Venezuela

Associated Press

Venezuelan ruling party chief Diosdado Cabello says Sunday that there was a “terrorist” attack at a military base controlled by troops loyal to the government and several people were arrested.

Alexia Fodere / Miami Herald

On Friday in Caracas Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro convened a new – and many say illegal – legislative assembly designed to give his socialist government dictatorial powers. In Miami, Florida Senator Bill Nelson convened a gathering of Venezuelan exiles to discuss what to do about it.

At Miami-Dade College's downtown campus, Nelson met with Venezuelan expat leaders to hear what they want to tell President Trump. Their message: the U.S. has to get the world on board to squeeze the Venezuelan regime’s finances.

This week on The Florida Roundup, host Tom Hudson, Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei and WLRN's  Tim Padgett discuss how Venezuela's crisis impacts policy and politics in South Florida. Also part of the conversation: This week's torrential downpours overwhelmed some local flood control efforts, and what would South Beach look like if voters choose to move up last call?  

Listen: 

Venezuelan state security agents returned jailed opposition leader Antonio Ledezma to house arrest, his wife said in a Twitter post Friday.

“Several minutes ago, Antonio was unexpectedly returned by SEBIN to our home,” wife Mitzy Capriles wrote on Ledezma’s Twitter account, referring to the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service. “We thank the people of Venezuela and the international community for their concern and solidarity.”

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.

The results of Venezuela's controversial vote to create a new legislature and give President Nicolas Maduro broad authoritarian powers were "tampered with," to change turnout figures, according to the CEO of the firm that provided the election system.

The news may support opposition charges that the results were inflated to add credibility to the vote, which established a National Constituent Assembly beholden to Maduro.

Speaking at a news briefing in London, Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said the results of Sunday's poll were off by at least one million.

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.

Two of Venezuela's leading opposition figures were taken from their homes in the middle of the night by state security agents on Tuesday, in President Nicolas Maduro's first moves against his enemies since a widely denounced vote giving his government nearly unlimited powers.

Read more: Venezuelan Vote: Violence At Home, Rejection Abroad

The wife of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez posted what appeared to be video of him being taken from their home after midnight.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

A weekend vote in Venezuela to choose a "constituent assembly" that will rewrite the country's constitution - but which critics say will create a Cuba-style dictatorship - led to widespread violence and international rejection of the outcome.

On Monday, President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, branding him a "dictator." Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the so-called constituyente election "a sham."

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.

Updated July 31 at 6:50 a.m. ET

Months of opposition to President Nicolas Maduro's plan to strengthen his party's power has resulted in more fatal clashes on the day of the election.

Citing Venezuela's chief prosecutor's office, the Associated Press reports 10 people were killed in Sunday's unrest. The opposition claims 16 people have been killed.

"Seven police officers were wounded when an explosion went off as they drove past piles of trash that had been used to blockade a street in an opposition stronghold in eastern Caracas," the AP says.

Ariana Cubillos / Associated Press

Venezuelans stayed away from the polls in massive numbers on Sunday in a show of protest against a vote to grant President Nicolas Maduro's ruling socialist party virtually unlimited powers in the face of a brutal socio-economic crisis and a grinding battle against its political opponents and groups of increasingly alienated and violent young protesters.

Associated Press

The Trump administration plans to sanction 13 Venezuelans tied to the government of President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday, four days before the South American nation plans to hold a vote that the U.S. says will turn Maduro’s rule into a dictatorship.

Associated Press

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, which has taken heat for its purchase of $2.8 billion in bonds of Venezuela's state-run oil company, is working behind the scenes as Gov. Rick Scott seeks to prevent Florida from doing business with entities supporting the Maduro regime.

Scott hasn't outlined details of the proposal he intends to put before the state Cabinet on Aug. 16. But just saying he wants to make a change that could affect the state's investments has drawn attention from the Wall Street firm.

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