APRIL  2019


APRIL 30,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D. C.    --     The Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araújo, and his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, spoke Monday in Washington on the march called by the president in charge Juan Guaidó for May 1 with the aim of evicting Nicolás Maduro from power. "We spoke of the shared need to continue putting pressure for the democratic transition in Venezuela, of the irreversible nature of the disposition of Brazil, of the other countries of the Lima Group, of the United States, to work for that," said Araújo to the press after his meeting with Pompeo at the State Department. "We continue," he added, "with diplomatic pressure on all fronts, we are clearly supporting the mobilization that Juan Guaidó will carry out, a very intense popular mobilization with much expectation for May 1, of course with all our support."

      Guaidó has called on Venezuelans to go out on May 1, Labor Day, to demand the "definitive cessation of the usurpation" of Maduro and demand the support of the Armed Forces, key to the power struggle within Venezuela and that they remain faithful to Chavez. The Brazilian chancellor said that his government is "expectant" to see what happens on May 1: "We must be cautious and not expect too much from this moment," he said. Asked by the press, Araújo denied having information on whether the military will back Guaidó on May 1. "The situation of the Venezuelan military is a fundamental issue in the political situation in Venezuela . And from the beginning of the process we already mentioned, both Brazil and the Lima Group, our hope that the Venezuelan military, patriotically, will manifest their adherence to what we consider the legitimate Government. So if that happened, it would be fantastic, "he replied.

     On January 23, Guaidó invoked articles of the Constitution to claim that, as head of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament), he could declare himself interim president of Venezuela. Since then, with the support of the USA and the Lima Group, Guaidó has undertaken a struggle to evict Maduro from power, whom he considers a "usurper" for remaining in power as a result of the May 2018 elections, questioned by the international community. Brazil is one of the countries that make up the Lima Group, composed of a dozen countries in the Americas that backs Guaidó. Araújo, visiting Washington, also plans to meet today with John Bolton, National Security Adviser to US President Donald Trump.


       LIMA, PERU     -- The Lima Group on Monday called on the United Nations to mobilize to respond to the humanitarian crisis that exists in Venezuela and to work with the National Assembly and its leader, the opposition Juan Guaidó, before the "illegitimate" character of Nicolás Maduro. Diplomats from eleven countries of the Group met with the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, and gave him the latest declaration adopted by its members this month in Santiago, Chile. In statements to Efe after the meeting, the first of its kind between the Group of Lima and Guterres, the Peruvian ambassador to the United Nations, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, stressed that the crisis represents a "threat to peace and security" and " continues to worsen ", with a very important impact for the countries of the region.

     "We have asked him to make the greatest effort so that the entire system is mobilized in its entire area to urgently deal with this unprecedented crisis," the diplomat explained. According to Meza-Cuadra, the Lima Group also urged to ensure that "there is no political use of humanitarian assistance", considering that the little help that has arrived "is being used by the Maduro regime." The Lima Group also requested support for the states that are receiving the mass exodus of Venezuelans who leave the country and defended against Guterres the "illegitimacy of the regime." "It is necessary that the United Nations also interact with the only truly legal and democratic body, which is the National Assembly and its legitimate representative, the president in charge, Mr. Guaidó," said Meza-Cuadra.

     "We believe that any fact that helps the regime is contrary to what is sought, which is a way out through peaceful, political and diplomatic," he insisted, recalling that the Lima Group considers "necessary to isolate the regime." Despite the position of this important group of American countries and powers such as the United States, the UN continues to work with the Maduro government on issues such as the provision of humanitarian aid. Guterres has maintained a neutral stance at all times and has repeatedly offered to mediate a possible dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. At the meeting on Monday, the countries of the Lima Group also highlighted the "grave situation" of freedoms and rights in Venezuela and stressed the importance of "serious observation and pressure on the regime" by the high UN commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.


      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --      -The NGO Foro Penal (FP), which defends those considered political prisoners in Venezuela, denounced on Monday that at least 900 indigenous people from fourteen communities in this country have moved to rural locations in Brazil to escape an alleged persecution of the Nicolás Maduro regime. Venezuela, denounced on Monday that at least 900 indigenous people from fourteen communities in this country have moved to rural locations in Brazil to escape an alleged persecution of the Nicolás regime. Mature. "More than 900 Pemon Indians have been displaced to Brazil as a result of fear, of the threat they have," the coordinator of indigenous peoples of the FP, Olnar Ortiz, told Efe at a press conference in Caracas.

