US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C), accompanied by Colombian President Ivan Duque (2-L) visits the international bridge Simon Bolivar, in Cucuta, Norte del Santander Department, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, on April 14, 2019. Pompeo, who is on a four-nation tour of Latin American allies, finishes his trip with a brief visit to Cucuta, where he will meet Venezuelan refugees. All four countries of the trip are led by right wing or centre-right leaders favourable to Washington's uncompromising approach to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
AFP/Juan Barreto
Pompeo visits Colombia-Venezuela border
Francisco Jara (Agence France-Presse) - April 15, 2019 - 9:24am

LIMA, Peru — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ended a visit to Peru on Sunday and traveled to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, crossed through by thousands of Venezuelans fleeing crisis under President Nicolas Maduro.

After attending a Sunday service in the Peruvian capital Lima, the chief US diplomat set off shortly after noon for the final leg of his tour of South America, which began Friday in Chile.

The highlight of Pompeo's trip will be the brief visit to Cucuta, where he will meet refugees.

All four countries on his itinerary -- the fourth being Paraguay -- are led by right-wing or center-right leaders favorable to Washington's uncompromising approach to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

"Peru has felt firsthand the effects of the disastrous Nicolas Maduro and the pain that he has brought to the Venezuelan people," he had said Saturday, following talks with President Martin Vizcarra and Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio.

Pompeo said that Peru had shown "enormous leadership in responding to this challenge."

Over three million Venezuelans, around 10 percent of the population, now live outside the crisis-hit country. The United Nations predicts that number will hit 5.3 million by the end of 2019.

Peru has received the most Venezuelans after Colombia: 750,000, according to Popolizio, testing the capacity of the country's public services.

On Saturday, Pompeo paid tribute to Peru's welcome for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan refugees. But he became irritated when a reporter asked if that contradicted US President Donald Trump's harsh immigration policy at home.

COLOMBIA MIKE POMPEO NICOLAS MADURO PERU
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 17, 2019 - 10:46am

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

November 17, 2019 - 10:46am

Thousands of supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido took to the streets of Caracas on Saturday, demanding the departure of embattled President Nicolas Maduro, but the turnout was far less than expected.

Guaido had hoped to capitalize on the situation in Bolivia, where leftist leader Evo Morales resigned in the face of accusations of election fraud, to deal a death blow to his own political nemesis.

Opposition demonstrators did answer the call — about 5,000 of them marched, according to AFP's crowd estimate. They carried national flags and banners with slogans such as "Maduro out" and "Follow Bolivia's example." — Agence France-Presse

November 16, 2019 - 2:36pm

Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido and witnesses say armed men stormed the party headquarters of Guaido, one day ahead of a protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

Dressed in black and carrying pistols and rifles, the hooded men forced their way into the offices of Guaido's Voluntad Popular party in the east of the capital Caracas.

The men, who did not identify themselves, took security cameras and recording along with computers, money and identification from the approximately 30 people present. — AFP

October 12, 2019 - 9:30am

Stateless baby Wilbelys officially "doesn't exist," Arianna is a six-year-old who's moved home seven times, Jazmin is missing school -- the children of the Venezuelan exodus are trading one ordeal for another in neighboring Colombia.

Migrants of all ages and social status are fleeing Venezuela's crippling economic crisis, unable to cope with hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods and medicines.

Well over a million have ended up in neighboring Colombia, among them nearly 200,000 children. In reality, the figure is higher, migration officers say, because many entered the country illegally.

In other circumstances, living abroad could be any child's dream. But this generation is suffering "an immense grieving," according to Sandra Perdomo, director of the Zion foundation which provides assistance to at-risk children. -- Agence France-Presse

September 26, 2019 - 12:37pm

US President Donald Trump says that Venezuela was suffering "a tragedy of historic proportions" as he pledged to do everything in his power to isolate Nicolas Maduro's regime.

Trump tells around two dozen Latin American leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that socialism had "destroyed" oil-rich Venezuela, but that the country's people "will be free."

"Today Venezuelans are starving and they're dying from lack of medicine. We will stand with the Venezuelan people every single day," he says, adding that socialism had "destroyed" the South American country. — AFP

September 26, 2019 - 8:49am

The right-hand man of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is in North Korea leading a "high-level delegation", state media in the North said Thursday, as both nations grapple with economic pressures from international sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "received a personal letter and gift" from Maduro, which was delivered by Diosdado Cabello, KCNA reports.

Cabello is president of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly which effectively acts as a regime rubber stamp. He is considered the second most powerful person in Venezuela after Maduro.

The official Korean Central News Agency says Cabello delivered the gift on Wednesday during his meeting with Choe Ryong Hae, who is considered one of Kim's right-hand men and heads the North's rubber-stamp parliament.

"The willingness to make efforts to expand and develop the bilateral friendship in all fields was expressed at the talks that were held in a friendly atmosphere," KCNA reports.

— Agence France-Presse

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