We call it Day Two," he said at a briefing arranged by The Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

"It would be a rescue plan, it would be a restructuring plan, it would be a plan to put cash into the country."

Venezuela's oil economy has crumbled under a collapse of crude exports and international sanctions against Maduro, whom Washington and its allies view as illegitimate. -- Agence France-Presse

April 2, 2019

Venezuela's top court has called on the ruling Constituent Assembly to strip opposition leader Juan Guaido of parliamentary immunity.

The decision by the Supreme Court of Justice could open the way for President Nicolas Maduro's rival Guaido, recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries, to be prosecuted. — AFP

April 1, 2019

Venezuela's government announces Sunday that it is reducing the length of the workday and keeping schools closed, due to devastating electricity blackouts plaguing the country.

"To achieve consistency in the provision of electricity, the Bolivarian government decided to maintain the suspension of school activities and establish a workday until 2:00 pm in public and private institutions," Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on state television. -- Agence France-Presse

March 29, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's regime, bolstered by a Russian military deployment infuriating the US, has announced a ban on Washington-backed self-declared interim leader Juan Guaido holding public office.

But National Assembly legislature speaker Guaido immediately shot back that the 15-year prohibition announced on state television by Maduro's Auditor General Elvis Amoroso was invalid. — AFP

March 9, 2019

Thousands of Venezuelans are expected to protest once again as opposition leader Juan Guaido cranks up the pressure on beleaguered President Nicolas Maduro -- in the midst of a sweeping electricity blackout that has crippled the crisis-wracked country. 

Both Guaido and Maduro, who are locked in a bitter power struggle for the right to lead the oil-rich South American nation, have asked their supporters to fill the streets of Caracas and other cities. — AFP

March 9, 2019

Venezuela's government struggles to cope with a massive electricity blackout that paralyzed much of the country as President Nicolas Maduro blamed the chaos on US sabotage.

Even by the standards of crisis-weary Venezuelans, the power cut -- which began late Thursday -- was one of the longest and most widespread in memory, heightening tensions in Maduro's power struggle with his US-backed rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido. — AFP

March 4, 2019

Opposition leader Juan Guaido calls for mass protests across Venezuela against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday as he announced his return after a week touring Latin American allies.

His reappearance in Venezuela would pose an immediate challenge to the embattled Maduro, who will have to decide whether to arrest him for defying a travel ban -- thereby provoking strong international condemnation -- or allow him to enter unmolested, which would undermine his authority, analyst say.

"I'm announcing my return to the country. I am calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilize all over the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (1500 GMT)," Guaido wrote Sunday on Twitter.

Guaido, who has been recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, did not say how or when he would return, though speculation is rife that a flight from the Colombian capital Bogota to Caracas is the most likely route. -- Agence France-Presse

March 2, 2019

The United States and Russia clash Friday over how to assist crisis-wracked Venezuela, with Moscow pledging new relief channeled through President Nicolas Maduro and Washington slapping sanctions over the blocking of US aid it tried to push through the border.

A day after Russia and China vetoed a US and European resolution at the UN Security Council that called for unimpeded aid deliveries, Washington said it was targeting six Venezuelan military officers for stopping last weekend's US-led convoy. — AFP

March 1, 2019

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido vowed to return home "in the coming days... despite threats" from President Nicolas Maduro's regime, as he continues a tour of regional allies to rally international support, Agence France-Presse reports.

Guaido, recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries, met with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday afternoon while Paraguay's leader Mario Abdo announced Guaido would be in Asuncion on Friday.

After flouting a travel ban by Maduro's regime, Guaido went to Colombia last Friday where he met President Ivan Duque, US Vice President Mike Pence, Abdo and Sebastian Pinera of Chile.

Guaido was in Colombia to try to force desperately needed humanitarian aid -- which is also stockpiled in Brazil -- into Venezuela but was thwarted by a determined military blockade ordered by Maduro.

Guaido "wants to show the Venezuelan people that he's being hosted by the president of Brazil... He wants to give the message that he's recognized" as Venezuela's true leader, Brazil Vice President Hamilton Mourao said in an interview with Globo. -- Agence France-Presse

February 28, 2019

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido is due to meet Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia on Thursday, sources from both camps say.

Guaido, recognized as interim president by some 50 countries, will travel to the Brazilian capital on Wednesday evening from Colombia, where he has stayed since Friday despite a travel ban imposed by the regime of Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.