      According to Ortiz, the majority of the displaced - some 800 people - settled in the Brazilian settlement of Tarau Peru, which belongs to the same community and where they even have relatives. The remaining 100 were distributed between the towns of Bananal and Sakau Mota, also in Brazil. All escaped from Venezuela after clashes with security forces last February, when the opposition tried to enter the country part of the humanitarian aid that is collected at its borders. Likewise, Ortiz indicated that the indigenous people arrived at these places as "refugees" and that at least 40% of them are minors. Similarly, he regretted that these people have had to move from their communities where, he explained, "were sustained despite the crisis" with tourism activities.

     Venezuela is going through a period of political tension since last January, when Nicolás Maduro swore a new mandate that is not recognized by the opposition and part of the international community and, in response, the head of Parliament, Juan Guaidó, proclaimed an interim government that has the support of more than 50 countries. Guaidó made the entry of humanitarian aid a priority of his interim government, and late last February he advanced an operation on the borders with Colombia and Brazil that led to clashes with the authorities and resulted in seven indigenous deaths in the southern state of Bolívar, he said. today Ortiz.

APRIL 29,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D. C.    --     The US oil sanctions against PDVSA entered into force YESTERDAY, at a time when the crisis in the country where the Nicolás Maduro regime is in conflict with the leader Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president by fifty countries . Restrictions on the purchase of oil from state oil company PDVSA that came into force at 0001 local time (0401 GMT) are part of a battery of sanctions that the United States has imposed, which touches Maduro himself, but also political institutions and in the context of its campaign to support Guaidó.

"The 28 marks the entry into force of the sanctions, however, since they were announced, the reality is that the oil trade between the United States and Venezuela has been absolutely limited, has fallen abruptly," Mariano de Alba told AFP. International Law expert based in Washington. Before the sanctions announced in January, Venezuela exported 500,000 barrels of ultra-heavy oil to the United States, where Citgo, a subsidiary of PDVSA operated, whose accounts were blocked to hand over control of its finances to Guaidó. For de Alba, if there was still an operation between PDVSA and any US company or with companies that use the US financial system, "from the 28th there is no doubt that the sanctions are in force and any company assumes greater risks of what I would assume before that date. "

    With the fall in production, these cash inflows are falling at a time when the country is already experiencing an unprecedented crisis, with a hyperinflation predicted by the IMF of 10,000,000% this year and a shortage of basic goods that has caused the migration of more than 2.7 million people since 2015, according to the UN. A key consequence of sanctions is that the regime has to find who provides diluents to refine their oil, which increases their production costs. The Rapidan Energy Group, based in the United States, calculates in a report that the production of the state PDVSA could temporarily lose about 200,000 barrels per day. The pumping, which was 3.2 million barrels per day in 2008, dropped to about 840,000 in March. To avoid the sanction of the United States, the regime has turned towards India, China and Russia, although the imminent penalties have scared away many Indian companies.


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA      --  The leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Juan Guaido, whom many nations have recognized as the legitimate interim ruler of the country, arrives to participate in an oath ceremony for supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, April 27, 2019. REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins. The president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, assured this Saturday, April 27, that the only one that is stagnant is the regime of Nicolás Maduro that does not offer solutions to the crisis currently facing the country.

     "There has been a lot of confusion planted by the regime (...) here the only one that is stuck is the regime that does not offer solutions, that has no recognition, that has no money because it was stolen, because we protected the assets of the nation," he said. the interim president during the swearing in of the Help and Freedom Committees in Plaza Brión de Chacaíto. He said the regime is "crazy" because we stay in our homes and get used to this tragedy. He added that currently there is not a Venezuelan who is not willing to continue claiming what is happening in Venezuela.

     He denounced the persecution they have received on the part of the regime witH the recent kidnapping of the deputy of the National Assembly (AN) Gilber Caro, mentioning that the assault against Venezuelans is a measure product of his fear of the concentration that will take place next 1 may. "The regime is left with the persecution that has already kidnapped Gilber Caro (...) they are afraid of May 1," he said. He emphasized that he will not leave the street until he achieves the objectives. "We will have our maximum expression on May 1 when all of Venezuela goes out to demand the cessation of the usurpation."


      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --      --The opposition Juan Guaidó warned on Saturday the Venezuelan military THAT HE is waiting for them to abandon President Nicolás Maduro BUT THE WAIT can not be eternal."  Guaidó insisted that the Armed Forces are decisive for "stopping the usurpation" of power by Maduro, during a rally in which he swore-in the "freedom commandos", volunteers who he commissioned to add support and organize protests against government. "It is fundamental (military support) but the times are running, the wait can not be eternal, they have a historic opportunity to get on their shoulders," said the opposition, recognized as interim president of Venezuela for half a hundred countries, with the United States head.

