Venezuela

Latin America Report
8:17 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Cops Are In The Crosshairs Of Venezuela's Murder Crisis

Venezuelan policemen outside Caracas carry the coffin of a fellow officer slain by gang criminals.
Credit Andrew Rosati

Venezuelans are emigrating in droves to South Florida, and it’s not just because Venezuela’s economy is collapsing. Public security has imploded too: South America’s most oil-rich nation has the worst murder rate on the continent.

The homicide crisis has gotten so bad, in fact, that some of the most frequent victims today are the very people who are supposed to fight it: the police.

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Commentary
10:46 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Summit Summary: U.S.-Cuba Sitdown Drowns Out Venezuelan Meltdown

Cuban President Raul Castro (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama at their historic meeting Saturday at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
Credit White House

Imagine a U.S. President came to the Summit of the Americas and, while criticizing the government of a certain oil-rich South American nation, remarked that he does enjoy Venezuelan salsa singers like Rubén Blades.

He’d be the butt of jokes on late-night Latin American TV – because Blades is Panamanian, not Venezuelan.

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Commentary
1:40 am
Thu April 9, 2015

How Obama Rescued The Summit For Latin America – And How He Could Ruin It Again

A worker makes final preparations for the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas in Panama City.
Credit Arnulfo Franco / AP

Here’s the conventional line you're hearing about President Obama and this week’s Summit of the Americas:

Up to now, Obama had been doing many smart things to improve dysfunctional U.S.-Latin American relations. On issues like immigration, the drug war and especially Cuba – in December he announced the U.S. would restore diplomatic relations with its cold-war communist foe – a gringo president was finally getting it.

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The Caribbean
7:39 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Obama Heads Into Jamaica And The Caribbean As Venezuela Withdraws

Kingston, Jamaica
Credit Lechmoore Simms / Flickr

President Obama heads this week to the Summit of the Americas in Panama where he’ll meet with the hemisphere’s other heads of state. But Obama first travels on Wednesday to Jamaica – where Caribbean leaders may be happier than usual to see him.

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The Two-Way
12:44 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Venezuela Cuts Oil Subsidies To Caribbean Nations

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:57 pm

Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations.

Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices.

"Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region.

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Latin America Report
2:56 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Stalin Stupor: Why Venezuela Keeps Getting Ranked "Most Miserable" In 2015

A woman stands in line outside a Caracas pharmacy hoping to find diapers for her infant daughter.
Credit Ariana Cubillos / AP

Thirty years ago, when I was a graduate student in Caracas, I met a young Venezuelan socialist who introduced himself as Stalín.

“Yes, after the Russian,” he told me rather condescendingly – hoping to shock an American with the news that the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was his namesake.

I didn't take the bait. But I did think of Stalín recently when Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed his own admiration for “Comrade Stalin, who defeated Hitler.”

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Commentary
4:38 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Venezuelan Diplomat's Dreadful Remark Is Sadly Typical Of The Revolution's Rhetoric

Roy Chaderton, Venezuela's Permanent Representative to the Organization of Americans States
Credit Organization of American States

Let’s say the U.S. representative to the Organization of American States – the Washington-based diplomatic body that embraces the western hemisphere – appears on a television talk show. And let’s say he makes this neanderthal remark about members of a rival political party:

“When a sniper shoots them in the head it makes a quieter sound, like a click, because their cranial cavities are hollow, so the bullet passes through faster.”

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Commentary
7:36 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Why Obama Went Over The Top On Venezuela This Week

National Security Threat? U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Credit Common Cause-Embassy of Venezuela DC/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Roberta Jacobson is burning up Twitter in English and Spanish this week trying to recover President Obama’s fumble on Venezuela.

She’s worried – and gosh, we can’t imagine why – that left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is giving his people the wrong impression about Obama’s ill-advised announcement on Monday that Venezuela is a “national security threat” to the U.S.

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Commentary
11:19 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Why Venezuela's Maduro Can Cry Wolf About The U.S. – And Get Away With It

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Credit Flickr

We know that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is crying wolf when he claims – over and over and over – that the United States is plotting to carpet bomb his socialist revolution.

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Latin America
9:39 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Venezuela's Condom Crisis Could Kill More Than Romance

Latex condoms like these are so scarce in Venezuela that a standard 36-pack can cost more than $750.
Credit Flickr

It seems as though every week we report on a new product shortage in Venezuela, from rice to toilet paper to breast implants. Now the western hemisphere's most oil-rich country has an acute lack of condoms. But this latest scarcity to emerge in Venezuela’s economic crisis could be deadly to more than just romance.

Thanks to a national currency crisis, Venezuela doesn’t have enough dollars to import the contraceptives. They’re so rare in Venezuela that a standard pack of 36 now costs more than $750 at the official exchange rate.

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Politics
11:01 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Florida Roundup: Fidel Castro On U.S.-Cuba Relations

Fidel Castro in 2014.
Credit ALEX CASTRO / AP FILE

Six weeks after President Barack Obama announced efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, former Cuba leader Fidel Castro writes a letter of reserved-approval for the plan.

Cuba President Raul Castro said this week that relations with the United States can only be rehabilitated if  the U.S. returns Guantanamo Bay to the island and the embargo is lifted.

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Opinion
10:01 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Venezuela's Collapse Looks More Like Economic Suicide

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Credit chavezcandanga/Flickr

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has warned us all this week that “a hell of solitude awaits anyone who betrays” his nation’s socialist revolution.

Duly noted, Señor Presidente! But we also can’t help noting that nobody’s in a lonelier hell right now than Nicolás Maduro.

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Politics
12:08 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Florida Roundup: SOTU And Cuba

Dated photo of Pres. Obama.
Credit Sonya Herbert / whitehouse.gov

On the Florida Roundup, we talk about the week's top stories with the area's journalists.  

SOTU AND CUBA

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Latin America Report
3:04 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

China Proves Obama Right On Cuba! And Other Top Latin America Stories Of 2014

As far as I’m concerned, one of the year’s most important Latin American stories happened this week in China.

Yep, communist China. On Monday the government’s Internet watchdragon, known as the Great Firewall, pulled the plug on Gmail because it's a subversive instrument of free speech and dissent.

In the process, Beijing affirmed President Obama’s historic decision this month to pursue a policy of engagement with communist Cuba.

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News
12:04 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Florida Roundup: Police Behavior

Credit Scott For Florida

Update: Due to many calls and comments, this entire edition of the Florida Roundup discussed renewed police scrutiny. 

POLICE PROTESTS

South Florida demonstrators marched against police-related violence last weekend. More protests are planned after a street artist died running from police and getting hit by an unmarked Miami squad car. 

NEW CHIEFS

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