Nicolas Maduro

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

Political conditions in Venezuela are growing darker by the day. But so is Venezuela’s financial situation. In the meantime, Florida politicians are calling for more help for Venezuelan immigrants.

Much of the international community now labels Venezuela’s socialist government a dictatorship. And this week the regime is doing its best to live up to that billing.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

By now everybody knows the bigly favor President Trump did the Alt-Right this week.

On Tuesday, like a bad parent defending his skinhead bully kid in the principal’s office, Trump insisted the deadly mayhem that torch-carrying white supremacists wrought in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend wasn’t all their fault.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

The targets on the backs of Venezuelans like Gustavo Marcano grow larger by the day.

Marcano is the mayor of the eastern Venezuelan city of Lechería. Like most places in Venezuela this year, Lechería has been the site of angry anti-government protests as the country’s economy collapses – and as its socialist regime morphs into what critics call a dictatorship.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Now that Venezuela’s socialist government has morphed into what critics call a dictatorship, the regime is out to arrest its political opponents. One of those targeted - Gustavo Marcano - slipped out of Venezuela days ago and is now in South Florida.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

Saturday morning at Bayside in Miami wasn’t the typical shopping and dining experience. The wall surrounding the Torch of Friendship had a giant Venezuelan flag with signatures and wishes written on the fabric.

There was an open-mic protest, organized by local community members and activists. Cuban-Americans, Venezuelan-Americans, and Venezuelans all took turns sharing stories, opinions, and prayers.

Tim Padget / WLRN.org

COMMENTARY

This week a Twitter troll with the typically (and typically cowardly) anonymous handle of @Jesus78773335 came after me online.

Miraflores Palace via AP

Venezuela’s socialist regime claims 8 million voters turned out on Sunday to OK its plan to rewrite the constitution and form a dictatorship. But the company that counts Venezuela’s votes cried fraud on Tuesday.

Fears of a dictatorship forming in Venezuela seemed borne out early Tuesday  when the government hauled opposition leaders to jail. But this is shaping up to be a bad week for democracy and free enterprise across the Caribbean.

Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, had promised to jail many of his opponents once a new constituent assembly was elected on Sunday. That body will now rewrite Venezuela’s constitution to give Maduro sweeping new executive powers that critics call a dictatorship.

U.S. Sanctions Venezuelan President Maduro After ‘Sham’ Vote

Jul 31, 2017
Miraflores press office via AP

The Trump administration froze assets, banned travel and prohibited business transactions Monday for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, accusing him of undermining democracy after he carried out an election Sunday for an all-powerful new legislative assembly in defiance of warnings from the U.S. and international community.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Florida Senator Marco Rubio likes to tweet verses from the Book of Proverbs, an Old Testament favorite among conservatives that says, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

You could paraphrase that to describe the Republican Senator’s diplomatic philosophy: “Fear of America is the beginning of foreign policy.”

Rubio clings to the Cold War belief that the U.S. can and should make every geopolitical rogue from Cuba to North Korea cry uncle. So does President Trump.

Teresa Frontado / WLRN.org

More than 100,000 Venezuelan expats came out to vote in South Florida Sunday in a hastily arranged election that officially means nothing - but which could end up meaning a lot if the international community is paying attention.

Twitter via El Nuevo Herald

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López was released from prison over the weekend. But that doesn’t change the fact that Venezuela’s unpopular socialist government remains firmly in power – thanks largely to the loyalty of Venezuela’s military leaders. Many of those top brass are accused of having links to drug trafficking – and they fear that if President Nicolás Maduro is overthrown, they’ll have to face justice.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

Venezuela’s political violence took an ugly turn Wednesday – the country’s independence day. Pro-government militants stormed the National Assembly and beat opposition lawmakers. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s rebel helicopter cop has reappeared.

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami appeared inside the National Assembly and urged supporters of President Nicolás Maduro to come to the chamber. Shortly after, government street enforcers known as colectivos burst into the congress and injured more than a dozen people.

YouTube

COMMENTARY

Since the late Hugo Chávez’s socialist revolution came to power in 1999, its opponents have made more missteps than hacks like me can count. 

YouTube

Venezuela’s chaos turned bizarre Tuesday evening when a rogue police officer flew a helicopter over the Caracas presidential palace and later urged Venezuelans to rise up against their government. The cop has done this sort of thing before – on the big screen.

Oscar Pérez is an officer in Venezuela’s investigative police force. But now it seems he’s an insurrectionist.

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