     The Armed Forces are considered the main support of Maduro, who has granted him broad political and economic power and clings to the presidency, with the backing of China and Russia. While Guaidó tuned a march called for May 1, the Chavistas mobilized after a call from Maduro to celebrate the departure of Venezuela from the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS "has become an instrument to promote military solutions in Venezuela," denounced the number two of the ruling party, Diosdado Cabello during the ceremony in the center of the capital. With placards that read "OEA goodbye" or "Yankees no", hundreds of Chavistas marched to the headquarters of the chancellery, in the center of Caracas, upon completion of the retirement process initiated by Maduro in April 2017.

     But in February the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, Maduro's open enemy, rescinded the exit at the request of Guaidó. By simple majority, the OAS later accepted the lawyer Gustavo Tarré as permanent representative of the also leader of the Parliament with an opposition majority.  Juan announces the mobilization on Wednesday as the "largest in the history" of the country, in its offensive to remove Maduro, whose functions were awarded on January 23 alleging that the president was re-elected fraudulently. "They are afraid for the first of May," he said, referring to the detention on Friday of opposition deputy Gilber Caro and denouncing that 11 of his collaborators received summons from the intelligence service. "Here we will be (...) to take out this tyrant we have in (the palace of) Miraflores," Marlene Berroterán, 64, told AFP in the crowd.

APRIL 27,  2019


       HAVANA, CUBA    --    Cuba’s regime called on Thursday on the international community to intervene and block moves by the United States to impose additional sanctions on the Caribbean island. “The world can’t allow itself to remain impassive while efforts are made to destroy countries with impunity,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said at a press conference. The international community “must take action before it’s too late ... for the good of the peoples of Cuba, the US and those of the entire planet.”

      Last week, the US announced additional measures to stiffen the 57-year-old economic embargo on the Communist-ruled island. They include further restrictions on remittances from Cuban-Americans to their relatives on the island and new limitations on non-family travel to the Caribbean nation. President Donald Trump’s administration also has decided to end a waiver on Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, a 1996 US law that strengthened the embargo against Cuba. Title III allows American citizens to file civil lawsuits in US courts against persons or companies trafficking in property confiscated by the Cuban government following the 1959 revolution, although that provision had been waived by successive presidents, including Trump, for more than two decades.

     Rodriguez urged governments, legislatures, social movements and the world of culture and science to intervene and also called on the United Nations General Assembly, the World Trade Organization and other multilateral bodies to take action to block measures that will “punish the Cuban and American people.” “Cuban families shouldn’t be hostages to internal political struggles in the United States,” the foreign minister said, adding that the new sanctions will take a toll on the Cuban economy and self-employed individuals in the island’s incipient private sector. But he said they will have no effect on “Cubans’ strong determination to resist, nor bring closer to fruition the old yearning to overthrow the revolution and control Cuba’s destiny.”


       WASHINGTON, D.C.      --   The United States on Friday increased pressure against DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro by imposing sanctions against HIS FOREIGN MINISTER Jorge Arreaza and promising new measures against the dictatorship and "those in charge of conducting their diplomacy." Washington is pushing a series of sanctions against Venezuela's political and financial institutions as part of its campaign for the recognition of parliamentary leader Juan Guaidó, who was sworn in as interim president in January on the grounds that Maduro's second term began on January 10. Legitimacy. "The United States is not going to look at how the illegitimate regime of Maduro deprives the Venezuelan people of their wealth, humanity and their right to democracy," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

     After the recognition of Guaidó, both countries broke diplomatic relations and began a struggle over who has the right to exercise diplomatic representation of Venezuela in Washington, currently occupied by leftist activists favorable to Maduro. Arreaza warned on Thursday from the UN in New York that if the United States enters the Caracas embassy in Washington, his country could take a reciprocal action. The sanctions announced this Friday also affect Judge Carol Padilla, who was involved in the arrest last month of the head of the Guaidó cabinet, Roberto Marrero. "As a result of today's sanctions, all the properties of these individuals and any property that they have, directly or indirectly, in a percentage of 50% or more, that are in the United States or in position or in control of persons in The United States is blocked, "said the Treasury Department.

     The United States reiterated that these sanctions do not have to be permanent and aim at a "behavior change". Venezuela, plunged into an economic crisis unprecedented in the recent history of the region, since January has been a power struggle between Guaidó, recognized by more than 50 countries as interim president, and Maduro, who has the support of foreign countries as Russia and China. At the same time, the country is experiencing the worst crisis in its modern history, with hyperinflation expected at 10,000,000% this year and a shortage of basic goods that has caused the migration of more than 2.7 million people since 2015, according to the UN. The Treasury informed that these assets must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).


