ULTIMAS NOTICIAS
JANUARY 201
8

   ENGLISH
 

JANUARY  31,  2019

ELLIOTT ABRAMS: HUMANITARIAN AID WILL ENTER VENEZUELA BY SEA, THROUGH COLOMBIA OR BRAZIL

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   --
  The special US envoy for Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, considered Wednesday that the "cooperation" of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would be necessary for the opening of a humanitarian aid corridor in that country. "The humanitarian corridor is something we are examining, but of course it requires the cooperation of the regime and I do not know how practical that would be. It has not been possible to date, "said Abrams when asked by Efe at a press appearance at the State Department. The diplomat confirmed that the US has contacted Colombia and Brazil, countries bordering Venezuela, to see how humanitarian aid could be delivered within the country. "Colombia and Brazil, of course, how else are you going to get help? It will arrive by sea, by Colombia or Brazil, there are not a million options, "he said.

     The United States has ready more than 20 million dollars in assistance for Venezuelans, and the environment of Guaidó plans to announce soon a plan to deliver this aid to the interior of the country, even though the Executive of Maduro rejects the entry of those goods considering that there is no humanitarian crisis in the country. With the aim of raising funds for Venezuela, explained Abrams, the US is coordinating with international financial institutions, the European Union (EU) and the Lima Group, composed of a dozen American countries that considers the constitutional order in Venezuela broken.

    "There are not large amounts of assets in the Washington embassy, definitely not enough for a humanitarian program, so we are looking around the world to see what other assets there are, whether in bank accounts or properties, such as gold," he said. In recent days, Abrams has met with representatives of Guaidó, including Carlos Vecchio, top diplomatic representative in Washington and Julio Borges, "ambassador" to the Lima Group. This Tuesday Abrams was in the meeting between Vecchio and Borges with the vice president of the USA, Mike Pence. "I can tell you," explained Abrahms, "that I was in the White House yesterday with Ambassador Vecchio, Ambassador Borges and we are all what we have called 'Venezuela team', which is an effort to help Venezuelans liberate their country from this regime.”

CANADA CUTTING STAFF IN CUBA EMBASSY IN HALF AFTER MYSTERY ILLNESSES

      OTTAWA, CANADA .    - -
Canada announced Wednesday it is removing up to half of the Canadians at its embassy in Cuba after another diplomat was found to have fallen mysteriously ill. Canada has confirmed 14 cases of mysterious health problems since early 2017. Twenty-six American embassy workers in Cuba have also been affected, suffering a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.

      Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Wednesday that tests confirmed a 14th case. Canada said in November it was considering all options regarding its embassy in Cuba after a 13th case was confirmed. Canada is going from about 16 positions for Canadian staff at the Havana embassy to up to eight.  Canada ordered the families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home last April. The 14 Canadians affected includes diplomats and some of their family members. A senior Canadian government official said in a briefing for journalists that the latest case was reported on Dec. 29.

      Canada will continue to have an ambassador in Havana and officials said full consular services will be available to Canadians. But officials said other programs may be adjusted in the coming weeks and diplomatic staff from outside Cuba might assist. Cuba is a favorite tourist destination for Canadians and the Canadian government said there is no evidence of any related ailments among Canadian travelers. A senior Canadian government official said in the briefing that Cuba has been cooperating from the beginning and said Cuban officials are as frustrated as Canadian officials.

A FEW GOVERNMENTS, GOOD FRIENDS OF NICOLAS MADURO REGIME, ARE TRYING TO START ANOTHER USELESS DIALOGUE ALREADY OPPOSED BY JUAN GUAIDO
 

      WASHINGTON, D.C.    -   MEMBERS OF “citizen and global alliance I am Venezuela” alerted by means of a public statement of what they consider a maneuver that "friendly governments of the regime" are trying to start another dialogue parody . "We reject and denounce the pretension of the governments of Cuba, Russia, Mexico and Uruguay, partners and allies of the dictatorship, to try to mount a republication of the Dominican parody of dialogue to oxygenate and give the dictator time," they say in the document. The platform explained that the appointment of a contact group of the European Union would be in the same direction and would be part of the same policy of giving the regime time to continue and deepen its destructive task.

     In addition, they consider that at this point that initiative would only give legal status to what is "a brutal usurpation, which in recent days has filled the dungeons of political prisoners, including minors, accumulated more than 40 deaths from political violence that they have encouraged ", the group assured. Likewise, they expressed in the communique that what the Venezuelan people are asking for democratic Europe for real, concrete, urgent, effective and efficient support and solidarity, which only has one form today: to recognize Juan Guaidó (who was sworn in based on Article 233 of the CRBV) as president in charge, freeze real estate and bank accounts of the corrupt and the regime's mafia dome, transfer control of all financial assets of the republic in European territory to the legitimate, constitutional and recognized by democratic governments of the world.

     Finally, they respectfully urge the European Union to align itself with the clear initiatives of the Lima Group. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has rejected an offer of talks from President Nicolás Maduro amid an ongoing power struggle between the two. Guaidó declared himself “acting president” on Wednesday, a position that has been recognized by several countries, including the US, Canada, the Lima Group and some EU members, but not the EU as a block. Maduro called the move a “coup” influenced by the US and cut off diplomatic ties in response

JANUARY  30,  2019

VENEZUELAN INTERIM PRESIDENT JUAN GUAIDO'S COMMENTS ON STATEMENT MADE BY WILLIAM SAAB: "THERE IS NOTHING NEW"

      CARACAS, VENEZUElA   --
   Juan Guaidó, president of the Parliament who was sworn in as president in charge of the country on January 23, was quick to respond to the statement made public by the Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, at noon on Tuesday. Less than an hour of Saab's words, Guaidó said he was not surprised, indicating that "there is nothing new". The petition of the general prosecutor to the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) was to prohibit the parliamentarian from leaving the country, the alienation of property, movable and immovable, and the prohibition to use his bank accounts in Venezuela. "I'm not dismissing a threat from jail, very responsibly I tell them there is nothing new under the sun," Guaidó answered from the seat of Parliament.

      "It is no more than a new threat to me, to this Parliament, to the presidency in charge of the Republic, there is nothing new, I do not dismiss the threats, the persecution; but we are here, we continue to exercise competences and we will continue advancing in the humanitarian emergency and demand the release of the detainees, "said the president of the National Assembly, who has been recognized as" interim president of Venezuela "by the United States, Canada and many others Latin American countries. For its part, the National Assembly (AN) named on Tuesday "diplomatic representatives" in a dozen countries that recognized the swearing in of the legislative head, Juan Guaidó, as interim president of Venezuela.

      The designations include Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States, Honduras, Panama and Peru, as well as the Lima Group, a block that ignores the socialist leader Nicolás Maduro and made up of several of those nations. Guaidó headed the parliamentary session in which the nominations were approved and took the opportunity to address the 2.3 million Venezuelans who, according to the UN, left the country since 2015 due to the serious economic crisis. "We miss them, there are their representatives, who are going to be looking after their interests, but also for their early return to the homeland," the deputy said between applause. The legislative body did not specify where they sent their envoys. "We are exercising the powers (of the Executive) to achieve the cessation of the usurpation, the transitional government and free elections," said Guaidó. The AN appointed as representative in the US Carlos Veccio, considered one of the architects of the strategy to encircle Maduro along with Julio Borges, who was appointed delegate to the Lima Group.

LIMA GROUP MEETING CALLED TO DISCUSS VENEZUELA

      OTTAWA, CANADA .    - -
Canada will host an "urgent" meeting of the Lima Group to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela, the Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced Monday. The group, which includes Canada and 13 Latin American countries, will convene on February 4 in Ottawa to discuss how to support opposition leader Juan Guiado, who declared himself interim leader of Venezuela despite disputed President Nicolas Maduro's victory in 2018 elections that were widely boycotted and believed to have been rigged. Guaido has called for demonstrations for two days this week in his latest bid to bring the country's military to his side and away from Maduro.

       First, Guaido called on Venezuelans to mount a peaceful, two-hour, midday protest Wednesday "to demand that the armed forces side with the people." Guaido also asked his supporters to be "in every corner" of the nation and around the globe and take to the streets this coming Saturday, a move that coincides with a European Union deadline for announcing a new election. Guaido is offering amnesty to soldiers who back democracy and reject the current Maduro government. "We are waiting for you, the soldiers of Venezuela. We are waiting for you and the commitment you have to our constitution," Guaido said at a Sunday news conference. Opposition followers -- some shouting, "Soldier friend, you're the only one missing" -- handed out leaflets describing the amnesty plans at military and police posts.

      Maduro maintained Sunday that the military is on his side as he watched military exercises using Russian-built rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft machine guns. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks with senior military officials during a military exercise in Valencia, Jan. 27, 2019. "Nobody respects the weak, cowards, traitors. In this world, what's respected are the brave, the courageous, power," Maduro said as he watched bullets from the Russian artillery pound a hillside. Maduro said he wants peace, but also announced more military games for February. He says they will be "the most important in the history of Venezuela." Also Sunday, Maduro rejected an ultimatum from a number of European countries that he hold new elections within eight days, or they will formally recognize Guaido as president.

SECRETARY  OF TREASURY AFFIRMED THAT THE US CONSIDERS "ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS" AGAINST VENEZUELA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.    -
    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday he considers "additional sanctions" to put pressure on the Venezuelan government, at a time when the State Department announced that it will hand over to the opposition leader Juan Guaidó control of the accounts. in United States. "We always consider additional sanctions to ensure that the country's assets are protected for the Venezuelan people," Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox, a day after Washington announced sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, Venezuela's main source of income, to pressure the government of Nicolás Maduro, informs AFP.

     The sanction comes at a time when the country and PDVSA are in default and their oil production at the lowest level of the last three decades, 1.3 million barrels per day. "There is no doubt that we are trying to cut off the funds of the regime that should not be in power," Mnuchin said. The Treasury Department said it signed an order last week to give control of Venezuela's bills in the United States to Parliament leader Juan Guaidó, recognized by Washington after being sworn in as interim president.

      "This certification will help the legitimate government of Venezuela to safeguard these assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. Guaidó, aged 35, was sworn in after the National Assembly, with an opposition majority, declared Maduro "usurper" for taking on January 10 a second term that, like most of the international community, he considers illegitimate because it is the result of elections denounced as "fraudulent". Guaidó has the support of several countries in Latin America, while Maduro is supported financially and politically by Russia and China.

JANUARY  29,  2019

THE UNITED STATES URGES THE VENEZUELAN MILITARY TO ACCEPT A PEACEFUL CHANGE: REITERATES THAT ALL OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --
  White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announce economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, January 28, 2019. The National Security Adviser of the United States, John Bolton, on Monday urged the military in Venezuela to accept "pacifically" Nicolás Maduro's exit from power, and reiterated that "all options" are on the table when consulted about an eventual military intervention.
lapatilla.com

      "We ask the Venezuelan army and the security forces to accept the peaceful, democratic and constitutional transition of power," Bolton said at a press conference, in which he reaffirmed, as President Donald Trump had done, that in relation to a possible intervention American military "all options" are on the table. "We are talking to the Venezuelan military on the ground and we know they are very aware of the economic disaster in Venezuela," Bolton said.

       Likewise, he asks that all nations recognize Juan Guaidó as the president in charge, since "it is time to be in favor of prosperity in Venezuela." "I ask all nations to recognize Guaidó immediately. It is time to be in favor of democracy and prosperity in Venezuela. Any violence against the National Assembly, against Juan Guaidó and against his people will mean an attack against the law and will be received with a significant response, "he said. Bolton told Cuba that before any violent act against Guaidó, Assembly, or Diplomatic Corps of the United States, the response would be "substantial."

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO VENEZUELA'S INTERIM PRESIDENT THERE WILL BE "SIGNIFICANT CONSEQUENCES"

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    -
-
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said there will be significant and immediate consequences for Nicolas Maduro if Juan Guaido, the interim president of Venezuela, is harmed. Rubio added President Trump isn't bluffing or playing games and if he says he is going to do something, he will do it. "The administration has been pretty clear about this," Rubio said in an interview with FOX News host Martha MacCallum. "If something were to happen to him or, God forbid, to our diplomats or members of the national assembly, or the general public who’s peacefully protesting, there is going to be swift and immediate and significant consequences.

     And I can tell you that it’s not for me to decide what they are, or to announce them." "I’m just telling everyone. Believe me when I tell you that there will be significant consequences for Maduro, there’ll be no future for him," Rubio said Thursday. Russia and China issuing a string of blistering message directed at the United States. They are telling us that we need to stay out of the power struggle that is now underway in Venezuela. This as lives were lost in deadly protest there as the U.S. recognizes the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as Venezuela’s rightful interim president. Russia is different.

      Obviously, they want to have control over the oil fields. They want to own them and they want to have a base of operation to threaten America and leverage us in the Western Hemisphere. But I think it’s funny that Vladimir Putin lectures anyone about not interfering. This is a guy who messed with our elections, who invaded Ukraine, who took Crime, who is up to his neck in Syria. So, it’s a joke. The election that happened in May is -- it will be the equivalent of President Trump ordering an election next month and getting a four-year term out of it.

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO ON  JOHN BOLTON: HE WANTS A MILITARY OUTCOME IN VENEZUELA

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA    -
   DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro UNLEASHED A VERY STRONG VERBAL ATTACK this Monday against the Advisor of National Security of the United States, John Bolton. "He (Bolton) wants a military outcome in Venezuela," he said. (...) John Bolton, his voice, his lip trembles out of desperation and hatred, he wants a coup d'etat and he asks for it openly, never a coup d'etat had been called in public and John Bolton did it today from Washington, "Maduro assured. .

      He also rejected the actions undertaken by the United States government to reestablish democracy in Venezuela through the application of new sanctions with the support of the president in charge, Juan Guaidó. "I hold Trump responsible for any violence, the blood that may run in Venezuela will be in your hands, your hands will be full of blood if they lead Venezuela to partial violence," he shouted.

       These statements were issued by the Chavez leader after receiving the Venezuelan diplomatic staff who were in the consulates and embassy of Venezuela in the United States and returned to the country last Saturday after the breakdown of diplomatic relations with the US country. On January 24, Maduro announced that the Venezuelan diplomatic mission in US territory would return to the country, after emphasizing: "I have decided to return all the diplomatic, consular personnel, and thus close all the consulates and the embassy in the United States."

JANUARY  28,  2019

U.S. ACCEPTS CARLOS ALFREDO VECCHIO AS NEW POLITICAL ENVOY FOR VENEZUELAN "INTERIM GOVERNMENT"

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --
  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Sunday the department accepted the selection of Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as Venezuela's Chargé d'Affaires to the United States. "Mr. Vecchio will have authority over diplomatic affairs in the United States on behalf of Venezuela," Pompeo said.

     Vecchio met with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, who reaffirmed support for opposition leader Juan Guaido -- who the U.S. administration considers Venezuela's interim president. "The United States looks forward to working with Mr. Vecchio and other diplomatic staff as designated by interim President Guaido," Pompeo said. Brazil has followed the United States' recognition of Guaido as interim president, but most other nations have not. Officially, Nicolas Maduro still holds the office, although violent protests in Venezuela in recent weeks have created a leadership crisis in the South American nation.

     Maduro has repeatedly said that the push to remove him from power is part of a military coup by the United States, and that Guaido is its political puppet. In response to U.S. support for Guaido, Maduro demanded late last week that all American diplomats must leave his country within 72 hours, a demand he's since walked back after a U.S. threat of "appropriate actions" against those responsible if harm came to its citizens. Maduro suspended the deportation threat Sunday to allow a 30-day window for negotiations, the New York Post reported.

US WILL ENSURE THAT VENEZUELA COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS BENEFIT THE GOVERNMENT OF JUAN GUAIDO       

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    - -
 United States will ensure that all trade in Venezuela will benefit the new Government of interim President, Juan Guaidó, recognized this week by the administration of Donald Trump as "illegitimate" the representative Nicolas Maduro, It said Friday a spokesman for the Treasury Department. "This week, the President Trump acknowledged Juan Guaidó as interim President of Venezuela (...) United States will use its economic and diplomatic tools to ensure that the Venezuelan Government trade transactions, including those involving State-owned enterprises and international reserves, are consistent with this recognition", said the spokesman in a statement.

      Guaido, President of the National Assembly, pledged on Wednesday before a crowd of supporters in Caracas to continue the mandate of the Constitution and to lead a transitional Government organized elections and remove from power to mature, that started its second period January 10 after elections described as fraud in the opposition and fifty countries. The Trump, John Bolton, National Security Advisor said Thursday that direct revenue from Venezuela to the interim Government of guided is "consistent" with the recognition of this as Acting President.

     "What we're focusing on now is to disconnect the illegitimate regime of Maduro of the source of their income," said Bolton, explaining that the strategy aims to to everything you billed Venezuela, the largest producer of oil in Latin America, go to the Government of transition. Venezuela, which has the largest reserves of crude oil in the world, is the third provider of that hydrocarbon to United States. According to private consulting firms, United States guarantees greater to the Venezuelan Treasury cash flow. If Trump decides to punish Venezuelan oil exports could crack props to mature, including the military, its mainstay, the consultancy firm Capital Economics warned. AFP

THE KREMLIN DENIES THE PRESENCE OF RUSSIAN MERCENARIES IN VENEZUELA

      MOSCOW, RUSSIA   -
The Kremlin denied on Sunday the presence in Venezuela of mercenaries hired by Russian private military companies in support of President Nicolás Maduro, ally of Moscow, whose government is being challenged by the head of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó. When asked by Russian television about the alleged presence of "400 of our fighters who protect Maduro" in Venezuela, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, replied: "Of course not." "Fear has big eyes," he added, referring to a Russian proverb, according to Russian agencies. Peskov made the remarks to the program "Moscow, Putin, Kremlin," broadcast on one of the most important public channels.

     Several major Russian and international media this week reported the alleged shipment to Venezuela of Russian "mercenaries" to support the government of Nicolás Maduro, amid the worsening political crisis in this country that is going through an economic debacle, where GDP fell by 50% since 2013, the year in which Maduro came to power, the minimum wage is seven dollars a month and inflation closed in 2018 at 1,700,000%. Faced with a social landscape with a huge shortage of food and medicine, three million people left the country since 2015, according to the UN. On Friday, an individual posing as a Cossack leader claimed that members of a private Russian military company that had recently returned from Gabon had to form on Monday an "emergency" group of "400 people" that they would then send to Caracas through Cuba.

