Venezuela

Candidates in Venezuela aligned with the movement founded by the late President Hugo Chavez have claimed most of the country's governorships, despite projections that the opposition would win. The results were likely to result in fresh unrest in the troubled nation.

Reporting from Caracas, NPR's Philip Reeves says: "Polls said Venezuela's opposition were going to be big winners in these elections. Instead, the ruling socialist party are now celebrating what Maduro calls 'a decisive victory,' after taking 17 of the country's 23 state governorships."

The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban.

United Nations

Before he was president of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís was a professor at Florida International University. He had a homecoming on Friday when he spoke at FIU on topics like climate change and the future of Venezuelan democracy. 

Solís was a Fulbright professor at FIU at the turn of the century, researching Latin American issues. After addressing the U.N. general assembly this week, Solís came to talk at FIU’s Main Campus about those same concerns.

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.

U.S. Imposes First Economic Sanctions Against Venezuela

Aug 25, 2017
Fernando Llano / AP via the Miami Herald

The U.S. imposed its first economic penalties against Venezuela on Friday, hitting the South American country's financial sector in an attempt to starve President Nicolás Maduro's government of cash.

The Trump administration banned trades of Venezuelan debt, prohibiting Maduro's government and its state-run oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, from selling new bonds to Americans or in U.S. financial institutions. President Donald Trump signed an executive order approving the sanctions Thursday.

Associated Press

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence came to the Venezuelan enclave of Doral on Wednesday promising that  the Trump administration would “bring the full measure of American economic and diplomatic power to bear until democracy is restored in Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan government has cancelled the upcoming U.S. tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and its star conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who is also the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

El Nacional, a major Venezuelan paper, reported yesterday that the cancellation was ordered by the presidency.

VP Pence To Visit Doral, Miami’s Venezuelan Enclave

Aug 21, 2017
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Miami on Wednesday.

As part of the visit, Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Doral, according to an invitation to the event obtained by the Miami Herald.

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.

Associated Press

Calling it “huge step in the right direction,” Gov. Rick Scott got support from two state Cabinet members Wednesday to keep an agency they oversee from conducting future business linked to the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

While not as wide-reaching as first proposed by the governor, the resolution approved by the State Board of Administration's trustees --- Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis --- will prohibit the board from investing in certain companies that have financial ties to the Venezuelan regime.

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.

Associated Press

The U.S. will not rule out a “military option” as it continues to ratchet up sanctions on Venezuela, President Donald Trump said Friday.

“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club.

“We are all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away,” Trump said. “Venezuela is not very far away and people are suffering and dying.”

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.

In its ongoing attempt to fracture Venezuela’s hard-pressed government, the U.S. placed financial sanctions Wednesday on eight allies of President Nicolás Maduro involved in creating a newly inaugurated legislative superbody that the international community has decried as an affront to democracy.

YouTube

On Sunday a small band of Venezuelan soldiers staged a revolt at a military base in the city of Valencia and made off with weapons.

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