      WASHINGTON, D.C.   --      --The United States Navy has deployed two aircraft carrier attack groups in the Mediterranean to send an unequivocal message to Russia. The aircraft carriers of the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and their escort vessels began operations in the region on Tuesday, the US Navy said in a statement. The combined force includes more than 130 aircraft, 10 ships and 9,000 sailors and marines, says the Navy, a force thatno other power has the ability to unite. In addition to the aircraft carrier, an attack group usually includes a guided missile cruiser, two or three missile destroyers, an attack submarine and a supply ship.The last time two aircraft carriers operated simultaneously in the region was in 2016, when aircraft carrier attack groups Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman deployed in the Mediterranean.

     Current operations are being carried out together with partners and partners in the region Admiral James Foggo, chief of the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa and the Allied Command of Joint Forces of Naples, said that "in the era of competition from great powers, particularly in the maritime domain, an attack group with an aircraft carrier provides tremendous flexibility and operational agility." "Two aircraft carrier attack groups operating simultaneously, while integrating and promoting interoperability with our highly trained NATO allies and partners, provide unprecedented deterrence against unilateral aggression, as well as combined lethality," he added. "It should also make clear the shared commitment of our nations to security and stability in the region."

     Jon Huntsman, the US ambassador to Russia, said that the aircraft carriers, which each represent "100,000 tons of international diplomacy," intend to send a message. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). "Diplomatic communication and dialogue, coupled with the strong defense these ships provide, show Russia that if it really seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world," he added. "When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy navigating the Mediterranean - this is what I call diplomacy deployed forward - it goes without saying anything else. You have all the confidence you need when you sit down and try to find solutions to the problems that have divided us for many years. " The Russian media accused the army and the US ambassador. of unnecessary saber noise near the Russian gate.

APRIL 26,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    The Special Envoy for Venezuela in the US government, Elliott Abrams, said on Thursday that very few countries have seen as much "calamity" as in the Venezuela of Nicolás Maduro, when attending an event organized by the Atlantic Council that seeks to shed light and solutions to the crisis in the South American country. The challenges faced by the rich oil nation under the disputed government of Nicolás Maduro, which has left hunger and the exodus of millions of people, has in suspense Venezuelan citizens and the international community. "Venezuelans deserve to hear our opinions not only about Venezuela today, but also about tomorrow (...)

     Very few countries have seen such political, social and economic calamity after decades of democracy and prosperity," Abrams said. the assistants to the panel "Venezuela after Maduro: a vision for the future of the country". Abrams lashed out at Maduro, saying that he is destroying what his predecessor Hugo Chávez left behind, and clarified that as a Republican he would never have voted for the deceased Venezuelan leader. He said that the United States "is working with the transition team headed by the president in charge Juan Guaidó to continue entering the country with humanitarian aid and explained that once the transition takes place, millions of dollars will be invested to revive the nation's economy.

     "We believe that the Maduro regime must end for Venezuela to regain democracy and prosperity, but like all citizens of the country, the PSUV has the right to play a role in the reconstruction of their country," Abrams said. "The recovery in Venezuela can only begin when there is a government that includes all Venezuelans," he said. Abrams also addressed the military, whose high command swore loyalty to Maduro: "We believe that the transition in Venezuela will depend on good military," he said.


       MOSCOW, RUSSIA      --    The military presence "is regulated by an agreement" between Moscow and Caracas, said the foreign ministry. Opposition leader Juan Guaido has rejected the deployment, saying it violates the constitution. Russia on Tuesday defended its decision to deploy military personnel to Venezuela last week in a move that drew criticism from the US-backed opposition. Moscow is "developing cooperation with Venezuela in strict accordance with the constitution of that country and with full respect for its legal norms," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

      "The presence of Russian specialists on Venezuelan territory is regulated by an agreement between the Russian and Venezuelan governments on military and technical cooperation that was signed in May 2001." Critics accused acting President Nicolas Maduro of sidelining the opposition-held National Assembly, arguing that the power to authorize foreign military missions in the country lie with the legislature. "It seems (Maduro's government) doesn't trust its own troops, because it is importing others … once again violating the constitution," said Juan Guaido, who leads the opposition as interim president of Venezuela. Maduro's government "didn't bring generators in those (Russian) planes, they didn't bring engineers," added Guaido, referring to the second nationwide blackout to hit Venezuela in a month. "No, they brought in foreign troops onto national soil."

     "The United States is determined to support Interim President Guaido's leadership as he champions freedom and the restoration of democracy for the Venezuelan people," said the White House in a statement. Trump has repeatedly said that he will not "rule out" a military option when dealing with Maduro's regime. But Brazilian Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva said his country will not consider military force, adding that he believes a peaceful solution can be found.