     "The relatives (of these soldiers) contacted me to talk about their fate to foreign media," said Yevgeny Chabaev on the Russian social network Vkontakte. Contacted by the AFP, Evguéni Chabaev, who claims to be "the only individual to fight openly for the rights" of the Russian mercenaries, affirmed that the objectives of this supposed mission in Venezuela are not "clear". According to him, it is for this reason that the families of these soldiers resorted to him. In Vkontakte, Yevgeny Shabaev also conveys many messages of opposition to the government of Vladimir Putin. The Russian ambassador to Venezuela said on Friday that the alleged presence of Russian mercenaries in Venezuela was a "joke."

JANUARY  27,  2019

EEUU URGES IN THE UNITED NATIONS TO SUPPORT JUAN GUAIDO WHILE VENEZUELA RECHAZA ULTIMATUM EUROPEO

       NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK      --
 "The time has come to support the Venezuelan people, recognize the new government led by interim president Guaidó and end this nightmare. There are no excuses ", insisted the UN Pompeo. He also lashed out at the "illegitimate mafia state of former President Maduro" and called on all nations to end their financial transactions with the Maduro government.

      Shortly before the meeting, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Great Britain hardened the tone and issued a coordinated ultimatum to Maduro, stating that they will recognize Guaidó as "president" if elections are not held in eight days. The European Union announced on its side that "will take action" if elections are not held "in the coming days."

      In the session, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza harshly criticized the European countries. "But Europe? To put itself to the tail of the United States? Not so much of the United States, of the Donald Trump government? Europe, giving us eight days of what? Where do you get that have any power to give a sovereign people deadlines or ultimatums? "Asked Arreaza in the Council. "Nobody is going to give us deadlines, nor will they tell us if elections are held or not" in Venezuela, said Arreaza, who during his long speech agitated several times the UN Charter with one hand and a miniature edition of the Bolivarian Constitution with the other. A US draft declaration by the Security Council on Venezuela calling for "full support" for the National Assembly led by Guaidó was blocked this morning by Russia and China.

MIKE POMPEO TO CHAVISM: DO NOT PUT THE UNITED STATES TO THE TEST       

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    -
-
 US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned Nicolás Maduro on Saturday that he must protect the US embassy, hours before the deadline, imposed by the Venezuelan president that Washington no longer recognizes, for his diplomats to leave. country. "Let me be 100% clear: President Trump and I hope that our diplomats will continue to receive protections under the Vienna Convention," Pompeo said at a special session of the Security Council on Venezuela. "Do not put the United States to the test in its resolution to protect our people," he warned.

     "We have a new president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, who has promised free elections in Venezuela," Pompeo said in front of the audience. He stressed that "the former president Maduro is the only one responsible for the crisis in Venezuela, so that is why we bring up the issue. Maduro has reduced Venezuelans to look for food in the trash and to go to other countries to go back to prostitution. " "Four months ago, Fernando Albán came to the United States to talk about the anguish of the Venezuelans, he returned to his country, he was arrested and murdered after three days," Pompeo said. He stressed that "it is time to choose who to support, or are with the forces of freedom or are with Maduro. Only four countries support Maduro, including Russia, China, Bolivia and Iran.

      Cuba has worsened the situation in Venezuela, and that is why, on Wednesday, the Venezuelan people decided to recover the power of their country. " "We ask Venezuelans to work for democracy. Our nations must support the leader that the Venezuelan people have decided as interim president and prompt elections. We can not ignore tyranny in this nation, "he insisted. "We are proudly with President Juan Guaidó, we can not let more time pass, we have to set the position, talk and discuss the issue. But do not put us to the test, we are going to protect our own citizens, our diplomatic corps and interim president Juan Guaidó, "he concluded.

THE BANK OF ENGLAND DENIED DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO'S APPLICATION TO REPATRIATE 1,200 MILLION DOLLARS IN GOLD FROM THE BANK

      LONDON, ENGLAND   - 
The beleaguered regime of Nicolás Maduro, desperate to hold on to the amount of cash he has abroad, was hampered in his attempt to get $ 1.2 billion of gold from the Bank of England, according to people familiar with the matter. The decision of the Bank of England to deny the request for retirement of officials of Maduro occurs after the main officials of EE. The US, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, pressured their counterparts in the United Kingdom to help eliminate the regime of their assets abroad, according to one of The People, who asked not to be identified. .

     The United Kingdom followed the United States and other countries on Wednesday to recognize Juan Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly, as the legitimate president of Venezuela. However, Maduro, an authoritarian ruler who oversees the collapse of the country into economic chaos, refuses to relinquish power and has the backing of the military. US officials are now trying to direct Venezuela's assets abroad to Guaido to help increase their chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $ 1.2 billion of gold is a large part of the $ 8 billion in foreign reserves held by the central bank of Venezuela. The whereabouts of much of the gold is unknown.

     Meanwhile, Caracas central bank officials have been ordered not to attempt to contact the Bank of England. The central banks were told that Bank of England staff will not respond to them, citing compliance reasons, said a Venezuelan official, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly. The Bank of England declined to comment on its handling of Venezuelan gold, saying it "provides banking services, including gold custody services, to a large number of clients" and "does not comment on any of those relationships." The State Department did not do it. Respond immediately to a request for comments and a spokesperson for the NSC declined to comment. A Maduro press officer also declined to comment.

JANUARY  26,  2019

FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH ADVISOR, ELLIOT ABRAMS, NAMED U.S. ESPECIAL ENVOY FOR VENEZUELA

       WASHINGTON, D.C.      --
 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo anounced on Friday that Elliott Abrams will be the State Department’s special envoy for dealing with the crisis in Venezuela. Abrams was a senior Middle East adviser in George W. Bush’s White House, and also worked for the Republican administrations of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Abrams is considered a foreign policy hawk, and one of the most prominent members of the “neo-Conservative” school of thought. During the 2016 Republican primary, he opposed the nomination of Donald Trump, and stated that Trump wasn’t worthy of leading the party of Reagan and Abraham Lincoln. These statements led Trump to veto an attempt by the previous Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to appoint Abrams to a senior State Department position in 2017.

     Pompeo said on Friday that he was “excited” to have Abrams join the Department. “Elliott’s passion for the rights and liberties for all peoples makes him a perfect fit and a valuable and timely addition,” Pompeo stated. In the 1980's, Abrams served in the State Department under the Reagan administration. During that period, as part of his responsibility regarding Latin America, Abrams was involved in the Iran-Contra affair, and eventually signed a plea agreement, pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress regarding the administration's attempts to support the Nicaraguan Contra rebels. Abrams was sentenced to two years probation and was pardoned by George H.W. Bush, in 1992, after Bush lost the election of that year to Bill Clinton.

     Under the George W. Bush administration, Abrams was involved in crafting Middle East policy, including the 2002 “Road Map for Peace” and the U.S. support for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Abrams was the first American official to learn about Israel's intent to evacuate its settlements in Gaza, during a meeting he held with then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Rome. In February 2016, during an appearance before the Jewish People's Policy Institution in Jerusalem, he said he might not vote at all in the U.S. election if the two nominees would be Trump and Hillary Clinton. He expressed a similar sentiment in an interview with Politico a month later. However, Abrams made sure not to become part of the "Never Trump" group of conservative figures, and didn't sign any pledges not to serve under a Trump Administration.
 

MIKE POMPEO WILL URGE THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL TODAY TO RECOGNIZE JUAN GUAIDO AS INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA       

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    -
-
 The head of US diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, will pressure members of the UN Security Council to recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, the State Department said on Friday. The United States requested an emergency session of the highest authority of the United Nations for Saturday, after supporting the swearing in of the Venezuelan opposition leader and declaring "illegitimate" the leftist leader Nicolás Maduro, emphasizes AFP.

     "Secretary Pompeo will urge members of the Security Council and the international community to defend international peace and security by recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim constitutional president of Venezuela, and will request support from the transitional government in its quest to restore democracy and the mandate of the law, "the State Department said in a statement. Guaidó, president of the National Assembly of the opposition majority, pledged on Wednesday before a crowd of supporters in Caracas to comply with the provisions of the Constitution and lead a transitional government to organize new elections and take Maduro out of power, whose second term started on January 10 considered "illegitimate".

     The United States and a dozen countries in the region have recognized Guaidó, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Colombia. But none of the other five powers with veto power in the Security Council have formally backed Guaidó. The United Kingdom and France declared illegitimate the re-election of Maduro last year, but failed to officially recognize Guaidó, a 35-year-old engineer, although British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said that Guaidó "is the right person to take to Venezuela forward. " Russia has strongly supported its ally Maduro, and China, the main creditor of Venezuela, has expressed its opposition to external interference.

JOHN BOLTON: VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT ASSETS IN THE UNITED STATES WILL NE MANAGED BY THE INTERIM PRESIDENT JUAN GUAIDO

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   - 
All the assets that the Government of Venezuela has in the United States will be managed by the administration of Juan Guaidó, who will dispose of their use and control, said John Bolton, National Security Adviser to the White House. This includes money in banks, properties of the Citgo subsidiary and all agencies of the Government of Venezuela. Bolton, in contrast, said that the US will restrict the administration of Nicolás Maduro access to the management of the goods that Venezuela has in the North American country.

     He also commented that his nation already has a plan to protect the workers of the US Embassy in Caracas, as well as the thousands of US citizens living in Venezuela. "We are fully supporting the legitimate Government of Venezuela of Juan Guaidó," Bolton said in an interview. The Government of Donald Trump manifested his ignorance to Maduro as president of Venezuela and backed instead to Guaidó as president in charge.

     After this, Maduro said that his government broke diplomatic relations with the US and gave 72 hours for the personnel of that country to leave Venezuela, a term that ends on Sunday. Meanwhile, the United States asked the "non-essential" personnel of the North American country to leave Venezuela, but said that their nation will not close its embassy in Caracas. Bolton said Trump has already authorized an answer if Maduro does something against the security of US diplomatic personnel in the country.
 

JANUARY  25,  2019

SIXTEEN COUNTRIES ASK THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES TO PROTECT THE "SECURITY" OF VENEZUELAN INTERIM PRESIDENT JUAN GUAIDO

       WASHINGTON, D.C.      --
  Sixteen countries of the American continent expressed their "full support" to the president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, on Thursday at the Organization of American States, and called for their "security" and that of the members of the National Assembly, of opposition majority. The statement was endorsed by 16 of the 34 countries that are active members of the agency: Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the Republic. Dominican.

      "We demand that the security and protection of the president in charge, Juan Guaidó, and of the members of the National Assembly be guaranteed," read the ambassador of Argentina, Paula María Bertol, during an extraordinary session on Venezuela of the Permanent Council of the OAS. The statement also ratifies the "constitutional authority" of the National Assembly, which has initiated the process to assume the powers of the Executive by considering illegitimate the takeover of the Presidency that Nicolás Maduro made on January 10 as the result of an election questioned by the international community.|

     The 16 countries support "the actions taken to request international humanitarian aid, the freedom of political prisoners, the freezing of the assets of corrupt government officials" and also support the guarantees that have been offered to the military and civilians that support the Legislative. The Venezuelan Parliament itself has approved an amnesty for the military, an action that seeks the support of the military stratum, fundamental for those who want to claim power in Venezuela. The 16 nations that signed the declaration expressed their "full support" for Guaidó, who was sworn in as president in charge of Venezuela on Wednesday and won recognition from the US and other countries on the continent, such as Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia.

THE  US WILL MAINTAIN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH VENEZUELA AND WILL LEAD THEM THROUGH THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT OF JUAN GUAIDO

      WASHINGTON, D.C.    - - Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo affirmed on Wednesday that his country will maintain diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will lead them through the government of Juan Guaidó, who was sworn in this Wednesday as Prsidente encargado de Venezuela. Earlier, Pompeo acknowledged Guaidó's decision to assume the role of President in Charge and expressed his support for the National Assembly and its efforts to establish a transitional government and prepare for free and fair elections. He also called on Venezuela's security forces to continue protecting all Venezuelan citizens, as well as Americans and other foreigners.

     On the other hand, Pompeo reiterated the opinion of Senator Marco Rubio, and affirmed that he does not believe that Maduro has the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with Washington. The United States meets with interim president Juan Guaido, the democratically elected National Assembly and the people of Venezuela while peacefully restoring the constitutional order in their country. We stand ready to support Interim President Guaido while establishing a transitional government and fulfilling his constitutional obligations as interim President, including the determination of the status of diplomatic representatives in the United States and other countries.

     We welcome President Guaido's interim directive to all diplomatic missions in Venezuela that Venezuela intends to maintain diplomatic relations with all countries. The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will carry out our relations with Venezuela through the government of Acting President Guaido, who has invited our mission to remain in Venezuela. The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. Consequently, the United States does not consider that former President Nicolás Maduro has the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata. We call on the Venezuelan military and security forces to continue protecting the welfare and welfare of all Venezuelan citizens, as well as US citizens and other foreign citizens in Venezuela.

PRESIDENT OF THE EUROCAMARA: "MADURO HAS TO LEAVE NOW!"

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
The president of the Eurocámara, Antonio Tajani, called on Thursday to the exit of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and expressed his support to the opposition Juan Guaidó, "the only institutional interlocutor in Venezuela". "In the face of general discontent, Maduro has to leave now!" Tajani said in a statement, announcing that the European Parliament, which does not participate in the decision making of the 28 EU countries when they fix their positions, will debate next week. the situation in Venezuela. The Italian politician, a traditional critic of the Venezuelan president, said that "the Venezuelan people are fed up with the illegitimate regime of Maduro, who has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, seizing power and imprisoning the opposition."

     The head of the European Parliament, who in 2017 granted the Sakharov Prize to freedom of conscience to the Venezuelan opposition, said he was in constant contact with Guaidó, president of the opposition National Assembly and self-proclaimed interim president of the country. "President Juan Guaidó is the only institutional interlocutor in Venezuela because he has the democratic legitimacy," said Tajani, for whom "we must prepare a peaceful transition of powers with free and credible elections." After several consultations to determine their position, the 28 EU countries, through the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, called on Wednesday to listen to the "massive call to democracy" of the people of Venezuela and called for "free elections". "

     But the EU explicitly avoided recognizing the opposition as the interim president of the country, as demanded by MEPs from the European People's Party (PPE, right), the main group of the European Parliament and the Liberals. EPP leader, Manfred Weber, said his group "recognizes" the opposition as "interim president." "Next week we will ask in the European Parliament for the EU to officially recognize it as well," he added. If the initiative goes ahead, the European Parliament would approve the ninth resolution on the situation in Venezuela since the beginning of the legislature in 2014.

JANUARY  24,  2019

VENEZUELA'S JUAN GUAINO DECLARES HIMSELF INTERIM PRESIDENT OF THE "BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC"

       CARACAS. VENEZUELA       --
 Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, while hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans poured onto the streets to demand an end to the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro. In a statement minutes later, US President Donald Trump recognised Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate interim president. Demonstrators clogged avenues in eastern Caracas, chanting "Get out, Maduro" and "Guaido, Presidente," while waving national flags. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in several areas. A rally the night before left four people reported dead, an echo of tumultuous riots two years ago.

     The opposition has been energized by young congress chief Guaido, who has led a campaign to declare Maduro a usurper and has promised a transition to a new government in a nation suffering a hyperinflationary economic collapse. Guaido, in a speech before a cheering crowd, took an oath swearing himself in as interim president. "I swear to assume all the powers of the presidency to secure an end of the usurpation," he said. He has said he would be willing to replace Maduro with the support of the military and to call free elections. The Trump administration told U.S. energy companies it could impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil as soon as this week if the political situation worsens, according to sources.

      Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 to another term in office following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments described as a fraudulent. His government accuses Guaido of staging a coup and has threatened him with jail. Any change in government in Venezuela will rest on a shift in allegiance within the armed forces. They have stood by Maduro through two waves of street protests and a steady dismantling of democratic institutions. "We need freedom, we need this corrupt government to get out, we need to all unite, so that there is peace in Venezuela," said Claudia Olaizola, a 54-year-old saleswoman near the march's center in the eastern Chacao district, a traditional opposition bastion.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP RECOGNIZES JUAM GUAIDO AS THE LEGITIMATE INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.    - -  yesterday,  after the swearing in of Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela, the White House made it official that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, recognized Guaidó as president of the country. "President Donald Trump has officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as Acting President of Venezuela," said the White House. "I will continue to use the full weight of the economic and diplomatic power of the United States to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy," is part of the statement.

      Today, I am officially recognizing the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, as Acting President of Venezuela. In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the constitution of the country to declare Nicolás Maduro illegitimate and, therefore, the office of the presidency was vacated. The people of Venezuela have spoken courageously against Maduro and his regime and have demanded freedom and the rule of law.

     I will continue to use the full weight of the economic and diplomatic power of the United States to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy. We encourage other governments of the Western Hemisphere to recognize the President of the Guaido National Assembly as Acting President of Venezuela, and we will work constructively with them to support their efforts to restore constitutional legitimacy. We continue to directly hold the illegitimate regime of Maduro responsible for any threat it may pose to the security of the Venezuelan people. As the interim president Guaido pointed out yesterday: "Violence is the usurper's weapon; we only have one clear action: to remain united and firm for a democratic and free Venezuela.

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO INFORMS THAT VENEZUELA IS BREAKING RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
VENEZUELAN DICTATOR NICOLAS Maduro says U.S. diplomatic personnel have 72 hours to leave the country. The U.S. State Department said it would not comply with that order. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning over the backing of the Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro to break relations with the United States. Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, dictator Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela (now changed to 15 days), which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

     The U.S. State Department said in a statement that it would not remove American diplomats because it did not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela: "The United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata." At a rally that brought hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans into the east of Caracas, Guaido said Maduro had usurped power and promised to create a transitional government that would help the country escape its hyperinflationary economic collapse. "I swear to assume all the powers of the presidency to secure an end to the usurpation," 35-year old Guaido, the head of the opposition-run congress, told an exuberant crowd.