Bolsonaro "will host Guaido in a personal visit, although Guaido will be officially welcomed by the minister for foreign affairs," Ernesto Araujo, says the Brazilian presidency's spokesman Otavio Rego Barros. -- Agence France-Presse

February 26, 2019

A crew from US-based television network Univision says it was detained for more than two hours in Venezuela after offending President Nicolas Maduro during an interview by asking questions about poverty and his legitimacy to govern.

Maduro "disliked the questions in the interview and stopped the recording, confiscated the equipment and detained the six journalists," says Univision, one of the biggest Spanish-language TV networks in the United States. — AFP

February 26, 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence and Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido have agreed on a strategy to tighten the noose around President Nicolas Maduro following a meeting with regional allies in Colombia on Monday.

"We hope for a peaceful transition to democracy but President Trump has made it clear: all options are on the table," says Pence, who passed on Trump's "100 percent" support to Guaido.

The meeting came after four people were killed and hundreds injured as Guaido supporters clashed with Venezuelan security forces on the borders with Colombia and Brazil over the weekend in a thwarted bid to bring in humanitarian aid.

The Lima Group -- made up of Latin American countries and Canada -- met in Bogota and said it would ask the International Criminal Court to declare "the violence of Maduro's criminal regime against the civilian population and the negation of access to international aide as a crime against humanity."

Guaido warned that "indulging" Maduro "would be a threat to all of America," while Colombia President Ivan Duque called for "more powerful and effective" pressure on the socialist leader.

However, the Lima Group rejected the use of force to achieve a democratic transition. -- Agence France-Presse

February 22, 2019

A UN spokesman says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed peace efforts in Yemen and the crisis in Venezuela with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York.

The 35-minute meeting at UN headquarters was requested by Pompeo. — AFP

February 21, 2019

The Venezuelan military said Wednesday it was banning vessels from sailing out of the country's ports until Sunday, coinciding with an opposition bid to import shipments of US aid.

"Departures of boats from all ports are to be suspended" for security reasons, said a military decree seen by AFP. — AFP

February 6, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is hanging onto power in the crisis-wracked country in large part thanks to backing from the military, which according to the United States is receiving support and advice from Cuba.

While the close relationship between left-wing allies Venezuela and Cuba is well-known, Havana denies the accusations from its old Cold War foe that its actions are nefarious. — AFP

February 3, 2019

Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) announced a new street demonstration for February 12 to keep up the pressure on embattled socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking to thousands of opposition supporters during a mass protest in the east of Caracas, Guaido urged protesters to "stay in the streets," announcing two new demonstrations: one for Youth Day on February 10 and another at an unspecified time related to the entry of humanitarian aid that he earlier said would arrive from Colombia and Brazil.

January 31, 2019

Support from the Venezuelan military is "crucial" to efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro, opposition leader Juan Guaido writes in The New York Times.

Guaido says that secret meetings had been held with members of the security forces, and that most of those in uniform agree that the status quo cannot continue. — AFP

January 31, 2019

President Nicolas Maduro's grip on power in Venezuela may have been loosened over the past week, but diehard supporters say they are willing to fight "tooth and nail" for him.

There is a mood of simmering defiance in some quarters of Caracas, where supporters of the socialist leader are angered by international backing for Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature who declared himself interim president last week. — AFP

January 26, 2019

The Venezuelan government led by Nicolas Maduro says it's sending Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza to New York to speak at a U.N. Security Council meeting Saturday called by the United States on the crisis in Venezuela. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address the meeting.

The United States dropped its recognition of President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday and instead recognized National Assembly President Juan Guaido as Venezuela's leader after he proclaimed himself interim president during a massive opposition rally. — AP

August 5, 2018

A mysterious rebel group made up of Venezuelan civilians and military claims responsibility for an "assassination" attempt on President Nicolas Maduro, according to a statement posted on social media.

"It is contrary to military honor to keep in government those who not only have forgotten the Constitution, but who have also made public office an obscene way to get rich," the group says. — AFP

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accuses Colombia of being behind an "attack" with an explosive-laden drone he said targeted him on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Speaking shortly after state television showed him cut off mid-speech in front of a Caracas military parade by a bang, Maduro says a "flying object exploded in front of me" and blamed the incident on Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.

"It was an attack to kill me, they tried to assassinate me today," Maduro says in a state broadcast. "I have no doubt that the name Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack." — AFP

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