      CUCUTA, COLOMBIA --      --Members of the Venezuelan armed forces are deserting to take refuge in Colombia and Brazil, after refusing to comply with orders to repress opponents of the Nicolás Maduro regime, six soldiers told Reuters. A lieutenant and five sergeants of the National Guard, the main military unit destined by the Maduro government to contain the opposition mobilizations, said that many of those who have defected travel to Colombia through the most accessible border, although others go to Brazil. Colombia's immigration authorities have said that 1,400 Venezuelan troops deserted the country this year, while the Brazilian army has about 60 members of the oil nation's forces that migrated to Brazil since Maduro closed the border on February 23, to block efforts to enter humanitarian aid.

     "Many soldiers have left, mostly from the National Guard, there is little Army, there is little aviation, there is little armed. And still more will come. There are more staff who want to leave, "said a National Guard lieutenant earlier this month. The Venezuelan military arrived on foot to the Brazilian city of Pacaraima, on the border, after walking for hours on trails used by indigenous communities. The authorities of both countries have said that the rate of desertions has accelerated in recent months, as the political and economic crisis in Venezuela worsens. Military of Venezuela, of the National Guard, that do not want to be identified, are in the border point with Venezuela, in Pacaraima, Brazil.

     The deserters, who asked to keep their names in reserve for fear of reprisals against their families, complained that their commanders in Venezuela received large salaries and commissions for smuggling products, while lower-ranking officers face the risks in the streets of Venezuela. little money "They already have their families out of the country, they live well, eat well, have good salaries and good profits," said the lieutenant. The "ministry" in charge of Jorge Rodríguez, who deals with media contacts, did not respond to requests for comments on the subject.

APRIL 25,  2019


       UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK    --    Between 30 and 40 diplomats from the countries that make up the Lima Group left the UN General Assembly on Wednesday when Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza took the floor, the AFP said. Arreaza spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement on the first world day of multilateralism, but few diplomats were left in the huge room to listen to him.

     In his speech, the foreign minister accused the United States of wanting to "impose the dictatorship" in the UN and "in a blatant way pretending to expel or disregard the credentials of member states with full rights like Venezuela." "That is exclusive and unacceptable," Arreaza said. The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, asked the UN on April 10 to recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela, and demanded the departure of "dictator" Nicolás Maduro, who holds on to power with the support of Russia and China.

      The United States recently announced that it will present a draft resolution to the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly - where the veto does not apply - for Guaidó to be recognized as interim president. Venezuela is experiencing the worst crisis in its modern history, with hyperinflation expected at 10,000,000% this year and a shortage of basic goods that has caused the migration of more than 2.7 million people since 2015, according to the UN. Guaidó, president of the parliament controlled by the opposition, is already recognized by the United States and more than 50 countries as president in charge of Venezuela.


        BEIJING, cHINA    --    China strongly protested on Tuesday against a threat by the United States to impose sanctions on countries that continue buying Iranian oil after Washington decided not to reissue waivers for oil imports from the Middle Eastern country. “China urges the US to respect China’s interests and concerns and refrain from actions that are detrimental to Chinese rights and to global continued efforts to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press briefing.

     Geng confirmed that China has lodged a formal complaint with the US for what it described as “wrongful actions” and accused Washington of increasing “turbulences” in the Middle East and the global energy market, for which Iranian crude oil exports are “of great significance.” “We urge the US to take responsible and constructive attitudes instead of the contrary,” he said. The Chinese spokesperson said that his country’s reaction to the decision of the Donald Trump-led administration is “the common position of the vast majority of the international community.” The US threatened on Monday to impose sanctions on China, India and Turkey if they continued buying crude oil from Iran after suspending the six-month waivers it had granted to eight countries that allowed them to continue importing limited quantities of crude oil from Iran.

     Trump decided not to renew the 180-day waiver, which will end on May 2, saying the move “aims to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” according to a statement issued by the White House. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has increased pressure on Tehran and in May 2018 he fulfilled his electoral promise of withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear accord reached with Iran by the previous administration of President Barack Obama along with five world powers. As a result of the tightening of sanctions, Iran’s oil exports have fallen to some 800,000 barrels a day – from the previous 2.5 million – while the national currency, the rial, has fallen sharply.


  WASHINGTON, D.C.     --“On April 13, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m. CDT, five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations in an unmarked (Customs and Border Protection) vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas,” U.S. Northern Command told CNN in a statement. “An inquiry by (Customs and Border Patrol) and (the Department of Defense) revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” the statement added. The U.S. Army soldiers were reportedly sitting in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection-owned Chevrolet Tahoe just south of the border fence but north of the actual border when they were confronted.