      Guaido's declaration takes Venezuela into uncharted territory, with the possibility of the opposition now running a parallel government recognized abroad as legitimate but without control over state functions. In a televised broadcast from the presidential palace, Maduro accused the opposition of seeking to stage a coup with the support of the United States, which he said was seeking to govern Venezuela from Washington. "We've had enough interventionism, here we have dignity, damn it! Here is a people willing to defend this land," said Maduro, flanked by top Socialist Party leaders, although the defense minister and members of the military high command were absent. The office of Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino did not answer a phone call seeking comment.

JANUARY  23,  2019

US VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE TO VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION:  WE ARE WITH YOU

       WASHINGTON, D.C.       --
  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence released a video message Tuesday to the people of Venezuela, urging them to "make your voices heard" in nationwide protests expected on Wednesday. Pence's message supported the political opposition to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his hard-left government. The opposition-controlled National Assembly, which Maduro has declared invalid, has called for Wednesday's protests. On behalf of President Donald Trump and the entire American people, let me express the resolute support of the United States. while you, the Venezuelan people, raise your voices in a call to freedom, "said Pence. "We are with you," he told the political opposition in English, sprinkled with Spanish phrases. "We stand with you."

      The message was subtitled in Spanish. "We will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of" -- he switched to the Spanish word -- "Libertad," or, in English, liberty. In the message Pence calls opposition leader Juan Guaido, recently sworn in as president of the National Assembly, "courageous." He said the Assembly is the "last vestige" of democracy in Venezuela. His message concluded, "Vayan con Dios," or in English, "Go with God." On Monday the Venezuelan Defense Ministry said Venezuelan security forces arrested 27 National Guardsmen, after they allegedly revolted against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. The ministry said "a small group" of National Guard members had taken four hostages and stolen weapons from an outpost in Caracas' Cotiza neighborhood during a pre-dawn action. The military said it had recovered all the weapons and captured those involved in what it described as "treasonous'' acts motivated by "obscure interests tied to the far right.''

     A few hours earlier, a group of guardsmen also reportedly posted videos on social media saying they won't recognize the Maduro government and urged him to leave office. They asked those seeing the video to help them overthrow the government. The failed revolt sparked protests in the poor neighborhoods of the capital as the news spread. At daybreak in Cotiza, a group of young men built a barricade across the street with a burning car, heavy sewer grates and a large chunk of concrete. "Freedom! Freedom!'' they chanted. "Maduro has to go!'' Maduro's administration has come under increasing domestic and international pressure as he begins a second term that that the opposition-led congress considers illegitimate.

JUAN GUAIDO: SEE YOU TOMORROW IN EACH SPACE OF VENEZUELA, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO TAKE OUT THE TYRANT

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA     - -  The new president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, speaks during a session of the National Assembly led by the opposition in Caracas on January 8, 2019. The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, who has presided over a political and economic crisis in spiral since he took over his mentor. The president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, confirmed on Tuesday the convocation to the national demonstration on Wednesday, January 23 to support a transitional government in the country and the cessation of the usurpation.

     "Tomorrow (January 23) we will expose concrete elements to achieve a transition, tomorrow we can not fall into provocations (...) We will see each other tomorrow in each space of Venezuela, because we are going to throw out the tyrant," he said at the end of the ordinary session of Parliament. Guaidó affirmed that the convocation of this Wednesday responds to the cry of the Venezuelans who cry for a change. "It's enough that five or seven want to kidnap this moment in the history of Venezuela," he said.

     "The sun of Venezuela today shines more than ever, Venezuela tomorrow is willing to say forcefully" let oppression die ". And the pots that are preparing in the regime, those that are preparing, hopefully they would serve to feed the Venezuelan (...) " The deputy referred to the repression that young people have suffered for going out to demonstrate, and assured that whatever happens, what happens today in the country will not change anymore, "because Venezuela woke up." "Where they are never going to defeat us anymore is in the certainty that we are going to change Venezuela."

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION PREPARES FOR THIS #23ENE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WARMED BY PROTESTS AND MILITARY UPRISING

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
The Venezuelan opposition and the Chavismo will return on Wednesday to measure their forces in the streets, in an atmosphere heated by small protests unleashed after the uprising of 27 soldiers who ignored Nicolás Maduro as president. Some 30 places in Caracas and its outskirts registered protests, riots, blockades of streets burning garbage, looting hooded a few businesses and cacerolazos, according to reports from neighbors and the private Observatory of Social Conflict. "And it's going to fall, and it's going to fall!" Shouted protesters in the popular Catia neighborhood in the east of Caracas. Crews of workers cleaned the rubble in the capital on Tuesday.

      The situation broke out on Monday after, in the midst of intense calls from the opposition to the Armed Forces to break with Maduro, 27 soldiers stole weapons from a barrack and barricaded themselves in a detachment in Cotiza (north of Caracas), where they were arrested. Increasing the tension, the opponents are preparing to demonstrate on Wednesday against what they consider a "usurper" president and demand a government of transition and new presidential elections. "The only transition in Venezuela is towards socialism," refuted Chavismo number two, Diosdado Cabello, calling on government supporters to march massively in different parts of the country. It will be the first big pulse in the streets after the violent protests that left about 125 dead between April and July 2017, in the middle of the worst crisis in the modern history of the oil country, with shortages of food and medicine and hyperinflation that the IMF projects 10,000,000% by 2019
In this context, the parliament, with an opposition majority, will debate on Tuesday the legal framework of its proposal to establish a transitional government, which includes the offering of amnesties to soldiers who do not recognize Maduro as president. The NA session challenges a ruling handed down on Monday by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), which declared the parliamentary board of directors chaired by Juan Guaidó null and void and reiterated the 2016 court ruling that declared parliament in contempt and nullified all of its decisions.

     Under the leadership of Guaidó, the Congress, which has an opposition majority, declared Maduro a "usurper," after he assumed a second term on January 10 considered illegitimate by several governments, and promised amnesty to the military, considered the president's main support. "We are not asking you to carry out a coup, or to shoot. On the contrary, we are asking you to defend together with us the right of the people (...) to be free, "said Guaidó in a message to the military, released late Monday. The legislative head, who has said he is willing to preside over the transitional government, assures that the message of Parliament is perceptible and that the fleeting military uprising shows discontent inside the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

JANUARY  22,  2019

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO TSJ DECLARES NULL THE CURRENT DIRECTIVE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA       --
     The Supreme Court of Nicolás Maduro , declared that the National Assembly directive is "unconstitutional and it does not have a board of directors" and affirmed that the act executed by the National Assembly on January 5  is annulled, declaring the current directive led by Juan Guaidó is null. The Constitutional Chamber of the TSJ explained that it makes this statement in view of the "reiterated constitutional omission" in which the Legislature has incurred, an organ that has been  declared in "contempt" by the chavista TSJ, a few weeks after losing most of the seats.

     "The directive of the National Assembly elected and sworn on January 5, 2018, is not valid" and that the legislators had incurred  an usurpation and all their acts are null and void. He also added: "On the declaration of usurpation of power, the National Assembly violates art.icle 130 131 132 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ". "Therefore, the face of contempt, the AN does not have a valid board of directors. All its acts are null and void. Irritated exercise brings individual responsibility, "he said.

      The magistrate described as "legal fiction" the usurpation of Maduro declared by the parliament and the "absolute lack" to which they refer according to Article 233 of the Constitution . "According to art. 138 this constitutional chamber declares on the violent usurpation agreement 130, 131 and 132 constitutional , ignore the judiciary to ignore its rulings, the CNE, the Executive and the people, as rumor in previous days, the TSJ appointed by the National Constituent Assembly declares the board of directors of the Venezuelan National Assembly illegal in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and annuls his appointment, "he said.

what us refineries know about possible sanctions against venezuela

      Washington, d.c.    - -  Refineries in the United States are raising their bets to have access to scarce crude varieties needed for their more sophisticated plants at a time when the government reconsiders to apply more severe sanctions to Venezuela, which could further reduce oil imports. Reuters news agency informs that officials of the government of President Donald Trump met in recent days with executives of oil companies in the United States to review potential actions in response to the start of the new illegal term of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro last January 10, as a result of  an election considered illegitimate. Among other steps, US officials have recognized the Venezuelan Congress, controlled by the opposition, as the only legitimate democratic institution.

      But the proposals that would most affect the oil industry involve prohibiting the export of refined products from the United States to Venezuela or limiting oil imports, a measure that the White House has not yet taken even after sanctioning individuals and prohibiting access to  the American banks. The US, called Mars, was sold at a premium of $ 6.80 per barrel in the US crude futures markets.  This Thursday, the strongest in nearly five years and a premium increase of $ 4.50 per barrel on Tuesday, said a US oil broker. UU "It's more serious than I've heard before," said a refining industry executive familiar with discussions with the White House. "They are preparing to pull the trigger if necessary."

      US refineries have few supply alternatives if the Trump government reduces imports of Venezuelan crude. The heavy crudes preferred by many Gulf refiners have been harder to come by in recent months due to cuts and reductions in production from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. US companies that depend on Venezuelan oil have opposed previous proposals that would stop imports and did so again this week, several people close to the talks said. Two major refiners - Phillips 66 and PBF Energy - cut direct purchases of crude oil from Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA, by its acronym in English.  The source said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been directly involved in the matter, accelerating possible financial and political measures against Maduro.

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO TSJ DECLARES NULL THE CURRENT DIRECTIVE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA       --
     The Supreme Court of Nicolás Maduro , declared that the National Assembly directive is "unconstitutional and it does not have a board of directors" and affirmed that the act executed by the National Assembly on January 5  is annulled, declaring the current directive led by Juan Guaidó is null. The Constitutional Chamber of the TSJ explained that it makes this statement in view of the "reiterated constitutional omission" in which the Legislature has incurred, an organ that has been  declared in "contempt" by the chavista TSJ, a few weeks after losing most of the seats.

     "The directive of the National Assembly elected and sworn on January 5, 2018, is not valid" and that the legislators had incurred  an usurpation and all their acts are null and void. He also added: "On the declaration of usurpation of power, the National Assembly violates art.icle 130 131 132 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ". "Therefore, the face of contempt, the AN does not have a valid board of directors. All its acts are null and void. Irritated exercise brings individual responsibility, "he said.

      The magistrate described as "legal fiction" the usurpation of Maduro declared by the parliament and the "absolute lack" to which they refer according to Article 233 of the Constitution . "According to art. 138 this constitutional chamber declares on the violent usurpation agreement 130, 131 and 132 constitutional , ignore the judiciary to ignore its rulings, the CNE, the Executive and the people, as rumor in previous days, the TSJ appointed by the National Constituent Assembly declares the board of directors of the Venezuelan National Assembly illegal in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and annuls his appointment, "he said.

what us refineries know about possible sanctions against venezuela

      Washington, d.c.    - -  Refineries in the United States are raising their bets to have access to scarce crude varieties needed for their more sophisticated plants at a time when the government reconsiders to apply more severe sanctions to Venezuela, which could further reduce oil imports. Reuters news agency informs that officials of the government of President Donald Trump met in recent days with executives of oil companies in the United States to review potential actions in response to the start of the new illegal term of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro last January 10, as a result of  an election considered illegitimate. Among other steps, US officials have recognized the Venezuelan Congress, controlled by the opposition, as the only legitimate democratic institution.

      But the proposals that would most affect the oil industry involve prohibiting the export of refined products from the United States to Venezuela or limiting oil imports, a measure that the White House has not yet taken even after sanctioning individuals and prohibiting access to  the American banks. The US, called Mars, was sold at a premium of $ 6.80 per barrel in the US crude futures markets.  This Thursday, the strongest in nearly five years and a premium increase of $ 4.50 per barrel on Tuesday, said a US oil broker. UU "It's more serious than I've heard before," said a refining industry executive familiar with discussions with the White House. "They are preparing to pull the trigger if necessary."

      US refineries have few supply alternatives if the Trump government reduces imports of Venezuelan crude. The heavy crudes preferred by many Gulf refiners have been harder to come by in recent months due to cuts and reductions in production from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. US companies that depend on Venezuelan oil have opposed previous proposals that would stop imports and did so again this week, several people close to the talks said. Two major refiners - Phillips 66 and PBF Energy - cut direct purchases of crude oil from Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA, by its acronym in English.  The source said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been directly involved in the matter, accelerating possible financial and political measures against Maduro.

what us refineries know about possible sanctions against venezuela

      Washington, d.c.    - -  Refineries in the United States are raising their bets to have access to scarce crude varieties needed for their more sophisticated plants at a time when the government reconsiders to apply more severe sanctions to Venezuela, which could further reduce oil imports. Reuters news agency informs that officials of the government of President Donald Trump met in recent days with executives of oil companies in the United States to review potential actions in response to the start of the new illegal term of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro last January 10, as a result of  an election considered illegitimate. Among other steps, US officials have recognized the Venezuelan Congress, controlled by the opposition, as the only legitimate democratic institution.

      But the proposals that would most affect the oil industry involve prohibiting the export of refined products from the United States to Venezuela or limiting oil imports, a measure that the White House has not yet taken even after sanctioning individuals and prohibiting access to  the American banks. The US, called Mars, was sold at a premium of $ 6.80 per barrel in the US crude futures markets.  This Thursday, the strongest in nearly five years and a premium increase of $ 4.50 per barrel on Tuesday, said a US oil broker. UU "It's more serious than I've heard before," said a refining industry executive familiar with discussions with the White House. "They are preparing to pull the trigger if necessary."

      US refineries have few supply alternatives if the Trump government reduces imports of Venezuelan crude. The heavy crudes preferred by many Gulf refiners have been harder to come by in recent months due to cuts and reductions in production from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. US companies that depend on Venezuelan oil have opposed previous proposals that would stop imports and did so again this week, several people close to the talks said. Two major refiners - Phillips 66 and PBF Energy - cut direct purchases of crude oil from Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA, by its acronym in English.  The source said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been directly involved in the matter, accelerating possible financial and political measures against Maduro.

TO THE CRY OF FREEDDOM! NEIGHBORS OF COTIZA, CARACAS, FACE THE REPRESSIVE FORCES OF NICOLAS MADURO DICTATORSHIP

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
A group of Venezuelans protested in the vicinity of a Caracas barracks in support of the military that on Monday revolted against Nicolás Maduro, registering skirmishes with anti-riot agents. Cotiza neighbors touched pots, blocked the streets and clashed with the repressive forces of the regime, which threw tear gas bombs. The residents of San Bernardino joined the protest, according to Provea. "We are with them, if they join our country we are with them, we will be in the streets. Freedom! "Shouted a woman before journalists, near the military post where in the early morning a group of the National Guard rose up.
 
      The soldiers, whom the Armed Forces identified as a "small group of assailants", were arrested hours after the uprising, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defense, which does not specify their number. After finding out about the fact through videos that the uniformed ones published in social networks, the neighbors made sound with their pots and  blocked a street with garbage to which they set fire, according to images of local sources. "We want Maduro to leave, we're tired!" Snapped a man after a skirmish with anti-riot agents sent to the area to disperse the protest. The demonstrators reported that the soldiers threw a tear gas canister at them.

     "Five children where I live were taken to the hospital because they were suffocating [with the gas]. We have a year without water, we want a better Venezuela, that our children [who emigrated] come back, "said one woman. The news of the uprising was first announced through social networks where videos circulating showed the military making appeals not to recognize the head of state, Nicolás Maduro, and invited citizens to support these actions. Efe noted that locals have beaten pots from inside their homes, a popular way of making claims to the government, while dozens took to the streets to support the insurgents. In the place are agents of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) and the Special Actions Forces (FAES). Members of these bodies have thrown several tear gas bombs at neighbors who set up a barricade and have decided to cover their faces with hoods or throw stones at law enforcement.

JANUARY  21,  2019

NEW ELECTIONS, BUT FREE, AMONG THE FIVE DEMANDS MADE BY THE EUROPEAN UNION AMBASSADORS TO DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO IN MIRAFLORES

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA       --
    The heads of missionS of the European Union (EU) have called for holding "new free elections" in Venezuela "in line with international standards," during meetings at the Miraflores Palace, headquarters of the Executive, on Friday, and with leaders of the National Assembly on Saturday. In addition to the call to call elections, in both meetings the ambassadors reiterated the position of the Twenty-eight in favor of "respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms," the spokesperson for the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini. She added that diplomats also called for "recognition and respect of the powers and prerogatives of the National Assembly, including the immunity of its members," as well as "the release of all political prisoners" and urgently address "the most pressing needs" of the population. "

     "The proposal, currently under discussion, to establish an international contact group, with the aim of creating the conditions for a political, democratic and peaceful solution, was mentioned in the same way," the spokesperson said.
He insisted that the two meetings remained "in line with the objective of contributing to a political and peaceful remedy and of maintaining open communication channels with all relevant Venezuelan actors." She also stressed that the EU will continue its work to "overcome the current crisis and restore democracy and stability." The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, already said on Friday that he had opened "channels of dialogue and understanding" with ambassadors from several countries of the European Union (EU).

    The state television VTV then showed images of Maduro receiving the ambassador of the EU in Caracas, Isabel Brilhante, as well as representatives of France, Spain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Poland, in a room at the Miraflores Palace. Romania, Portugal and Germany. The EU reiterated on the 10th that it does not recognize the legitimacy of Maduro's new presidential term, which he swore that same day before the Supreme Court. The Chavist leader was able to prevail in the presidential elections of last May, labeled as "fraudulent" and boycotted by the bulk of anti-Chavezism. For this reason, the local opposition, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the EU do not recognize the legitimacy of his second term, which will keep him in office, at least until 2025.

JUAN GUAIDO: JANUARY 23 IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE, BUT MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   - -  The President of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaidó, said that January 23 will be "great importance", ineference to the opposition mobilization that will take place that day, but that "there is still much to be done" to retake the constitutional order, "(...) states the legislative head through his Twitter account." 60 years ago, the union of the people made possible the return of Venezuela to democracy that had been snatched by a dictator (Marcos Pérez Jiménez). Today we have the same duty of those Venezuelans who joined their voices, "he wrote in another message.

     Undoubtedly the 23rd is one day that is very important for our history, but it will not be the only one. NosVemosEl23. Sixty years ago the union of a people led Venezuela to resume the democracy that had been snatched by a dictator. Today we have the same duty of those Venezuelans who joined their voices. On January 15, the Parliament has declared the "usurpation" of the Presidency of the Republic by President Nicolás Maduro, and an amnesty law has also been provided for civilians and the military who collaborate in the "restitution" of the constitutional order.

      In this sense, "open chapters" have been held in Caracas, Aragua, Merida, Barinas, Miranda, Tachira, Lara, Zulia, Vargas, Carabobo, Anzoategui, Monagas, Bolivar and other states and even in Chile, to support the AN. The OAS, the Lima Group and the European Union have expressed their support for the Venezuelan Legislative. As part of a counter-march, the pro-government sector will also take to the streets on January 23 in support of President Maduro. The mobilization was called by the first vice president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello. Since Guaidó assumed the presidency of the Parliament, he has pushed for the "usurpation" of the Executive Branch to cease, for a transitional government to be created and for "free and transparent" elections, "with the union of the people, the National Armed Forces and international community. "

JUAN GUAIDO IS COMMITTED TO A TRANSITION PROCESS SIMILAR TO CHILE

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, offered in an interview published today in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper an amnesty for the military that leaves the president Nicolás Maduro government, and opted for a transition process similar to the Chilean one. "We already offered an amnesty plan for officers, which can lead to new desertions and abandonment in the government's support base," said Guaidó, who has been willing to assume the presidency of Venezuela, which, in his opinion , is "usurped" by Maduro. The president of the Venezuelan Parliament said that "today there are 159 active military prisoners for insubordination , and that in recent times there were almost 3,000 casualties , of people who left" due to the economic and social crisis that the country is going through.

       "Over there it is possible to see that it is a matter of time for an increasing number of them to join us," he added. Asked if he would extend that amnesty to Chávez politicians, Guaidó said that "each case" is different, but that his "idea is that the transition be made as it was done in countries like Chile ." "If that is the cost to recover our democracy, at first, I see no problem in giving amnesties" to Chavez politicians, he said in the newspaper. He also stressed that there are "many" problems that Venezuela has accumulated in recent years and in this regard, he indicated that if they reach the government, "they will need international help and a good political and economic strategy."

     "In the first place, the priority is the end of the dictatorship and the convening of free elections," he said, and then said that, in the event of a hypothetical electoral victory, they would "urgently" fight the humanitarian crisis, the epidemics and the lack of of food and medicines. "We will open our borders to international organizations and partners so they can help us. After that, there is a long process to stabilize the country, and that goes through strengthening the institutions, normalizing the relationship between the Powers, "he said. However, he stressed that "for now" he does not see himself as a future candidate, but as "the leader of the National Assembly at a very delicate and hopeful moment, which is to go back to democracy."

JANUARY  20,  2019

COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT IVAN DUQUE ASKS CUBA TO ARREST ELN NEGOTIATORS AND SEN THEM BACK TO BOGOTA

   BOGOTA, COLOMBIA      --
    Colombian President Ivan Duque urged Cuba to arrest 10 commanders of the National Liberation Army, who are currently in Havana for peace talks after a car bomb attack attributed to leftist rebels killed 21 people and hurt dozens at a police academy in Bogotá. Duque said late on Friday that he revoked a decree suspending arrest warrants against the leaders of the last Colombian rebel group, known as the ELN, who have been living on the island of communist rule. "For all of Colombia today it is clear that the ELN has no genuine will for peace," Duque said in a televised address, citing a long list of kidnappings and attacks attributed to the guerrillas since the peace negotiations began in 2017.

      The president made the comments after the authorities claimed that a manno explosive expert from the ELN was the person who carried out the attack, which has been the deadliest in the South American nation in 15 years. "We appreciate the solidarity expressed by the government of Cuba yesterday and today. We ask them to make effective the captures of the terrorists who are in their territory and deliver them to the Colombian police authorities, "he added, before adding that there is no ideology or cause to justify the cruelty of Thursday's attack.

       Although José Aldemar Rojas did not have a criminal record, authorities said that the 56-year-old man is the same individual that appears in the intelligence reports under Mocho Kiko's alias. It is believed he lost part of his right arm while manipulating explosives during a long clandestine race with an ELN cell near the border with Venezuela. He died in Thursday's attack.

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADERS CALL FOR A MAJOR NATIONAL MARCH ON JANUARY 23

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   - -  The leadership of the Venezuelan opposition called for a large demonstration on Thursday, January 23, an emblematic date for democracy in Venezuela. The Venezuelan legislator and opposition leader, Delsa Solórzano, said the situation in Venezuela is the absence of an elected president, because Nicolás Maduro "is usurping a position that does not correspond because there was no election." The deputies of the National Assembly and political leaders are taking to the streets, carrying out different open councils, according to the legislator to call the march. "In every corner of Venezuela we are making clear several things

      The first one, there is no elected president in our country. And the second, which is fundamental, that the National Assembly has put itself at the forefront of the solution and has said that it assumes the competences that we have to assume today in Venezuela. "He also reiterated that guarantees will be given to all public, civil or military officials. that contributes to the restitution of the constitutional order in Venezuela, "that contributes with firmness and, with its actions, that Venezuela sees democracy again." The opposition leader Andrés Velásquez added that the only interest of the Venezuelan president is to remain in power and that has tried, later, to give some announcements so that Venezuelans "forget usurpation." This is the case of the announcement of the increase in the minimum wage in Venezuela. "Maduro, whatever he does, can not and does not is able to overcome this social tragedy that the country is experiencing, "he said.

      He also questioned the new mission 'beautiful Venezuela' because "you can not talk about a beautiful Venezuela when the country is dying of hunger, when hospitals do not work, when schools are ramshackle, when there is no employment, when people do not have transportation When people do not have security in the streets, how can we speak of a beautiful Venezuela? "The leaders invited even the armed forces, organizations, workers, the cultural sector, universities, the unemployed, among others And they pointed out that in the coming days there will be progressively details of the convocation, which they invite to participate in a peaceful way. "The liberators today are all of us because in Venezuela the polarization is over (...) We invite every corner of Venezuela to go out on the street this January 23, "said Delsa Solórzano.

THE VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION REGAINS POPULAR SUPPORT IN THE STREETS OF THE COUNTRY

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
A new hope goes through the streets of Venezuela. Popular town councils, escraches against Chavez leaders and the enthusiasm recovered after 17 months of silence are repeated simultaneously in different parts of the country. A cry unifies all the currents of opposition and dissident Chavismo: "Get out, Maduro!", Publishes El Mundo . "Since when did not so many people see themselves in the streets screaming for freedom?" Asked the writer Leonardo Padrón after seeing how the opposition people met again in Caracas, Valencia or San Cristóbal. Popular town councils add people throughout the country, although the giant numbers of April 2017 (one and a half million) and September 2016 (one million) are still far behind.

      "We are seeing an awakening, the silence that had been transformed into energy and strength. The 23-E has to be a roar, a cry of freedom throughout Venezuela, " proclaimed Juan Guaidó, president of Parliament, during one of the citizen meetings in the capital. The strong international pressure, the economic collapse that is felt every day, the controversial takeover of the "son of Chávez" and the push of Guaidó have conspired to muddy the scenario imposed by the revolution, which has reacted with nerves to an awakening that did not wait In parallel social protests, which in the absence of the policies were very present throughout 2018, continue this year after Christmas.

     Informal merchants from Puerto Ayacucho beat out members of the National Guard while hundreds of users of the commuter railroad in Caracas accumulated on platforms and in the streets after new service failures, so common.  The municipality of Chacao has not yet reached the water so far this year and queues in search of gasoline and gas are reproduced in the interior of the country. Even the economic leaders, like Lorenzo Mendoza , president of Polar, the most important business group in the country, did not bite his tongue this time: "A new Venezuela is coming. The situation is not viable, the optimism that exists is because we know that something will happen. " "The game has been reactivated," confirms Félix Seijas, president of the Delphos consultancy.

JANUARY  19,  2019

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO SENDS A DESPERATE MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP, "DIALOGUEMOS"

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --
   The DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro sent a message to US President Donald Trump, reiterating his willingness to talk directly with him, at a time when the sanctions applied by Washington begin to threaten the sustainability of his regime. " Hopefully the opportunity was given for a frank, direct, face-to-face dialogue, so that you can see that it is not what you are told by your reports, that we are really; that we are people with whom you can talk, negotiate, understand and agree.

      Those are the words that I would convey to President Donald Trump, "Maduro said in an interview at the presidential palace in Miraflores with South Florida journalist María Elvira Salazar. "My respects to the United States. We have historical differences. We have differences of criteria. We have political differences. We have our character, our strength, our way of being, but the different people can also understand us, "Maduro added in the interview, which is being broadcast in segments on the Univision 23 channel. Salazar, who during his congressional campaign lashed Maduro on several occasions, described the message sent by the Bolivarian president of Caracas as one of desperation.

      "The reality is that here there is a desperate cry from them to Trump, saying 'we want to sit down, because we know that they are economically strangled,'" explained Salazar when asked by her colleagues about her reading of the interview. Maduro's statements are transmitted at the moment when his regime is the target of growing internal pressures and the international community, who denounce his illegitimate occupation of the presidency. These pressures are being accompanied by international sanctions imposed against high figures of Chavism who are suspected of being involved in drug trafficking, human rights violations and the sustained dismantling of the democratic system.

JUAN GUAIDO: POLITICAL VICTORY  IS ACHIEVED WITH THE UNION OF ALL FORCES AND POPULAR PRESSURE

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   - -  The President of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaidó, indicated that Venezuela's only political solution to a "dictatorship" is through "the union of all forces, with the pressure of the popular will", the support of "the Armed Forces and the international community to restore democracy". During an interview for the Spanish magazine Cambio 16, the legislative head asserted that the only legitimate authority in the country is the national Parliament, backed by the OAS, the Lima Group, the US, Canada and the European Union.

     Guaidó reiterated that the AN will assume all the powers conferred by the Constitution for a transitional government to convene "as soon as possible" presidential elections. He described as "transcendental" the decisions taken by the Parliament during the January 15 session, because "we approved the usurpation of the First Magistracy, the Executive, which, in addition, leaves without effect any decision taken. so long has this Government denied, this regime, which became the usurper of power. " In the aforementioned session, the blocking of the accounts of the Nicolás Maduro government abroad was also requested to " not allow the use of state funds to continue stealing," according to what Guaidó said during the interview. The measure also seeks to prevent "Maduro from usurping powers".

     The highest representative of the Legislature said that the Constitution of the Republic "also speaks of the need to achieve the cessation of the usurpation", so it notes that the military "are necessary," as was done on January 23, 1958 in our country to be able to rescue democracy ", referring to the overthrow of Marcos Pérez Jiménez's dictatorship. "Today Maduro uses the presidential band. Today Maduro uses part of the symbols of power. That does not make him president, because he stole an election; because it manipulated the whole Rule of Law; because he dismantled the Constitution. Now, the national Parliament can exercise powers, "said Guaidó. He also pointed out that he sees the "regime" divided and that, on the contrary, the "opposition unit is consolidated".

EIGHT COUNTRIES REQUESTED AN EXTRAORDINARY MEETING AT THE OAS FOR THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
USA and seven other countries, including Colombia and Brazil, called today for a meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) to address the "recent events in Venezuela," as it appears in the application document. The petition is signed by the US ambassador. before the OAS, Carlos Trujillo, and is addressed to the representative of El Salvador in the body, Carlos Alberto Calles Castillo, who assumed the Presidency of the Permanent Council on January 1, a position that rotates among the member states.

      The representative of El Salvador, the country where the leftwing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) governs, must now respond to the request of the eight countries. These eight applicants are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and the USA. Those nations request that the meeting begin at 11.00 local time (16.00 GMT) on Thursday, January 24 and that it is specifically intended to address "the recent events in Venezuela." Venezuela is experiencing a situation of political uncertainty since the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, took office again on January 10.

     Maduro, who has been in power since 2013, was re-elected for a period of six more years in the elections held last May, which were not recognized by most of the international community. On the same day Maduro took office, 19 of the 34 countries that are active members of the OAS approved a resolution not to recognize the legitimacy of Maduro, although at the moment Paraguay is the only one that has decided to break diplomatic relations with Venezuela and close his embassy in that nation. In addition, they issued statements of repudiation to Maduro the European Union (EU) and the Lima Group, which groups States of the American continent that consider democracy in Venezuela broken.

JANUARY  18,  2019

IF PRESIDENT TRUMP RECOGNIZES JUAN GUAIDO AS VENEZUELA PRSIDENT, HE MAY STOP NICOLAS MADURO

    WASHINGTON, D.C.      --
   For the first time in many months, Venezuela’s dictator Nicolás Maduro finds himself on the defensive as a newly invigorated opposition mounts an internationally backed effort to restore democracy. It may be Venezuela’s last chance to avoid becoming another Cuba. President Trump, alongside the leaders of Brazil, Colombia, and other Latin American democracies, could help expedite Maduro’s ouster if they move fast and declare Juan Guaidó — president of the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly — as the acting president of Venezuela. That could set off a series of potentially devastating events for the Maduro regime. The Venezuelan opposition’s new momentum started around Jan. 10, when Maduro took office for a second six-year term, and most Latin American democracies, the United States and the 28-country European Union declared his presidency “illegitimate.”

      Most of these countries argued that since they had already declared Venezuela’s May 20, 2018, elections a sham, they could not recognize Maduro’s second-term as valid. They also said — accurately — that the National Assembly is the only democratic institution left in Venezuela, its members elected by a landslide in relatively free elections in 2015. Maduro has since stripped it from most of its powers, but has stopped short of closing it down by force. This week, Guaidó, 35, invoked the Venezuelan Constitution’s Article 233 to say that Maduro has been a “usurper” of the presidency since Jan. 10 and hinted that he will proclaim himself acting president to convene a free election.

     Under Article 233, when the presidency is vacant, the National Assembly president takes office temporarily until new elections are held. But Guaidó, so far, has not formally taken the oath of office and he has only tacitly indicated that he will do it soon. While some hardliners in the Venezuelan opposition are urging him to form a parallel government immediately, Guaidó — and his political mentor, jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López — are waiting for, among other things, a mass demonstration they have called for Jan. 23. They hope that escalating domestic and international pressures will make Guaidó’s swearing-in ceremony more effective.

9 DEAD IN CAR BOMBING AT POLICE ACADEMY IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - -   At least nine people were killed and dozens more injured in a car bombing at a heavily guarded police academy in Colombia’s capital on Thursday, recalling the high-profile attacks seen during the bloodiest chapters of the country’s drug-fueled guerrilla conflict. The scene outside the General Santander police academy in southern Bogota was chaotic in the immediate aftermath of the midmorning attack, the biggest against a police or military facility in the capital in years. Videos circulating on social media show panicked police officers carrying injured colleagues on stretchers along a road strewn with debris and body parts.

      President Ivan Duque rushed back to the capital with his top military advisers from a visit to a western state to oversee the police investigation. Chief Prosecutor Nestor Martinez said a man named Jose Aldemar Rojas driving a 1993 Nissan pick-up loaded with 80 kilograms (175 pounds) of pentolite carried out the attack. He said the car had its last official mechanical revision some six months ago in the eastern state of Arauca, along the border with Venezuela. “This is an attack not only against the young, the security forces or the police. It’s an attack against society,” Duque said in a brief statement after surveying the blast scene. “This demented terrorist act will not go unpunished.”

     Authorities were at a loss to explain how the vehicle slipped through a gate permanently protected by explosive-sniffing dogs, heavily-armed guards and security cameras. But there were unconfirmed reports based on leaked recordings of phone conversations of officers on the scene that the driver rammed past the checkpoint as if carrying out a suicide attack — something unprecedented in decades of political violence in Colombia. For decades, residents of Bogota lived in fear of being caught in a bombing by leftist rebels or Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel. But attention was focused on leftist rebels from the National Liberation Army, which has been stepping up attacks on police targets in Colombia amid a standoff with the conservative Duque over how to re-start stalled peace talks.

NARCO DIOSDADO CABELLO SAYS "JUSTICE" INVESTIGATES CONTROVERSY BETWEEN DICTATOR MADURO AND THE OPPOSITION

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
The head of the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela (ANC), Diosdado Cabello, said today that the head of the Prosecutor's Office and the Supreme Court informed him that they had opened a formal investigation after the controversy between Nicolás Maduro and the opposition, which does not recognize the legitimacy of the new mandate of the Chavista leader. "I was notified by the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Maikel Moreno, that the judges had already been appointed, and a prosecutor had already been appointed to open a formal inquiry into everything that is happening." Cabello said in the middle of his weekly television show.

     "Here no one despairs, calm, cold head, those who are desperate are others, we are winning," he said to Chavismo supporters, in power since 1999. Maduro swore last Thursday before the TSJ a new presidential term of 6 years, whose legitimacy is not recognized by the opposition and great part of the international community. The president won the presidential elections with ease because the majority of the anti-Chavez party did not participate as they were considered fraudulent and their main leaders were in jail or disqualified. For this reason, the United States, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union do not recognize the legitimacy of their second term, which will keep them in office, at least until 2025.

    The opposition, in as much, decreed yesterday from the Parliament that Maduro usurps the power from the 10 of January, when it was sworn in for another 6 years. In addition, the Chamber agreed to request 46 countries not to allow the Maduro Government to dispose of Venezuela's assets and funds in those territories, and issued an amnesty law decree to guarantee the "reintegration" of civilian and military officials who help restore the constitutional order, broken according to antichavism. However, the decisions of Parliament are not recognized by the Executive branch of the country since it was declared in contempt at the beginning of 2016 by the Supreme Court, only weeks after the opposition took control of the majority of the seats.
 

JANUARY  17,  2019

SECRETARY MIKE POMPEO: WE CONGRATULATE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY FOR DECLARING NICOLAS MADURO AN USURPER

    WASHINGTON, D.C.      --
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Nicolás Maduro is an usurper of the Executive in Venezuela, while reiterating his support for the Constitution. "We congratulate, acknowledge and support the courage of the National Assembly of Venezuela to formally declare Maduro as an " usurper "of democracy and to transfer executive responsibilities to the National Assembly, according to articles 233, 333 and 350 of the Venezuelan Constitution," wrote Pompeo through his Twitter account.

      The US Secretary of State has repeatedly expressed his rejection of Nicolás Maduro and has even called on Venezuelan security forces "to defend the constitution and rights of the Venezuelan people." The Venezuelan National Assembly, installed in 2016 until 2021, formally declared Maduro on Tuesday, who assumed a new mandate on January 10, as an "usurper" of the presidency, and instituted the adoption of measures stipulated in the Magna Carta to install a transition government and call for new elections. In addition, it approved an agreement in which it undertakes to "enact an amnesty law" for military personnel who collaborate in "the restoration of constitutional order."