     “Though they were south of the border fence, US soldiers remained in US territory, north of the actual border,” the statement explained. In some areas of Texas, the border fence does not match the exact location of the border line. The U.S. Army soldiers didn’t have enough time to request emergency assistance before they were quickly approached by the Mexican troops wielding FX-05 Xiuhcoatl military rifles, Newsweek reported. They were instructed to stand at the front of the vehicle where they were searched and disarmed. One of the Mexican soldiers removed the Army sergeant’s Beretta M9 service pistol and placed it inside the vehicle. Officials said the sergeant permitted the Mexican soldier to disarm them “in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation.”

     “After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area. The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” Deputy Director of public affairs for NORAD and U.S. Northern Command John Cornelio told Newsweek. The incident occurred less than two weeks after President Trump said he is considering expanding the border support mission in response to the growing crisis, as Military Times reported. “I’m going to have to call up more military,” he said, though not specifying how many troops could be deployed.

APRIL 24,  2019


     WASHINGTON, D.C. --    VENEZUELAN AMBASSADOR AMBASSSADOR Gustavo Tarre, representative in the Organization of American States (OAS) of the leader of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó, spoke during his participation on Tuesday in an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council on the situation of his country at the headquarters of the organization in Washington. During his first speech before the OAS, Tarre accused Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro of "sowing death and restlessness." Tarre Briceño was presented for the first time this Tuesday before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington. In his first intervention, the representative he denounced "the permanent interference of Cuba and Russia" in Venezuela.

       "The usurping government does not defend the national sovereignty violated by the permanent interference of Cuba and Russia," said the diplomat, during his presentation to the ambassadors of the member countries. Tarre Briceño accused the dictator Nicolás Maduro of "not enforcing the integrity of the territory" or "providing essential services." He also indicated that "the education and health system are destroyed." "The only state function that Maduro does is the use of force," said the representative of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela to the OAS. The Venezuelan representative highlighted the work of Guaidó since he assumed the interim presidency on January 23 and stressed that the young opposition leader counts "with the support of 85% of Venezuelans."

     For his part, he said that "the reconstruction of Venezuela will require an important collaboration" from the international community. Along these lines, he considered that the OAS will be a fundamental actor. In his speech, he advanced the first requests he will make to the agency: the re-entry of Venezuela to the Inter-American Human Rights System and ask for collaboration to hold free elections. "None of the ambassadors who intervened to defend the presence of the representatives of the usurpation maintained the democratic character of the regime. None denied the systematic violation of human rights, the existence of murders and torture was denied, or the existence of paramilitary bodies with a license to kill was denied. No one was willing to refer to the economic or social successes of the dictator, and nobody dared to talk about the level of life of Venezuelans, "said Tarre Briceño, who, however, clarified:" This silence seems positive. "


        WASHINGTON, D.C.   --     Colombia’s Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo offered Monday a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which he spoke of the latest meeting of Lima, the preparations for the Assembly of the OAS and the Summit Colombia-CARICOM to be held in June in Colombia; as well as Unasur and Colombia's proposal to create an International Anti-Corruption Court. First, he commented on the agreements reached last week in Santiago de Chile after the meeting of the countries that make up the Lima Group and after which they declared that "Venezuela is a threat to international peace and security, under the activities of the dictatorial and usurping regime of Maduro ".

      "The Lima Group has exhorted the Secretary General of the United Nations , has urged the General Assembly of the United Nations and has urged the Security Council of the United Nations to take action to prevent the progressive deterioration of peace and security and the same way to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan brothers who need it, "said Minister Trujillo. He also pointed out that the Lima Group reiterated the call for the immediate cessation of the usurpation, so that the transition and free elections could be opened.

      Regarding the preparations for the OAS Assembly to be held in June in Colombia, the Foreign Minister indicated that the theme proposed by Colombia for this occasion was accepted, which will be: "Innovating to strengthen hemispheric multilateralism" and noted that "this It has to do with what were the campaign proposals in international matters of today's President, Dr. Iván Duque . " He also reported that the Colombia-CARICOM summit will be held on June 29 and that the meeting's agenda is already being designed, with the objective of "strengthening economic, investment and tourism links between Colombia and CARICOM". Another of the topics addressed by the Chancellor had to do with Colombia's intention to withdraw from Unasur. In this regard, he explained that six months have passed since Colombia denounced the Treaty establishing Unasur before the General Secretariat of the organization.


  WASHINGTON, D.C.     --The United States promised new rewards of up to 10 million dollars on Monday in exchange for information to "alter" the financial networks of the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah. The US State Department said it is seeking information about the sources of income of the Shiite movement, a member of the US blacklist of "terrorist organizations" and an ally of Iran, Washington's adversary in the Middle East.
      It also wants to identify "its key financial facilitation mechanisms", its "main donors", the "financial institutions" that contribute to its transactions and even the companies controlled by Hezbollah or its financiers.