     The National Assembly considers that the elections of last May 20, in which Maduro was reelected until 2025, were "fraudulent" and that the Constitution has mechanisms to fill that power vacuum. Pompeo ruled after US Vice President Mike Pence spoke on the phone with President of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó on Tuesday to express US "strong support" for his "courageous leadership" and the entity that he leads, which is considered the "only legitimate democratic body" in Venezuela.

PRESIDENTS MAURICIO MACRI AND JAIR BOLSONARO CONDEMNED THE MADURO REGIME

      BRASILIA, BRAZIL -   The President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, is received by the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 16, 2019. The Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, today expressed a harsh "condemnation" against the "dictatorship" of the Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro, when he appeared before the journalists together with the Brazilian head of State, Jair Bolsonaro.

      "We share our concern for the Venezuelans," said the Argentinean leader, together with Bolsonaro, during his official visit to Brasilia, adding without hesitation that "Maduro is a dictator who tries to perpetuate himself in power through fictitious elections." "We recognize the National Assembly as the only legitimate institution in Venezuela, democratically elected by the people," said Macri while Bolsonaro nodded. "We do not accept the 'victimization' of who is really a victimizer," said the president of Argentina, a country that together with Brazil and twelve other American nations is part of the Lima Group, a political mechanism that is one of the harshest critics of Mature in the international scene.

     In turn, Bolsonaro also referred to the situation in Venezuela, although not in terms as hard as those used by Macri. Bolsonaro highlighted the commitment of Argentina and Brazil to the "defense of freedom and democracy in the region" and affirmed that "cooperation in the Venezuelan issue is a clear example" of this. This cooperation has taken place mainly within the framework of the Lima Group, which last day agreed, with Mexico's only refusal, not to recognize the new Government of Maduro, whom he unsuccessfully urged to transfer power to the Assembly. National (Parliament) before his inauguration, this January 10.

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION TRIES LURING SOLDIERS AWAY FROM NICOLAS MADURO REGIME

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela moved Tuesday to pry the military's loyalty away from President Nicolas Maduro, offering protection to members of the armed forces who support a transitional government. Congress passed declarations finding Maduro's rulings invalid and giving amnesty to members of the military who help in "restoring constitutional order" to Venezuela. They say Maduro's second term, which began Jan. 10, is illegitimate and accuse him of usurping the presidency. Maduro has cultivated a stronghold within the military by appointing generals to powerful government posts even as Venezuela collapses in a historic economic and political crisis, creating steep challenges for the anti-Maduro politicians. "It's not going to be simple after 20 years of repression," said Juan Guaido, who leads the pressure against Maduro as president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

     Maduro maintains that he's Venezuela's democratically elected president, though the Organization of American States and a number of other nations have declared they do not recognize the legitimacy of his second term due to allegations of electoral fraud. The most popular opposition parties were banned from running in the May presidential election and leading opposition politicians were jailed or driven into exile. Diego Moya-Ocampos, an Venezuela analyst with the London-based consulting firm IHS Global Insight, said the military would be a key player behind the scenes to drive any chance of a regime change. The opposition is offering the armed forces incentives to break away rather than continue supporting Maduro, he said. "They're laying the institutional grounds for both the military and the police in an eventual transition," Moya Ocampos said. "It gives them incentives to defect rather than to collaborate with the Maduro regime."  Many of Maduro's critics argue that the presidency is legally vacant and the 35-year-old Guaido is constitutionally in line to lead an interim government.

     Guaido says he's ready to step into the presidency temporarily and call for new elections, but only if he sees support from the military and common Venezuelans in nationwide street demonstrations set for later this month. OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro has already recognized Guaido as president and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a staunch Maduro foe who has President Donald Trump's ear on Venezuelan issues, said he has asked Trump as well to acknowledge Guaido's leadership. "Over 60 countries including the U.S. have stated that Maduro is not the legitimate President of #Venezuela," Rubio tweeted on Tuesday. "I have asked @POTUS to recognize @jguaido as the legitimate transitional President of #Venezuela if the National Assembly invokes" its constitutional authority. "Anyone who wants to mock the constitution and play politics, well, he'll have to face the constitution, the laws and the courts," Maduro said without mentioning Guaido. "The courts will put things in their place as always."

JANUARY  16,  2019

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CONSIDERS ASKING SEVERAL COUNTRIES TO FREEZE ACCOUNTS OF THE MADURO REGIME

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --
    Venezuela's opposition parliament is preparing to ask dozens of countries to freeze bank accounts of Nicolás Maduro's government, and declare the president a usurper, according to documents seen by Reuters. The financial measure and the declaration of Maduro as usurper appear in two draft agreements that the deputies are scheduled to discuss on Tuesday, according to the official agenda.

      Several countries have considered Maduro's second term illegitimate and now the National Assembly will seek to formally establish that he holds the de facto presidency and, therefore, will consider all acts and decisions of his government null and void, according to the draft agreement to "restore constitutional order ". The deputies want to approve rules for a political transition, according to the draft. But the efforts may be futile, because the Supreme Court of Justice has declared all the laws of Congress null and void since 2015, when it declared it in contempt.

     The Assembly, in parallel, plans to request regulators and banks from almost fifty countries in the Americas, Europe and also in China, Turkey and the Arab Emirates, to take measures to freeze the Maduro government accounts, with the aim of protecting the assets of the country. The measure could further hinder operations outside the government, which already faces US sanctions. In the official agenda on Tuesday, the Parliament also included a decree to grant "amnesty and constitutional guarantees to the military and civilians that contribute to the defense of the Constitution." The strategy of the Congress is to offer these benefits to those who disobey Maduro, said deputies and another document seen by Reuters.

PRESIDENT TRUMP EVALUATES TO RECOGNIZE JUAN GUAIDO AS THE LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA

      WASHINGTON, D.C. -   US President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as the legitimate president of the country, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN. This would be a significant movement that would increase the pressure on Nicolás Maduro. Trump is weighing the fact of recognizing the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, as the legitimate Venezuelan leader after Maduro, an authoritarian socialist who has presided over Venezuela's political and economic crisis, took office last week for a second term The Venezuelan opposition, the United States and dozens of other countries have declared the presidency of Maduro illegitimate and the constitution of the country says that the president of the National Assembly can fill a presidential vacancy.

      Beyond a symbolic step, the recognition could restrict the access of Maduro and its inner circle to Venezuelan financial assets hidden abroad. US officials hope that the action can help some of Maduro's allies in the government to abandon him. The spokesman of the National Security Council of the United States, Garrett Marquis, refused to confirm that Trump is weighing this step, but said that the United States "expressed its support for Juan Guaidó, who as president of the democratically elected National Assembly has declared courageously his constitutional authority to invoke Article 233 and ask for free and fair elections ". The Trump administration is also considering bringing a set of tougher sanctions against Venezuela's oil industry, weighing up actions as severe as a total embargo on Venezuelan oil, two informed sources said on the matter.

      The Trump government has previously weighed sanctions against Venezuelan oil, but Trump finally refused to take that additional step after an internal analysis showed that it would lead to an increase in US gasoline prices. A total oil embargo would lead to fuel prices rising 15 cents per gallon for about six months, an administration official said. "The United States is currently considering all the diplomatic, political and economic tools in its arsenal in response to the usurpation of power by the illegitimate regime of Maduro," Marquis said when asked if the US was considering an oil embargo. John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser, has been one of the main proponents of the intensification of US actions against Venezuela to put more pressure on the Maduro regime, the sources said. And Sen. Marco Rubio, on Tuesday, tweeted that he asked Trump to recognize Guaidó as "the legitimate transitional president of Venezuela if the National Assembly invokes Article 233 of the Constitution."

FROM 60  TO  949.47 BOLIVARES:  THE DISCOM DOLLAR HAS MULTIPLIED TWELVE TIMES IN FIVE MONTHS

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  - 
The Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, was devalued today by 9.17% in the official currency market a day after the head of the State, Nicolás Maduro, made a set of economic announcements among them the increase in 300% of the salary legal minimum. The Central Bank (BCV) and the exchange houses authorized by the Government for the purchase of currencies place today the price of the dollar at 949.47 bolivars, which shows an increase of 10.09% in the cost of the American sign that yesterday It was quoted at 862.32 bolivars.

      This movement also reflects the depreciation of 9.17% of the local currency against the dollar in the official currency auction market, known as Dicom, which resumed operations last August with a devaluation of 95.8% and then placed the price of the American currency in 60 bolivars . Five months later, the cost of the dollar has multiplied 12 times in the official system while in the parallel and illegal market, which governs almost all economic activity in the country, it is still more expensive. Maduro announced yesterday the increase in 300% of the minimum wage, which went from 4,500 to 18,000 bolivars, while noting that his Administration will continue to assume the payment of the payrolls of private companies to prevent this rise feed inflation.

      With this increase, the minimum wage went from 4.73 to 18.95 dollars according to the official rate of change, which keeps the almost 4,000,000 workers who perceive it in extreme poverty , according to the United Nations, which set at $ 1.20 a day the threshold of misery. Maduro took this measure in the midst of the severe crisis that Venezuela is going through, and which is expressed in a generalized shortage, a hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) foresees closing this year in 10,000,000% and the exodus of more than 3,000,000 of people.

JANUARY  15,  2019

JUAN GUAIDO: MY BRIEF ARREST SHOWS DESPERATION OF THE VENEZUELAN REGIME

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --
   The head of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, said on Sunday that his recent half-hour-long detention shows the “desperation” of the regime of Nicolas Maduro. “They are desperate at Miraflores (the presidential residence). They don’t know who is giving orders,” the Popular Will (VP) lawmaker told hundreds of people at a public assembly in his home state of Vargas, near Caracas. Guaido arrived at the event two hours behind schedule because while he was en route, his vehicle was intercepted by Sebin intelligence agents who, carrying assault rifles and wearing masks, “kidnapped” him for half an hour, he said.

     Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the incident was an irregular and unilateral procedure, whereby the agents involved were fired and an investigation opened to determine responsibilities. Guaido told reporters that the official version of events shows that Maduro “no longer controls the armed forces,” which reveals – he said – the “serious problem” within the military. “They kidnapped me. We were in a car ... I escaped the kidnapping because there are people who believe in Venezuela. ... They tried to put handcuffs on me; I didn’t allow it because I’m the head of the AN, because I represent a legitimate branch of government,” he said.

     The agents told Guaido that they were complying with an “order” but “they didn’t know what they were doing,” the lawmaker said. He reiterated that the AN will discuss on Tuesday a bill to grant amnesty to soldiers, whom the opposition has called on for their support to “reestablish democracy” in Venezuela. Maduro was inaugurated last Thursday for his second six-year term after winning reelection last May in a vote seen as fraudulent by the opposition and many foreign nations and institutions and in which the opposition did not participate. The Organization of American States and the European Union do not recognize Maduro’s second term as legitimate.

COLOMBIA WORKS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IN A BODY THAT WILL REPLACES UNASUR

      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -   Colombia works with other countries in the creation of a bloc that WILL coordinate the defense of democracy in South America and that would be called Prosur, President Iván Duque said Monday, which he proposed as a replacement for the Unasur group, which he considered an accomplice of the political situation of Venezuela. Duque's announcement comes at a time when countries in the region close ranks against the government of socialist Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, who last week took office as president for a new six-year term. "We have been moving forward in conversations with several Latin American presidents so that Unasur reaches its end and begins, rather, the construction of a much more agile, less bureaucratic, more coordinated, cooperative stage," Duque said in an interview. with a local radio.

      "With the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, we have been advancing in that end of Unasur and the creation of Prosur, which more than a bureaucratic organization or in the service of a particular government, is a South American coordination mechanism of public policies, in defense of democracy, the independence of powers, the economy of markets, "he added. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru announced last year the indefinite suspension of their participation in the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), created a decade ago to counteract the influence of the United States in the region, while Colombia decided to withdraw from the block. "It is very important that this institution that has been the backer of the dictatorship of Venezuela be finished," said Duque.

     At the beginning of January, in a declaration of the countries that make up the Lima Group, they anticipated that they do not recognize Maduro's new mandate, considering that the election was illegitimate, a decision that the Mexican government chaired by the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The crisis in Venezuela has led to the exodus of more than three million Venezuelans in recent years, of which more than half are in Colombia, according to the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).

FORMER HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENTS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT IN CHARGE OF VENEZUELA, JUAN GUAIDO

      LIMA, PERU   -  
The former heads of state and government signatories of the declarations of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), issued a statement in which they expressed their support for deputy Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela.

      In the text say that, according to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, "in the absence of an elected president to be sworn in before the National Assembly on the date of the beginning of the constitutional period, starting on the last January 10, full right and as part of its inherent powers the president of said legislative body is the person in charge of the Presidency of the Republic, as such responsible for calling the elections of a new president ".

      They add that being an objective fact that the current president of the National Assembly, deputy Juan Guaidó, is the president in charge of Venezuela, to whom the dictatorship has tried to take away his freedom by kidnapping him, "and they denounce that Nicolás Maduro Moros, whose presidential term has expired , in addition to being convicted of the crimes of corruption by the Supreme Court of Justice and denounced by the commission of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court, it intends to continue exercising government functions, usurping them, by de facto and executing with it a coup".

JANUARY  15,  2019

JUAN GUAIDO: MY BRIEF ARREST SHOWS DESPERATION OF THE VENEZUELAN REGIME

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --
   The head of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, said on Sunday that his recent half-hour-long detention shows the “desperation” of the regime of Nicolas Maduro. “They are desperate at Miraflores (the presidential residence). They don’t know who is giving orders,” the Popular Will (VP) lawmaker told hundreds of people at a public assembly in his home state of Vargas, near Caracas. Guaido arrived at the event two hours behind schedule because while he was en route, his vehicle was intercepted by Sebin intelligence agents who, carrying assault rifles and wearing masks, “kidnapped” him for half an hour, he said.

     Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the incident was an irregular and unilateral procedure, whereby the agents involved were fired and an investigation opened to determine responsibilities. Guaido told reporters that the official version of events shows that Maduro “no longer controls the armed forces,” which reveals – he said – the “serious problem” within the military. “They kidnapped me. We were in a car ... I escaped the kidnapping because there are people who believe in Venezuela. ... They tried to put handcuffs on me; I didn’t allow it because I’m the head of the AN, because I represent a legitimate branch of government,” he said.

     The agents told Guaido that they were complying with an “order” but “they didn’t know what they were doing,” the lawmaker said. He reiterated that the AN will discuss on Tuesday a bill to grant amnesty to soldiers, whom the opposition has called on for their support to “reestablish democracy” in Venezuela. Maduro was inaugurated last Thursday for his second six-year term after winning reelection last May in a vote seen as fraudulent by the opposition and many foreign nations and institutions and in which the opposition did not participate. The Organization of American States and the European Union do not recognize Maduro’s second term as legitimate.

COLOMBIA WORKS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES IN A BODY THAT WILL REPLACES UNASUR

      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -   Colombia works with other countries in the creation of a bloc that WILL coordinate the defense of democracy in South America and that would be called Prosur, President Iván Duque said Monday, which he proposed as a replacement for the Unasur group, which he considered an accomplice of the political situation of Venezuela. Duque's announcement comes at a time when countries in the region close ranks against the government of socialist Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, who last week took office as president for a new six-year term. "We have been moving forward in conversations with several Latin American presidents so that Unasur reaches its end and begins, rather, the construction of a much more agile, less bureaucratic, more coordinated, cooperative stage," Duque said in an interview. with a local radio.

      "With the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, we have been advancing in that end of Unasur and the creation of Prosur, which more than a bureaucratic organization or in the service of a particular government, is a South American coordination mechanism of public policies, in defense of democracy, the independence of powers, the economy of markets, "he added. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru announced last year the indefinite suspension of their participation in the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), created a decade ago to counteract the influence of the United States in the region, while Colombia decided to withdraw from the block. "It is very important that this institution that has been the backer of the dictatorship of Venezuela be finished," said Duque.

     At the beginning of January, in a declaration of the countries that make up the Lima Group, they anticipated that they do not recognize Maduro's new mandate, considering that the election was illegitimate, a decision that the Mexican government chaired by the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The crisis in Venezuela has led to the exodus of more than three million Venezuelans in recent years, of which more than half are in Colombia, according to the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (UNHCR).

FORMER HEADS OF STATES AND GOVERNMENTS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT IN CHARGE OF VENEZUELA, JUAN GUAIDO

      LIMA, PERU   -  
The former heads of state and government signatories of the declarations of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), issued a statement in which they expressed their support for deputy Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela.

      In the text say that, according to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, "in the absence of an elected president to be sworn in before the National Assembly on the date of the beginning of the constitutional period, starting on the last January 10, full right and as part of its inherent powers the president of said legislative body is the person in charge of the Presidency of the Republic, as such responsible for calling the elections of a new president ".

      They add that being an objective fact that the current president of the National Assembly, deputy Juan Guaidó, is the president in charge of Venezuela, to whom the dictatorship has tried to take away his freedom by kidnapping him, "and they denounce that Nicolás Maduro Moros, whose presidential term has expired , in addition to being convicted of the crimes of corruption by the Supreme Court of Justice and denounced by the commission of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court, it intends to continue exercising government functions, usurping them, by de facto and executing with it a coup".

JANUARY  14,  2019

THE PRESIDENT OF THE VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, JUAN GUAIDO, WAS ARRESTED YESTERDAY MORNING BY SEBIN, THE SECRET POLICE

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --
  The Venezuelan intelligence service arrested on Sunday the president of the parliament -controlled by the opposition-, Juan Guaidó, when he was going to participate in an open meeting of the legislature, his wife and other parliamentarians reported. "He denounced: Sebin stops Juan Guaidó," the wife of the parliamentarian, Fabiana Rosales, wrote on her Twitter account; while the version was confirmed by other deputies who were waiting for the town hall in Caraballeda, Vargas state, 40 km from Caracas. Shortly after, in the official Twitter account of Guaidó the information was also published: "We alert the world and the country that today # 13Ene a SEBIN command intercepted the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela @jguaido and we do not know his whereabouts".

       "On the Caracas La Guaira highway, two Sebin trucks with long, hooded guns intercepted us, opened the van and forced him to get off the truck, they did not beat him but they told us they had to take him away immediately," Rosales said. telephone call broadcast by deputy Larissa González. Dozens of opposition supporters participated in the town hall and cheered Guaidó. They expected to send him alive to arrive if it was confirmed that he was released. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, repudiated the arrest on Twitter: "Absolute condemnation and rejection of the kidnapping of the interim President of #Venezuela @jguaido." The international community must stop the crimes of Maduro and his minions "

      Guaidó, a 35-year-old engineer, would have been arrested after last Friday, in another open town hall in Caracas, he was willing to fill the vacuum of power that - in his opinion - there is in Venezuela before a government that is not recognized by most in the country or by a large part of the international community. The legislative chief called for a "great mobilization in all corners of Venezuela" on January 23, an emblematic date, because that day, in 1958, the military dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez fell. After these statements, the prison services minister, Iris Varela, had threatened to imprison him, while President Nicolás Maduro attributed his statements to a "game of little boys" who took control of Congress to destabilize it.

GOVERNMENTS OF AMERICA CONDEMNED THE ARBITRARY DETENTION OF JUAN GUAIDO, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

  CARACAS, VENEZUELA -  The brief detention today of the interim president of Venezuela, and of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, generated condemnation and rejection in several entities and Governments of America, and even several qualified the fact of "kidnapping", at the same time as they asked President Nicolás Maduro respect the Legislative. The fact, that was informed by Guaidó in his Twitter account, immediately unleashed a wave of reactions both within Venezuela, on the part of the opposition, and different agencies and governments that support the parliamentarian.

      The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, described as "kidnapping" what happened with the opposition Guaidó, and urged the international community to "stop the crimes" of Maduro. "Absolute condemnation and rejection of the kidnapping of the interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. The international community must stop the crimes of Maduro and his henchmen, "Almagro said on Twitter. The Lima Group, with the exception of Mexico, also regretted this event through a message on its website where thirteen of the member countries of the Americas, critical of Maduro, expressed their full support to the members of the AN.

      Colombia also opposed and repudiated "vehemently the kidnapping" of the parliamentarian, while rejecting "any act of the Nicolás Maduro regime against the freedom, security and integrity of the members of the National Assembly." The Government of Chile described what happened as "intimidation to opponents in Venezuela" and again expressed "its unrestricted support" to the Parliament of that country, which it considers "the only legitimate and democratically elected body in Venezuela." Sentiment also shared by Peru, which reiterated its "full support" for the Assembly in the South American country and repudiated the "arbitrary and illegal" detention of Guaidó. Argentina showed its solidarity and support to the President of Parliament, because for the Government of Mauricio Macri the "incident" is against "the civil and political freedoms of Venezuelans". The Costa Rican government, which has stated that it does not recognize Maduro as Venezuela's president, stressed its indignation at the aggression against Guaidó.

THE PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA, IVAN DUQUE: ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DEFEND DEMOCRACY MUST DEMAND THAT VENEZUELA FREE  ITSELF FROM NICOLAS MADURO DICTATORSHIP

      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA   -  
Colombian President Ivan Duque insisted today that democratic countries should ask Venezuela to free itself from the "dictatorship" in reference to the new six-year term of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. "Today all the people that defend democracy in Latin America, in the continent, we must ask that Venezuela be freed from the dictatorship and return to democracy," said the head of state from Yopal, capital of the department of Casanare (east ), where he met with the community. Maduro took possession last Thursday for a second term of six years as president of Venezuela amid international criticism, led by the United States and several Latin American countries, on the legitimacy of his new term.

      The Colombian leader recalled that the Lima Group "in a historic event" produced a declaration aimed at defending democracy in the continent and also recognizes "the National Assembly of Venezuela as the only legitimate democratic body that exists in that country " The bloc, made up of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, also urged the Venezuelan president not to assume the presidency of Venezuela. Duque added that the declaration of the Group of Lima "urges that the peoples that defend democracy not recognize the oppressive and dictatorial regime" of Maduro.

      In that direction, the Colombian president said that this document "set a pattern" for the Organization of American States (OAS) to take the same decision. Duke was referring to the decision taken by the OAS to "not recognize the legitimacy of the Maduro regime period" as of January 10, 2019. " The measure was taken after an initiative presented by Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, USA, Peru and Paraguay during an extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council of the OAS. He stressed that Colombia is a country that defends democracy that is the space where "liberties are exercised to the fullest" and reiterated that the country "is on the side of the Venezuelan brothers."

JANUARY  13,  2019

THE UNITED STATES REITERATES THAT IT IS TIME TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT IN VENEZUELA

    WASHINGTON, D.C.     --
  THE United States on Saturday increased its criticism against Venezuelan DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro with an explicit call for the formation of a new government in the country. The State Department said in a statement that it supported the leader of the opposition Venezuelan Congress, Juan Guaidó, who said on Friday that he is prepared to assume the presidency of Venezuela temporarily to replace Maduro. The statement was the latest in a barrage of attacks by the US government against Maduro, whose inauguration for a second term has been widely classified as illegitimate.  

      "The people of Venezuela deserve to live in freedom, in a democratic society governed by law," said Robert Palladino, a spokesman for the State Department. "It is time to begin the orderly transition to a new government. We support the request of the National Assembly so that all Venezuelans work together, peacefully, to restore a constitutional government and create a better future. " "The US government will continue to use the full weight of the US economy and diplomacy to press for the restoration of a democracy in Venezuela," he said in a statement, which was published from Abu Dhabi where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently traveling. , as part of a tour of nine countries in the Middle East. Pompeo spoke with Guaidó earlier in the week, shortly after the 35-year-old man was elected to lead the National Assembly.

    The secretary told the press that he was traveling with him that the events that are now taking place in Venezuela are "incredibly important." "The Maduro regime is illegitimate and the United States will continue ... working to diligently restore a true democracy in that country," he said. "We have high hopes that we can be the force of good to allow the region to come together to achieve that." Before people gathered in a street in Caracas a day after the inauguration of Maduro, Guaidó said he was willing to become interim president. But he said he needed support from the public, the armed forces, other countries and international groups before trying to form a transitional government to organize new elections to replace Maduro.

THE WHITE HOUSE  BLASTS VENEZUELA'S DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO AS "ILLEGITIMATE

   WASHINGTON, D.C. - -  The US government will not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s second term as president of Venezuela, the White House national security adviser said on Thursday. “The US will not recognize the Maduro dictatorship’s illegitimate inauguration,” said John Bolton on Twitter regarding the inauguration on Thursday of the Venezuelan leader to a second presidential term, to run through 2025.   “We will continue to increase pressure on the corrupt regime, support the democratic National Assembly, and call for democracy and freedom in Venezuela,” Bolton added.

     Thus, Washington joins the European Union and the Lima Group – which includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and St. Lucia – in repudiating Maduro’s investiture. One of the Lima Group members, Paraguay, took the satep of breaking diplomatic relations with Venezuela. In remarks delivered before the press at the Government Palace, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez said that his administration had taken “the decision to break diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” based on Asuncion’s “exercising of its constitutional powers and national sovereignty.”

     “In that regard, the closure of our embassy and the immediate withdrawal of Paraguayan diplomatic personnel have been ordered,” said the president minutes after Maduro took the oath of office in Caracas. Peru, meanwhile, said that it was recalling the head of its embassy to Venezuela for consultations to protest Maduro’s second term. Lima said earlier this week that Maduro and 100 members of his administration have been barred from entering Peru. The Organization of American States agreed on Thursday “not to recognize” the legitimacy of the Maduro regime starting Jan. 10, 2019,” and called for the holding of new elections with international observers monitoring the vote. At an extraordinary meeting of its Permanent Council, a resolution to that effect presented by Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the United States, Peru and Paraguay prevailed by a vote of 19-6 with eight abstentions.

THE UNITED STATES' DEPARTMENT OF STATE CALLS ON ALL  VENEZUELANS TO DEFEND AND RESPECT  THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

      WASHINGTON, D..C.    -
The Department of State of the United States called on Venezuelans to defend and respect the National Assembly, and also assured that they will continue to use the full weight of economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Venezuela deserves to live in freedom in a democratic society governed by the rule of law. It is time to begin the orderly transition to a new government. We support the call of the National Assembly so that all Venezuelans work together, peacefully, to restore constitutional government and build a better future, "spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

     We are with the Venezuelan people and we commend the fierce commitment to the democratic principles of the elected members of the National Assembly of Venezuela. We praise the courage of the leaders of the National Assembly, particularly its president, Juan Guaidó, and his decision to invoke the authorities of the Venezuelan Constitution. We call on all Venezuelans to defend and respect the role of the National Assembly, as established in the Venezuelan Constitution of 1999, and, in particular, so that the security forces and the Armed Forces respect all the protections that the constitution gives Guaidó and other Members of the National Assembly, especially their security and well-being.

     The people of Venezuela deserve to live in freedom and in a democratic society governed by the rule of law. It is time to begin the orderly transition to a new government. We support the call of the National Assembly for all Venezuelans to work together, peacefully, to restore constitutional government and build a better future. The government of the United States will continue to use the full weight of economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

JANUARY  12,  2019

THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, JUAM GUAIDO, CALLED A MOBILIZATION FOR JANUARY 23 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSTITUTION

     caracas, venezuela    --
   The president of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaidó, called for a "large mobilization" in "all corners of Venezuela" for Wednesday, January 23, in "attachment" to articles 233, 333 and 350 of the Constitution of the Republic with the "backing" of the international community. "Nobody has doubt that (Nicolás) Maduro is a usurper (...)," said the legislative head during the town hall meeting that takes place this Friday in front of the United Nations headquarters in Caracas. Guaidó said that the Constitution gives him legitimacy to exercise the office of the Presidency of the Republic to call elections "but I need the support of the citizens to make it a reality".

       Likewise, he assured that "it must be the people, the Armed Forces, the international community that leads us to clearly assume the mandate that we are not going to run, that we are going to exercise", in reference to the Presidency of the Republic. The deputy also referred that he assumes the duty imposed reflected in article 333 of the Magna Carta "which obliges all Venezuelans, whether or not invested with authority, to fight for the restitution of constitutional order." Article 350 of the constitutional text establishes that "The people of Venezuela, true to its republican tradition, to its struggle for independence, peace and freedom, will be unaware of any regime, legislation or authority that contradicts democratic values, principles and guarantees or undermine human rights "

       Guaidó thanked "the calls and demonstrations of support from the entire international community that recognize this legitimate National Assembly and not Nicolás Maduro". Student leaders, trade unionists and other members of civil society participate this Friday in the "open town hall" convened by the Parliament as part of an "action plan" against President Nicolás Maduro, when he ignored his second term in office 2019-2025. Maduro was sworn in on Thursday before the TSJ, an act that was unknown by the Venezuelan Parliament, the OAS, the United States, Canada and the Lima Group, with the exception of Mexico; In addition, the European Union regretted that its call for new elections was "ignored". During today's meeting, the deputy Miguel Pizarro said that Parliament is "facing a usurper who wants to plunge us into the worst misfortune in our history."

REPORT: ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE UNITED STATES AGAINST VENEZUELA'S CORRUPT DICTATORSHIP

   WASHINGTON, D.C. - -  The United States condemns Maduro’s illegitimate usurpation of power today following the unfree and unfair elections he imposed on the Venezuelan people on May 20, 2018. The United States remains steadfast in its support of the Venezuelan people and will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy. Today, we reiterate our support for Venezuela’s National Assembly, the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people. It is time for Venezuela to begin a transitional process that can restore the constitutional, democratic order by holding free and fair elections that respect the will of the Venezuelan people.

     To advance this goal, the United States has taken aggressive action against the Maduro regime and its enablers. Most recently, on January 8, the United States imposed sanctions on seven individuals and 23 entities involved in a corruption scheme to exploit Venezuela’s currency exchange practices. By rigging the system in their favor, these individuals and entities stole more than $2.4 billion as the Venezuelan people starved. We applaud the initiative by the new National Assembly leadership to work with the international community to recover these and other stolen funds and to use them to relieve the suffering of Venezuela’s people. The United States will continue to play an active role towards this end.

      It is time for Venezuelan leaders to make a choice. We urge those who support this regime, from every day employees getting by on food subsidies to the Venezuelan security forces sworn to support the constitution, to stop enabling repression and corruption and to work with the National Assembly and its duly elected leader, Juan Guaido, in accordance with your constitution on a peaceful return to democracy. The Venezuelan people and the international community will remember and judge your actions. Now is the time to convince the Maduro dictatorship that the moment has arrived for democracy to return to Venezuela.

OAS ACTIVATES DEMOCRATIC CHARTER AGAINST NICARAGUA

      WASHINGTON, D..C.    -
The Organization of American States on Friday activated the Inter-American Democratic Charter against Nicaragua to analyze the institutional crisis that that nation is going through and that has left more than 300 dead. In the opinion of the General Secretariat, the crisis justifies the invocation of Article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter "referred to the alteration of the constitutional order in a member country of the organization," said Secretary General Luis Almagro during an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council that he he had summoned.

     Almagro based its assessment on human rights violations reported by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which accounted for at least 325 deaths, more than 2,000 injured, 550 arrested and prosecuted, 300 health professionals dismissed and more than 80 university students expelled as the balance of the protests started in April. Almagro also pointed to President Daniel Ortega to prevent the independence of powers and the political participation of opposition parties. Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada accused Almagro of acting as a political agent of the United States to seek overthrow of Ortega and said that the session of the Council was "illegal, illegal and non-existent" because it was carried out despite the fact that the government of Managua I had not approved it.

    Only Venezuela and Bolivia spoke in favor of Nicaragua. Many delegations thanked Almagro for his report and considered the process activated. "Today we have started the process contemplated in Article 20 to make a collective assessment," said Argentine ambassador Paula Bertol. The aforementioned article of the Democratic Charter - the instrument adopted by the countries of the continent in 2001 to protect democracy - establishes that in the event of the alteration of the constitutional order in any Member State, the "diplomatic efforts necessary ... to promote the normalization of the institutionality ."

JANUARY  11,  2019

GENERAL VLADIMIR PADRINO LOPEZ ASKED DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO TO RESIGN OFFERING HIS OWN RESIGNATION AS MINISTER OF DEFENSE

     caracas, venezuela    --
  Venezuela’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, asked Nicolás Maduro to step down, warning him that if he did not, it would be the general who would leave office, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday quoting a US intelligence source. During the last few years, Padrino López has played a fundamental role in maintaining loyalty to the regime inside the barracks, even though the discontent within the Armed Forces has increased as the Venezuelan crisis deepens.

     “According to a US intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss sensitive issues, Maduro’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, told the president last month to resign or accept his resignation, threat that has not yet executed, “the newspaper reported in an article where it indicates that the Venezuelan crisis is sharpened from one day to another. The newspaper also noted that the regime has been registering high-level desertions, including recently that of Chavista magistrate Christian Zerpa, who told a press conference upon arriving in Florida that Maduro frequently receives his orders from Cuban officials.

    The Washington Post article contrasts, however, with the latest pronouncements made publicly by Padrino López. In a statement read Tuesday before the state television cameras, the general guaranteed the absolute loyalty of the military to Maduro, who is scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term on Thursday, despite the massive rejection of the international community. The military leadership expresses “its unrestricted support and absolute loyalty to (...) our commander-in-chief, for the period 2019 - 2025,” said Padrino.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: WE ARE WORKING ON DECISIVE ACTIONS ON THE VENEZUELAN CRISIS

   WASHINGTON, D.C. - -  A senior official of the Trump administration said the United States will begin a new phase of pressure against the Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolás Maduro. "So far we have had a policy of increasing our sanctions on officials and specific objectives, I think it's fair to say that this era is over, a new era of impactful and decisive measures is what we are studying now," he said exclusively to the Voice of America. The United States rejected the presidential election that brought Nicolás Maduro to power on May 20, 2018, and went ahead to ignore him as president as of Thursday, January 10.

     The official said that these new measures will be announced in the coming weeks and months, and that they will seek to "ensure that the regime does not have resources to oppress the Venezuelan people and to exacerbate the refugee crisis." He clarified that these actions are a series of "diplomatic, political and economic tools", and that all sectors related to the Venezuelan government are under consideration, including the oil industry. A "military option" is not within those considerations, the high official replied. However, when asked about the request made by US senators to consider Venezuela as a sponsoring country for terrorism, he replied that it is an option that "is on the table".

     However, when asked about the request made by US senators to consider Venezuela as a sponsoring country for terrorism, he replied that it is an option that "is on the table". In Caracas, the Venezuelan government calls US sanctions "intruders" and argues that Washington is managing a "coup d'état" to overthrow President Maduro. On the decision of Mexico, the only country of the Lima Group that did not accompany a joint declaration of ignorance to President Maduro, the official called it "disappointing". "The United States and Mexico have points of agreement and disagreement, and that is one in which we strongly disagree," he said.

DEPUTY JUAN PABLO GUANIPA: TODAY'S SWORN-IN CEREMONY  WAS THE MOST VILE ACT OF TREASON EVER AGAINST THE FATHERLAND

      CARACAS, vENEZUELA   --
From the Insigne platform of the Rector of the University of Zulia, the Zulia parliamentary bloc, accompanied by representatives of the Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre sectional Zulia, faced the usurpation of Nicolás Maduro when he was sworn in for a new presidential term that lacks total legitimacy and constitutional support. Juan Pablo Guanipa, Governor-elect of Zulia, was present in rejection of the unconstitutionality. "Today the most vile act of treason against the fatherland takes place in Venezuela. An unworthy man who does not deserve to be president of Venezuela, who has no support from the Venezuelan people, who tried an electoral farce on May 20, "he said. "Venezuelans, complying with article 333 of the constitution, invested or not with authority, have the responsibility of fulfilling everything that is necessary until we manage to rescue the constitutional order in Venezuela," said Guanipa, surrounded by all the Zulia people who joined in. the convocation of today.