     "Hezbollah generates close to $ 1 billion a year through direct financial support from Iran, international trade and investment, a network of donors and money laundering activities," US diplomacy said in a statement. Among the supposed "financiers" of Hezbollah about whom Washington wants information, Adham Tabaja, Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi and Ali Youssef Charara are quoted, who are already on the "international terrorist" blacklist of the United States.

APRIL 23,  2019

US WILL NOT RENEW sanction EXEMPTIONS for countries buying iran's oil

     WASHINGTON, D.C. --     President Trump will not renew special waivers that have allowed Japan, China, India, Turkey and South Korea to import oil from Iran without running afoul of renewed U.S. sanctions, the White House announced Monday. The waivers are set to expire in early May. The oil-importing countries have been benefiting from Significant Reduction Exceptions — temporary waivers the Trump administration has been issuing since the president withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran last year. "This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an emailed statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the goal is also to "incentivize Iran to behave like a normal country." "Before our sanctions went into effect, Iran would generate as much as $50 billion annually in oil revenue," Pompeo said as he detailed the policy change Monday morning. Iran has issued a defiant response, with the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi saying that because Iran views the renewed U.S. sanctions as illegal, "it basically gives no credit to exemptions from these sanctions."

In addition to the five countries most directly affected by the change, Taiwan, Italy and Greece also have been importing Iranian oil under the U.S. sanctions exemptions since last November. But those countries have already moved to stop importing Iranian oil. As for the potential effects of removing Iranian oil from the global market, Sanders said the U.S., along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and other allies, "are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied." Iran has promised to retaliate for the new decision.


        WASHINGTON, D.C.   --      PRESIDENT TRUMP'S  Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned that Tehran and its Revolutionary Guards are holding the Chavez dictator in power. "The Iranian expansion is a threat to the world," he insisted. "Iran is having a role in the protection of Maduro and the countries of South America understand that the expansion of the Islamic Republic is a threat to citizens around the world," said Mike Pompeo at a press conference after he they knew the last measures of the government of Donald Trump against the Persian regime. The relations between Tehran and Caracas have worried the US for decades, when the late Hugo Chávez arrived to give the sword of Bolívar to then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now, in the midst of the Chavismo crisis and when the Maduro regime is isolated from the world, the alliance reaffirmed itself.

     Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad forged an economic and political alliance between Venezuela and Iran that continues to this day. In this context, the Iranian theocracy offered Maduro to send members of his Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to participate in the protection of the dictatorship. That armed body was recently declared by the United States as a terrorist group and is one of the main promoters of fundamentalism in the Middle East and the rest of the world. The proposal of the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif, also coincides with the resumption of flights between Tehran and Caracas. That route is known as "aeroterror" because of the arms and drug traffic they represent.

     Pompeo reiterated the concern about this close relationship after the US announced the end of the exemptions for the purchase of Iranian oil with the aim of reducing "zero" Tehran exports. "President Donald J. Trump has decided not to renew Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire at the beginning of May, and this decision seeks to bring Iranian oil exports to zero, denying the regime its main source of income" , the White House said in a statement. Among the eight countries to which Washington had given a 180-day exemption that culminated on May 2, are some of the largest buyers of Iranian crude: China, Turkey and India. Pompeo stressed that with this decision the government of President Trump "is accelerating the pressure campaign in a calibrated way that combines our national security goals while keeping well supplied to the global oil markets." "There will be no more exemptions beyond May 2. Point," stressed Pompeo at a press conference from the State Department.


  MOSCOW, RUSSIA     --"The cases of mass INTERRUPTION of Venezuela's power supply facilities are the result of a planned and US-led operation," Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said in an interview with RT. The declarations of the Russian warmonger coincide with the line of stories made by the electric charlatans, who have attributed the electrical calamity suffered by Venezuela to the trustworthy old man, his imperial enemy, of being behind what is clearly the lack of maintenance at fault. of Bolivarian corruption.

      A source from Corpoelec, in an analysis conducted by El Espectador de Colombia, revealed that the country is a few days away from suffering a mega-pagon of biblical proportions since of the three El Guri self-transformers only one is in operation and is that is why all of Venezuela, except the capital, runs into power cuts. The source, who conceals his identity for security reasons, explained that on March 7 an overheating alarm was triggered in the three transformers. Two stopped working, but one resisted the failure. To avoid its explosion, the transmission of energy had to be cut off. "That transformer is decreasing its power generation and may stop working at any time.