     He also a lawyer and deputy to the National Assembly, said that "from the Legislature has already installed the commission that is discussing the Law of Transition for the Recovery of Democracy in Venezuela. We are working on three bills that are being presented before that commission so that this same Monday that law is ready. "The students "rested with facing the usurpation of Nicolás Maduro" were present. Yeissel Pérez, student leader of Zulia state, said: "Today we are millions of Venezuelans who are in the streets demanding the freedom of our country. We made it clear that there is no other legitimate power in the country other than the National Assembly, which is why it has the backing of the entire student movement. " Meanwhile, Deputy Desiree Barboza, addressed the National Armed Forces "who must decide if they want to stay on the side of tyranny and dictatorship or if you want to place the right side of history."

     He said that "the moment in which the FAN should reflect on what they were sworn in, if it is really to defend our sovereignty". "Nicolás Maduro is giving a blow to our lives and our families, that's why today we call them to unity, to struggle and to the street so that together we can take out the presidential chair. He is a usurper who, with misery and hunger, wants to continue perpetuating himself in power, "denounced Nora Bracho, deputy to the AN for the state of Zulia. Dianela Parra, legislator also for the Zulia parliament said that Maduro "is a national shame that has gone viral because we never imagined that it would not hurt the Venezuelan people, who die every day in hospitals because of the poor state of the health sector "And he assured that as of today" we do not have a president, Venezuela is steeped and the National Assembly has to take the course ".

JANUARY  10,  2019

-DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO GIVES 48 HOURS TO THE LIMA GROUP; if they do not  rectify their position, he will take "strong measures,"  he said

     caracas, venezuela    --
 Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, told a press conference with national and international media present that the "Cartel de Lima ate the light," and that the group's governments will be given 48 hours to "rectify their interventionist position." against the country. "On this occasion the Lima Cartel ate the light. Today a note of diplomatic protest was delivered to the governments of this cartel to rectify its interventionist and rude policy, "said Maduro. He also stressed that if the Group of Lima in 48 hours does not rectify its "interventionist position against Venezuela", it will take the "most crude measures".

      "(I give) 48 hours to the governments of the Lima cartel to rectify their interventionist and rude policy, (if not) we will take the most crude and energetic measures that can be taken in diplomacy, in defense of national interests," he affirmed. Maduro said that the points of the Lima Group's declaration are "some more detestable than the other. And they played ahead of the opposition and put it in a very difficult situation, because the Venezuelan opposition has no room to maneuver to seek a political response in the national framework, it does not have it! "He said.

     "The opposition has to comply with the order given by the 'Lima cartel' to overthrow Nicolás Maduro by whatever means, it is the order that has been given from Washington. They believe that we are in times of blows from States or that Venezuela has no one to defend it. They believe that Venezuela's Constitution, democracy and peace have no one to defend them. They believe it, in the infernal madness of those who direct this from Washington they bet on extremist solutions, on extremist formulas, "he said.

international pressure increases against nicolas maduro dictatorship

    BRUSSELS, BELGIUM --  - -  The European Union (EU) reiterated on Tuesday its call for a new presidential election "free and fair" in Venezuela, just a day after the Parliament of the group did so to express that it will not recognize a second presidency of Nicolás Maduro, and that The Government of Peru, for its part, announced the ban on the entry of the Venezuelan leader and members of his government team into his country, according to information released by international news agencies. Added to the above, the agencies also released yesterday, the new sanction measures of the US Treasury Department, against relatives and officials of the Venezuelan government, which includes businessman Raúl Gorrín, owner of the TV Globovisión channel.  "We consider that the election in Venezuela was not free or credible, the EU asks for a new free and fair election," Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for European diplomacy, told AFP.

      Kocijancic reiterated the position of the EU, which imposed sanctions on 18 Venezuelan officials for a deterioration of democracy in the country, that a "peaceful, political and democratic solution" is the "only way" to get out of the crisis in the country Latin American. Similar position was announced on Monday by the president of the European Parliament (EP), Antonio Tajani, who informed that the institution he directs will not recognize Maduro as president of Venezuela, and indicated that "Venezuela must recover freedom and democracy with elections clean. Arguing its attachment to the decisions of the Group of Lima, on non-recognition of Maduro, the Peruvian Government announced its decision to prohibit its entry into the country, as well as the members of the "dome of his government", as well as their bank transfers " .

     "The regime's actors have plundered billions of dollars from Venezuela while the Venezuelan people were suffering.The Treasury is targeting this currency exchange network which is another illicit scheme that the Venezuelan regime has used for a long time to steal from its people "said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin when announcing the new measures against people linked to the government of President Nicolás Maduro. According to the AFP version, the Treasury Department added to the list, in addition to the entrepreneur Gorrín, the former Treasurer of the Nation Claudia Patricia Díaz. In addition, the Office of Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) sanctioned five other individuals: Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa, Leonardo González Dellan, Gustavo Adolfo Perdomo Rosales, María Perdomo Rosales and Mayela Antonina Tarascio-Perez, and 23 entities. "The United States remains committed to holding those responsible for the tragic decline of Venezuela responsible, and will continue to use the tools to support the efforts of the Venezuelan people to restore their democracy," Mnuchin said.

REPORT: VENEZUELAN MILITARY OFFICERS, RELATIVES ARE BEING TORTURED

      CARACAS, vENEZUELA   -- 
Law enforcement forces in Venezuela have detained and tortured military personnel accused of plotting against the government of DICTATOR Nicolas Maduro, according to two prominent human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch and the Venezuelan non-governmental group Foro Penal said in a joint report released Wednesday that authorities in the South American country have also detained and tortured family members of some suspects in an effort to locate them. The Associated Press asked the Ministry of Interior for a comment but did not get one immediately. The Venezuelan government has denied previous reports of tortures and said it properly protects human rights.

     The report was released as international pressure is building on Maduro, who is preparing to be sworn in Thursday for a second, six-year term considered illegitimate by the U.S. and more than a dozen regional governments. The report analyzed 12 cases from 2017 and 2018 that involve 32 people, including military officers of different ranks and civilians accused of plotting against the government, as well as family members of some suspects. “The Venezuelan government has brutally cracked down on members of the military accused of plotting against it,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “In some cases they are also going after their families or other civilians when they can’t find the suspects.”

     The report said members of the military intelligence or the political police carried out most of the arrests. Detainees reported abuses such as brutal beatings, asphyxiation, cutting the soles of their feet with a razor blade, electric shocks, food deprivation, forbidding them to go to the bathroom and death threats. Vivanco said the information in the report was gathered directly from detainees or their relatives. Researchers either asked questions over the phone to persons living in Venezuela or interviewed military officers and their families that had already left the country. Both groups said the alleged abuses fit a pattern shown by the Venezuelan security agencies during the crackdown of street demonstrations in 2014 and 2017.

JANUARY  9,  2019

-COUNTRIES OF THE LIMA GROUP WILL NOT ALLOW ENTRY TO OFFICIALS OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO GOVERNMENT

     LIMA, PERU  --
 The countries that make up the Lima Group, with the exception of Mexico, will not allow the entry into their territories of persons linked to the Government of Nicolás Maduro, as agreed on Monday in Peru. The Colombian Foreign Minister, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, said that "the governments that accompanied the declaration agreed to make constant assessment of the state or level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela and prevent high officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of the countries of the Lima Group" .

     To these measures, the elaboration of lists of "natural and legal persons" with which financial entities of each country can not operate will be added. Also the evaluation of loans by international organizations to which the countries of the bloc belong. On Monday, the representative of Peru's foreign ministry, Néstor Popolizio, announced that his country was going to direct a communication to "Migraciones" with a list of all the members linked to the (Nicolás) Maduro government, family members included, so they cannot  enter the country.

    After indicating that Venezuelans do not need a visa to enter Peru, he maintained that the government has the possibility of "placing restrictions of a migratory nature." "We are going to pass this information to entities that have the possibility of controlling the handling of bank transfers of this group. We want to make direct pressure, "said the chancellor. In another vein, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Tuesday that the Lima Group "has no powers" to ignore Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela or to ask any president to assume or fail to do so

EUROPEAN UNION CALLS FOR NEW PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN VENEZUELA: THE MAY 2018 ELECTION WAS NOT FREE OR CREDIBLE

    BRUSSELS, BELGIUM --  - -  The European Union (EU) reiterated on Tuesday its call for a new presidential election "free and fair" in Venezuela, two days before the Venezuelan DICTATOR, Nicolás Maduro, assumes a second term. "We believe that the 2018 presidential election in Venezuela was not free or credible. The EU calls for a new free and fair election, "Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for European diplomacy, told a news conference.

      Maduro, 56, will be sworn on Thursday before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), after his re-election in May in an election boycotted by the opposition, which denounced fraud, and disqualified by the United States, Canada, the EU and 12 countries Latin American.  Kocijancic reiterated the position of the EU, which imposed sanctions on 18 Venezuelan officials for a deterioration of democracy in the country, that a "peaceful, political and democratic solution" is the "only way" to get out of the crisis in the Latin American country .

     Although they do not recognize the elections, the Europeans are reluctant to break relations with the Maduro government as of January 10, as stated by governments of the Lima Group, which brings together 13 Latin American countries to try to reach a solution. However, to mark their discontent, the European foreign ministers agreed in December that they would only send representatives below the ambassador's rank to take office on Thursday in Caracas and that they would issue a statement that same day. In addition to the political crisis, Maduro's Venezuela fell into the worst economic crisis in its recent history, which forced the exodus of 2.3 million people since 2015, according to the United Nations.

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WILL DEBATE THE POLITICAL TRANSITION BEFORE THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL SWEARING IN OF DICTATOR MADURO 

      CARACAS, vENEZUELA   --  
The president of the AN, Juan Guaidó, highlighted the support given by the international community to the work of the Venezuelan parliament. "The world is with us," he said. "I take this opportunity to thank the presidents of the region who have called me to support the people of Venezuela, to recognize the national parliament with support for the legitimacy of the democratic process," he stressed. Guaidó reiterated that the Venezuelan Parliament will authorize the entry of humanitarian aid to solve the crisis that affects millions of Venezuelans who, he said, has been the worst in the history of the country, publishes El Universal. "The National Assembly, elected by 14 million Venezuelans, will protect them from hunger, misery, persecution with the support of the Church and the international community, restoring the constitutional thread and the rule of law. The régimen de Nicolás Maduro is the one who did not want humanitarian aid to enter. Maduro does not protect anyone, "argued Guaidó.

      The first vice-president of the AN Edgar Zambrano assured that the international organizations will also have an important role in the national scenario, "to help resolve the political ballot". "With an open agenda, accountability and date of terms could, with these international factors, be given the opportunity to apply the instruments of rapprochement and create the conditions of that transition," he said. Supported in the speech of Juan Guaidó, Stalin González, second vice-president of the AN affirmed that: "As of next January 10, there will be the usurpation of the office of the presidency." He reiterated that as of this Thursday the political situation in the country will not change, but "a process begins that if we do things right, it can lead us to free elections; if we despair we can properly repair a model that has made us much poorer, "warned the parliamentarian.

      "The national government has ignored the will of 14 million voters with the disincorporation of the deputies of Amazonas, after the electoral triumph of the opposition in 2015," he said. The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, reiterated on Monday that the institution he directs will not recognize Nicolás Maduro, ahead of his next oath on Thursday. "No false news will whiten the dictatorship of Maduro. We do not recognize the regime. In the European Parliament we are with the Venezuelans, humiliated every day by the dictatorship with oppression, poverty and hunger, "Tajani wrote on Twitter. He also assured that "Venezuela must recover freedom and democracy with clean elections." Similar position is maintained by the Lima Group, whose governments of the member countries agreed to ignore the new government of Nicolás Maduro.

JANUARY  8,  2019

VENEZUELAN BISHOPS LABEL NICOLAS MADURO'S ILLEGITIMATE AND MORALLY UNACCEPTABLE NEW MANDATE

     Caracas, venezuela --
 The Venezuelan bishops warned on Monday that "all doubts" frame the swearing by Nicolás Maduro this coming January 10, a new presidential mandate that the opposition and part of the international community have indicated they will not recognize. "Legitimate? Illegitimate? The story, when it is time through the actors that led to such dubious elections in a framework of advantage, will give its verdict, "said the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV), Monsignor José Luis Azuaje, reading a statement before journalists. He also maintained that the Maduro Government has caused "a human and social deterioration in the population and the wealth of the nation."

     Thus, a new mandate of Maduro "has become illegitimate and morally unacceptable," added Azuaje to continue reading the writing, and within the framework of the Ordinary Assembly of the Venezuelan church. Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, is going through a serious economic crisis expressed in hyperinflation, failures in public services and shortages of food and medicines. "With this cluster of deterioration, we can imagine the suffering that the people will have to undergo in a new period of government, if the necessary corrections are not made, which goes through an integral change of policy and political actors," reiterated Azuaje.

    He also pointed out that the National Assembly (AN, Parliament), whose new directive was installed on Saturday, is "the only democratic body in force", while calling on this body to work "so that the democratic order is reconstituted from the constitutional scope " Although he insisted on making it clear that the role of the church is not that of a political actor, Azuaje was emphatic in asking Venezuelan opponents to "consolidate a political unity, place aside the partisan interests, personal interests to enter the social interest of the people". The Venezuelan Catholic Church has maintained tense relations with the Chávez government almost since its installation in 1999, and has been considered by the Administration of Nicolás Maduro as a political agent betting on the destabilization of Venezuela.

CHRISTIAN ZERPA: MAIKER MORENO IS A CRIMINAL; THE COMPLAINTS AGAINST HIM ARE OVERWHELMING

    MIAMI, FLORIDA - -  The magistrate of the illegitimate Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Christian Tyrone Zerpa, who defected to the United States, called a press conference to talk about his resignation and the accusations of the President of the TSJ, Maikel Moreno, who pointed out that He had fled because he was investigated for sexual harassment and lewd acts. Given this, Zerpa denied the statement and calls it a hoax. "It's a hoax. Those who know me in Venezuela know about my faultless behavior. I would be not be able to do something like that." He also stressed that the charges evidence the pressure "of the criminal Maikel Moreno" against other magistrates. "The statement itself makes clear the pressure of the criminal Maikel Moreno on my fellow magistrates. They say that I committed some crimes without due process. There has not been any citation or record of the crimeinal charges that the president of the TSJ has made against me, "Zerpa stressed.

      "Today I can say that Maikel Moreno is a criminal because the infinity of complaints in his account are overwhelming," he also said that Maikel Moreno threatened him with "hitting him" and accused him of being "scrawny" because he once took an opposite position in a case and made strong observations. Similarly, he claimed that a state judge from Mérida had indicated that he was removed from his position by order of Maikel Moreno because he refused to give some benefits to a drug trafficker. He said that Alejandro Andrade, Raul Gorrín, and Maikel Moreno have been associated with corruptions since 2014. Zerpa, assured that Gorrín, has influence on the "presidential couple." He also pointed out that "the regime is desperate, alone, it is making water because it is a total failure, that brings despair," he said he is willing to collaborate with the US authorities.

     On another point, he stressed that "we hope that the National Assembly will make important efforts for the new transition in Venezuela, it must be very articulated, we want this nightmare to end". "I believe that there has to be an exit that allows the election of new authorities in the country (...) Venezuela cannot withstand a much greater crisis," he exclaimed. Venezuela is an important country that is  the drug trafficking route and that can not happen without certain authorities. He said he would ask for political asylum on American soil, because if he returns to the country "he will be a dead man." "I pretend to ask for asylum (in the US) or the corresponding legal exit (...) If I had manifested myself in Venezuela as I am doing today, I may have been imprisoned. I can not return to Venezuela, I am a dead man," he affirmed.

PERU WILL PREVENT ENTRY INTO THE COUNTRY TO ANY PERSON LINKED TO NICOLAS MADURO REGIME 

      LIMA, PERU   --  
Peru will prevent the entry into the country of INDIVIDUALS linked to the leadership of the Government of Venezuela, as well as their relatives, as announced today by Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio. "We are going to direct a communication this morning to Migrations with a list of all the members linked to the leadership of the regime of (Nicolás) Maduro, including family members, so that they can not enter the country," the Foreign Minister announced to RPP News .

     Popolizio explained that Venezuelans do not need a visa to enter Peru, but that the government can "place restrictions of a migratory nature." "We are going to pass this information on to entities that have the possibility of controlling the handling of bank transfers of this group linked to the leadership. We want to make a direct pressure on the Maduro regime, "said the foreign minister.

     Last Friday, the foreign ministers of the Lima Group, formed by 14 countries of the Americas, agreed in the Peruvian capital that they will not recognize, except for Mexico, the new government period of Maduro because it is the product of an illegitimate process and they recommended not to assume it on January  10th.  Maduro commented yesterday that those who support the latest declaration of the Lima Group incur the crime of treason. Peru has received some 600,000 Venezuelans in the last two years, as a result of the political and humanitarian crisis in that country, with the expectation of obtaining the Temporary Permit of Permanence that authorizes them to work, study and have access to public health.

JANUARY  7,  2019

LEFTIST PRESIDENT OF MEXICO URGES LIMA GROUP NOT TO MEDDLE IN VENEZUELAN AFFAIRS

     MEXICO CITY, MEXICO  --   . Mexico has called on the Lima group of Latin American countries to refrain from interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs, after the block refused to recognize President Nicolas Maduro as the nation’s legitimate leader. Mexico, the only member of the 14-member group, who refused to sign the declaration, said it would not comment on the legitimacy of the government in Caracas. "We call for reflection in the Lima Group about the consequences for Venezuelans of measures that seek to interfere in internal affairs," said Mexico's deputy foreign minister Maximiliano Reyes.

     The bloc, that met in the Peruvian capital Lima on Friday, said “the electoral process carried out in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 is not legitimate.” Maduro was re-elected in May, after an early election called by the ruling Constituent Assembly which was marred by accusations of irregularities as well as an opposition boycott. In a joint statement, the bloc, however, called on Maduro not to take office on January 10. In the meantime, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed that Maduro would take office on January 10 in a “legitimate and constitutional” process, which he said “does not require the approval of any foreign government.”

     Venezuela, Arreaza said, was “perplexed” by the statement and that the country would take reciprocal action for diplomatic steps taken by any other government. Caracas has been facing mounting pressure from regional counties and United States which has targeted the nation with economic and political sanctions since 2014 under the pretext of alleged human rights abuses and threats to US national security. Washington has recently stepped up contacts with South American countries. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Cartagena earlier this week for talks with Colombian President Ivan Duque. Both officials agreed to step up efforts to diplomatically isolate Maduro’s government.

MAGISTRATE OF THE HIGHEST COURT IN VENEZUELA DEFECTS AND FLEES ABROAD

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA - -  MAgistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of Venezuela, Christian Zerpa, defected and fled abroad, the court reported Sunday, accusing him of evading an investigation for sexual crimes. A day after reports circulated about the rupture of Zerpa with the government of Nicolás Maduro and about his decision to flee to the United States with his family, the TSJ -officialist line- announced in a statement that the magistrate is being investigated for "harassment sexual, lewd acts and psychological violence "against workers in his office.

     The president of the TSJ, Maikel Moreno, said that before "repeated complaints" of "indecent and immoral behaviors to the detriment of a group of women," the authorities had initiated the legal procedure to dismiss and prosecute Zerpa. Without specifying which country he traveled to, the court confirmed that Zerpa - who was part of the Electoral Chamber of the TSJ - left Venezuela. On Saturday, Venezuelan journalists living in the United States reported Zerpa's flight to Florida, linking her to Maduro's questioned inauguration for a second presidential term (2019-2025), next Thursday. Zerpa played in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and is among Venezuelans with financial sanctions from Canada.

     He was appointed by the old pro-government parliamentary majority in December 2015, a few days before the opposition took control of the chamber. According to the journalist Carla Angola, who said she had interviewed him, Zerpa is willing to collaborate with the US justice system in investigations into corruption and human rights violations against officials and collaborators of the Maduro government. Maduro will begin a new mandate on Thursday, after being reelected on May 20 in boycotted ballots and denounced as a fraud by the opposition and unknown by the United States, the European Union and several countries in Latin America. The TSJ assured that Zerpa was formally investigated on November 23, 2018. The accusation, however, was not made public until the reports on his desertion. Moreno denied that the case is a sign of fractures in the court. "Far from achieving separation, unites us," he said.

JAIR BOLSONARO SAYS BRAZIL MAY HOST US BASE, CALLS PRESIDENT TRUYMP 'MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD"

--      BRASILIA, BRAZIL   --   
Brazil's newly-sworn-in right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he might consider hosting a US military base in the future and called a Brazilian embassy move to Jerusalem a done deal in a new interview on Thursday. Bolsonaro, dubbed the 'Trump of the Tropics' for his rhetoric, uncannily similar to that of US President Donald Trump, lived up to his nickname as he floated the idea of welcoming US soldiers on a permanent basis, reiterated his support for Israel, while calling Venezuela 'a dictatorship' and Russia its enabler. In an interview with SBT broadcaster on Thursday, Bolsonaro said that while he considers physical presence of foreign forces a symbolic move in a globalized word, he is open to the idea of hosting US troops on Brazilian soil.

     A retired army captain, Bolsonaro referred to the Russian military as the "Soviet" troops, arguing that "nowadays the power of American, Chinese and Soviet armed forces reaches out to the whole independent world." "Depending on what happens in the world, who knows if we would not need to discuss that question [hosting a US military base] in the future," the Brazilian leader said. Since his election in October, which was met with sweeping protests across the country, Bolsonaro has been set on establishing closer ties with the US, eliciting praise from White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and exchanging courtesies with Trump on the day of his inauguration. "I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. Together, under God's protection, we shall bring prosperity and progress to our people!" Bolsanaro tweeted in response to a congratulatory message from the US leader.

     On Thursday, Bolsonaro again described the government in Caracas as a dictatorship, while expressing concerns about joint military drills it held with Russia in December, which featured two 'White Swan' nuclear-capable supersonic strategic bombers. "Russia has made a maneuver in Venezuela, we know the intentions of the Maduro government, or the dictatorship of Maduro, and Brazil has to worry about it," he said, hinting that the Brazilian military will take on a more active role under his leadership. "Over the past 20, 25 years, our Armed Forces have been abandoned because of a political issue, because we, Armed Forces, are the last obstacle to socialism," the president added. In his inauguration address on Tuesday, he declared Brazil "liberated from socialism and political correctness."

JANUARY  6,  2019

JUAN GUAIDO: AS OF JANUARY 10, DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO WILL BE USURPING THE PRESIDENCY

     CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --
  The new president of the National Assembly (AN), deputy Juan Guaidó, said this Saturday that starting on January 10, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will be "usurping" the Presidency of the Republic. From the semicircle of sessions, Guaidó indicated that Parliament will work to end the "usurpation" of the Executive Branch. "The conditions must be generated for a transitional government and be able to carry out clean and transparent elections," added the Popular Vol. The highest representative of the Legislative also said that in the country is in "dictatorship" and that it depends on all Venezuelans and the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) work to "get out" of that system.

     This according to the swearing in of Maduro, which is scheduled for January 10 for the presidential term 2019-2025. Yesterday the Lima Group, with the exception of Mexico, exhorted the national president not to take office and transfer power to Parliament while new presidential elections are being held, this statement was backed by the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro. Today, just a few minutes before entering the Chamber of Deputies, the French Ambassador to Venezuela, Romain Nadal, stated that he will not attend the swearing in of Maduro and that it is a joint position maintained by the European Union. During his speech, Guaidó added that they will continue to fight, that "the regime could not buy us all, could not buy the political parties that still remain here, they could not and will never be able to."

     "In the midst of silence we started this 2019, with an unprecedented challenge, with the responsibility of recovering the rule of law," said the parliamentarian. He asserted that his struggle is for the "people of Venezuela, count on us, for Neomar Lander, for Oscar Pérez, for all the fallen, for those who left, for those who are still in prison." He also referred to the thousands of Venezuelans who have left the country. "Today Venezuelan mothers dismiss their children in a terminal, in an airport and even in a cemetery, that is not fair for our country." After his departure from the semicircle of sessions, Guaidó indicated that in the next few days they will be announcing the measures they will take for the 10th of January.

NARCO-TRAFFICKER DIOSDADO CABELLO SAYS THAT WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY  IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WAS A "SHOW"

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -The president of the Cuban Constituent Assembly first vice president of the Psuv AND NARCO-TRAFFICKER , Diosdado Cabello, said that what happened yesterday in the National Assembly (AN), where the new board of the AN was sworn in by the deputy Juan Guaidó, was a "show." "Today they are setting up their show and we have to leave them there, but what they are trying to do in the AN continue in contempt, they have not complied with the provisions of the TSJ in clear terms, according to the sentence Ramos Allup is still President of Parliament by not making the formal act of delivery, because Mr. Borges was elected with the participation of people who were not deputies for the moment and all acts from there are irritating, null and illegal, but there they with their labyrinth and arrogance, because the opposition assumes the Constitution when it is convenient, "he said.

       In the same way, he maintained that "the show is so bad that the explosives were invented to generate the alarm and the bulbs were on the AN, the script of them is repetitive to attract attention". In another order, Cabello said that Maduro would go on Friday, January 11, to the Cuban Constituent Assembly "to be recognized by the original power." "The President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro, after being sworn in on January 10 before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), will go to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), on Friday the 11th to be recognized by the Original Power that called for the presidential elections. "

      Cabello, on the statement of the Group of Lima, where they will not recognize Maduro as president after January 10, maintained that "it is pure straw." "The declaration of the Group of Lima is pure straw, and the only relevant thing is that this group wants to take part, very serious, of a historical fact of claim of territory, because of the rest they ask Maduro not to assume the presidency. how will Nicolás do that, if he was elected by a town? Where is our constitution? "He said.

THE NEW LEFTIST GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO REFUSES TO SIGN AGREEMENT OF THE LIMA GROUP  THAT REJECTS DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO'S NEW PRESIDENTIAL TERM

--      LIMA, PERU  --   
Mexico consolidated the ideological turn in its foreign policy that had advanced the triumph of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The country refused on Friday to join 13 nations of the Lima Group that have rejected the new term of Nicolás Maduro's government in Venezuela. The foreign ministers, meeting in Peru, concluded that they will not recognize the new mandate of the Venezuelan government because the election held on May 20, 2018 was "illegitimate," according to the joint statement that was snubbed by the López Obrador administration.

      The diplomatic bloc will not participate in the inauguration of Maduro, on January 10 for a new period that will end in 2025. The Mexican refusal made the meeting between foreign ministers of the group created in August 2017, last less than planned. The representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia contemplated that the meeting would conclude on Friday afternoon, but the Mexican Government's discrepancy, vocalized with clarity by Undersecretary Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga, in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean, left no room for doubt.

     "Mexico made a prior declaration that they would not join, but they will remain full and active members of the Lima Group, because they prefer to keep diplomatic channels open to see if through them it is possible to reach a negotiated solution," he informed EL COUNTRY a source of the Peruvian chancellery. "Mexico will continue to promote international cooperation, respect for the self-determination of peoples and the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect," Reyes announced to his counterparts.

JANUARY  5,  2019

SECRETARIO POMPEO PARTICIPATED THROUGH VIDECONFERENCE AT THE MEETING OF THE LIMA GROUP ON THE CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

     LIMA, PERU    --
  The foreign ministers of the member countries of the Lima Group met on Friday in the Peruvian capital with the unprecedented participation of the US to define actions against the new mandate of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, in a meeting in which a representative of the United States participated for the first time. Government of Brazil. "The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Lima Group met (...) in order to analyze the situation in Venezuela and take action before the start, on January 10, of the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro, the result of illegitimate elections", He told the press the Peruvian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

     Late on Thursday, the US government announced that Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, would participate through videoconference at the group meeting, despite not being part of it, without explaining the reason for his intervention. The decision of the United States came at a time when it had increased its contacts with South American countries in which it has dealt with the situation in Venezuela and has hardened its discourse against the Maduro government. This week, Pompeo was received in Cartagena, on Wednesday, by Colombian President Iván Duque. In that meeting, both governments agreed to join efforts to diplomatically isolate Maduro's government and "recover" democracy before the "dictatorship" of the Venezuelan leader.

     During the meeting in Lima, the participants "considered regional coordination initiatives for the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights in Venezuela and to face the exodus of Venezuelan citizens," said the Peruvian government. Bolsonaro's Brazilian government debuted in this forum with the participation of its foreign minister, Enrique Araújo, after repeatedly showing his animosity toward Maduro, whom he considers to be leading a dictatorial regime. Bolsonaro was open on Thursday to "discuss in the future" the possibility of hosting a US military base in Brazil, concerned about the relationship between Venezuela and Russia.

VENEZUELAN POPULAR WILL PARTY RATIFIES DEPUTY JUAN GUAIDO'S PRESIDENCY IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -The deputy Juan Guaidó, from the Partido Voluntad Popular (VP), is proposed by that political organization he represents to preside over the National Assembly (AN) during the legislative period of 2019 that will begin on January 5 next. "With the same energy and commitment that characterize him, Juan Guaidó will assume the presidency of the AN as a tool to confront a delegitimized dictator before the country and the world," says part of the communique issued this Friday by Voluntad Popular.

    They explained that the decision was made after an evaluation and a consultation process within the party and with the participation of civil society, and they assure that it is a determination that vindicates the commitment of VP for youth, as fundamental axis for political change. It is argued in the statement that Guaidó represents a young leadership and that for its qualities and its trajectory it will assume the position "in a political moment of such high importance, in which the decisions that we take as leaders, will mark the future of the country before a dictatorship. that has assumed the force as its support, to maintain the power and before which an urgent solution must be assumed ".

     They recall that Guaidó has played a leading role in Parliament since he launched the Amnesty Law, as well as pointing out "multi-million dollar corruption schemes reaching regional scandals such as the" Odebrecht Case "and also when he assumed" the challenge of fighting in Vargas, historically Affection for the government, and reached a victory that seemed impossible to secure the majority reached by the democratic factors in 2015. " Likewise , it is stated that "the young parliamentarian, increased his leadership since he participated in the" Generation 2007 "with other Venezuelan politicians, said in the letter that Guaidó has not rested on its work to bring political change to the Venezuelan state. For On the other hand, Voluntad Popular expressed its attachment to the 2015 agreement on the conformation of the directives of each legislative period.

THE FOURTH ATTEMPT TO DEFEAT CHAVISMO IN THE HANDS OF POPULAR WILL PARTY, ITS CLEAREST ENEMY

--      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --   
The Venezuelan Parliament will have a new leadership from this Saturday and the head will be the Popular Will Party (VP), one of the four largest opposition formations and of them the most radical to raise the need to end the chavism that governs the country South American since 1999. VP, founded by the opposition prisoner Leopoldo López, will assume the leadership of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) in the fourth consecutive year since the opposition won the majority of seats and after representatives of the Democratic Action parties ( AD), Primero Justicia (PJ) and Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) respectively.

     The presidency of the Chamber falls this year on the organization that is said to be "more criminalized and persecuted" by the Chavez government, which in turn has designated it as a terrorist and has accused its leaders of violent plans, which is why several of them are today imprisoned, politically disabled or exiled. VP was the formation that encouraged more than any other anti-government demonstrations in 2014 to demand the resignation of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and that resulted in 43 deaths, a hundred wounded and the same number of detainees, among them López, sentenced to almost 14 years in prison. Only the fact of the presidency of the Parliament is a reflection of the price that VP has had to pay for their proposals as the opposition has already advanced that the young deputy Juan Guaidó will be invested as the highest authority of the House this Saturday when the new directive is installed.

    The legislator will end in this position accidentally after three other leaders with greater influence in the party were removed from the political game in different ways, all related to the Chavez persecution, as they claim. In addition, the presidency of Guaidó starts with a trial by fire because on January 10 Maduro will be sworn in as re-elected president after having triumphed in a series of fraudulent elections in which the bulk of the opposition did not participate and which are not recognized by numerous foreign governments. However, it remains to be seen how much influence López will have on the new direction of the Parliament and if his leadership will be renewed thanks to this and despite being under house arrest serving his sentence and without being able to make any public statement.

JANUARY  4,  2019

JAIR BOLSONARO ASSUMED THE PRESIDENCY OF BRAZIL

.     BRASILIA, BRAZIL    --
 The inauguration of former army Captain turned congressman Jair Bolsonaro was held yesterday in Brazil; delivering the first nationalist outlook to the office of the presidency in decades. President Jair Bolsonaro and First-Lady of Brazil Michelle Bolsonaro both delivered speeches during the inauguration ceremony, with the first lady also using sign language (her father is deaf). President Bolsonaro now takes the reins of Latin America’s largest and most populous nation after decades of corruption carried out by Brazil’s far-left politicians.

     Many will remember a failed assassination attempt on candidate Bolsonaro by opposition from the socialist workers party only a few weeks before the election. Bolsonaro has vowed to end business-as-usual governing which led to rampant corruption. Many people within the far-left ridiculed Bolsonaro while he was a congressman and stated his Brazil-First outlook was too nationalistic amid a world now driven by global influence. The marginalization by those voices failed and now President Bolsonaro will likely chart a different course.

     There are many similarities in national outlook between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Bolsonaro especially regarding economics and trade. Additionally, following a similar decision by President Trump, Brazil will now move their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Overall the U.S. Brazil relationship could make for an interesting alignment in South/Latin America; this relationship will become particularly important around the geopolitical strategy and influence of China in the region. The 63-year-old President campaigned heavily on an anti-corruption, Brazil-first, nationalist agenda and promised to support gun ownership rights for law-abiding people within Brazil. Both Trump and Bolsonaro are opposed by the same groups.

IVAN DUQUE AND MIKE POMPEO CONCLUDED THAT THE WHOLE REGION MUST UNITE TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY IN VENEZUELA

    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA   -Colombian President Iván Duque and the secretary of the US Department of State Mike Pompeo spoke to the media about the points they discussed at their meeting at the House of Illustrious Hosts of Cartagena , in which the crisis in Venezuela was a fundamental issue . "We must all unite to reject the dictatorship in Venezuela and make all the necessary votes to restore democracy and constitutional order," said the Colombian president. Duke reiterated the importance of strengthening the bond of both countries every day, both for the fight against terrorism, and to establish new commercial options.

      For his part, Pompeo highlighted the leadership of Colombia in the task of restoring the democratic order in Venezuela. The Secretary of State sent a warm greeting from President Donald Trump to his counterpart Ivan Duque and all Colombians, because he considers the sister nation as "a very close ally on the continent." The American spokesman said he spoke "for several minutes about the situation in Venezuela. Colombia has a long-standing democratic tradition and is a natural leader in regional efforts to support the rule of law. "

     Pompeo recalled that Colombia "has done much to help more than 1 million Venezuelans who live here and escaped the crisis provoked by the Maduro regime." He pointed out that the Trump government has allocated a total of 92 million dollars in collaboration with the situation generated by the diaspora. On other issues, Pompeo said they will continue working together with Colombia to reduce coca production by at least 50% by the year 2023. He also mentioned that this meeting has served to define new commercial links between both nations, mainly in the pharmaceutical and transport areas.

OAS ASKS COSTA RICA TO ACTIVATE DEMOCRATIC CHARTER ON NICARAGUA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   --    
Costa Rica said Saturday it has received a request from the head of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, to activate a process of invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter against Nicaragua amid alleged abuses in the country. Nicaraguan expats living in Costa Rica hold pictures of people killed in riots or imprisoned as they take part in the “Caravan for Liberty and Justice” to protest against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, in La Cruz, Costa Rica on December 16, 2018.

     In a statement, Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry said that the Article 20 of the charter may be activated when a member state produces an alteration in the constitutional order that seriously harms democratic order, and any nation or the Secretary-general of the OAS may call for an immediate convening of the body’s Permanent Council. Costa Rica currently occupies the presidency of the Permanent Council, with El Salvador to take over Jan. 1. Invoking the charter could lead to sanctions against Nicaragua or its suspension from the hemispheric bloc, though it is not clear whether the required 24 of 34 member nations would support that. Nicaragua has been mired in a political crisis since protests broke out mid-April, demanding President Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice-president Rosario Murillo leave office.

     In the 8 months since the protests began, more than 320 people were killed, and independent rights groups accuse the Ortega government of violently cracking down on demonstrations and persecuting opponents. In the past two weeks, the persecution has been aimed at the independent news media, shuttering news outlets critical of Ortega. This month, the Ortega regime has also shut down prominent non-governmental organizations and expelled international monitors documenting alleged rights abuses. Ortega alleges that the protests amounted to an attempted coup against him.


 

ULTIMAS NOTICIAS
DE ENERO DEL 201
8


 

REGRESAR A ULTIMAS NOTICIAS