     If the situation is not resolved state by state, the entire country can be turned off for more than 39 days or until you have the spare transformers, "he said. In line with the line of red lies, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, Fomin, said that "the United States does not stop" when it comes to putting pressure on Venezuela. "They do not reject any tool. They widely use the tools of hybrid wars, color revolutions, as well as train leaders and militants of radical movements. " "You can see that an operation called 'Blackout' is underway. It is a planned and artificial closure of energy facilities, which also negatively affects the atmosphere in the country, "said Fomin, always relying on the" cold war "line against the United States.

APRIL 22,  2019


     THE VATICAN   --     Pope Francis urged on Sunday to put an end to "social injustices, abuses and violence" in Venezuela and called for "a peaceful and negotiated solution" in Nicaragua. In his traditional Easter Sunday message, Francisco reminded Latin Americans that "they suffer the consequences of difficult political and economic situations."

     The pontiff said to think mainly about the people of Venezuela, "so many people lacking the minimum conditions to live a dignified and safe life, due to a crisis that continues and gets worse". "May the Lord grant those who have political responsibilities to work to put an end to social injustice, abuse and violence, and to take concrete measures to heal divisions and give the population the help they need," he said.

     Venezuela is mired in a deep political, economic and humanitarian crisis that was aggravated by the January inauguration of Juan Guaidó as president in charge of the country days after Nicolás Maduro assumed a second term and the legitimate National Assembly declared him a usurper of power. The Pope also had words of encouragement for the dialogue that takes place in Nicaragua to get out of the political crisis, after a year of anti-government protests that have left at least 325 dead in the country. "May the risen Lord illuminate the efforts that are being made in Nicaragua to find as soon as possible a peaceful and negotiated solution for the benefit of all Nicaraguans," said the Pope


        CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --      Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido called on people this Friday from all over the country to join in a grand march next May 1, Labor Day, to demand the armed forces’ aid in ending the usurpation, as he calls the Nicolas Maduro regime. “We call upon all Venezuelan people to take part in the biggest march in the history of Venezuela next May 1 to demand the definitive end of usurpation in Venezuela, to demand once and for all the termination of this tragedy,” he said during an “open town-hall meeting” at a plaza in Caracas. “What has to happen for this to succeed? To whom is this plea directed? Because we already know it’s neither Maduro nor the regime, they have nothing to offer.

      First it must be the armed forces that accompany a people that wants, that needs, that demands to live,” he added. The opposition leader, recognized as interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, was not clear about the destination of the march on a day the government traditionally uses to call public servants into the streets to show their support. The lawmaker said the destination of the march will be “the place where the demand will be made for the usurpation to cease immediately.” What he did make clear was that the march will not be “a scene of confrontation” with the armed forces, but rather one that is “constructive,” since he insisted on the need for military support in order to remove Maduro from power.

    “We’re not aiming for a clash with troops who also want change, who also need electricity and water, no. Just the opposite, we want them to join the movement... to accompany us to the future we all want,” said Guaido, who for weeks has said that “soon” he will go looking for an office in the Miraflores presidential palace. The points of concentration for this grand march will be announced on social networks in the coming days, the opposition leader said, while also noting that the so-called “committees of aid and freedom,” which his supporters have organized, will be sworn in next April 27.


   HAVANA, CUBA    --After two decades of relative stability fueled by cheap Venezuelan oil, shortages of food and medicine have once again become a serious daily problem for millions of Cubans. A plunge in aid from Venezuela, the end of a medical services deal with Brazil and poor performances in sectors including nickel mining, sugar and tourism have left the communist state $1.5 billion in debt to the vendors that supply products ranging from frozen chicken to equipment for grinding grain into flour, according to former Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez. Stores no longer routinely stock eggs, flour, chicken, cooking oil, rice, powdered milk and ground turkey, among other products. These basics disappear for days or weeks. Hours-long lines appear within minutes of trucks showing up with new supplies. Shelves are empty again within hours

      No one is starving in Cuba, but the shortages are so severe that ordinary Cubans and the country's leaders are openly referring to the “special period,” the years of economic devastation and deep suffering that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba's Cold War patron.“It's not about returning to the harshest phase of the special period of the `90s,” Communist Party head Raul Castro said last week. “But we always have to be ready for the worst.” Two days later, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said cutbacks were necessary because: “This harsh moment demands we set clearly defined priorities in order to not return to the worst moments of the special period.”

     The Trump administration is working hard to push Cuba toward economic crisis. Washington has sanctioned Venezuela's oil industry and the shipping companies that move Venezuelan oil to Cuba. On Wednesday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton announced further measures against Cuba and its allies, including a new cap on the amount of money that families in the United States can send their relatives on the island and new restrictions on travel to Cuba. “The troika of tyranny — Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua — is beginning to crumble,” he said. The move followed the announcement a day earlier that lawsuits would now be permitted against foreign companies doing business in properties seized from Americans after the island's 1959 revolution. The policy could deal a severe blow to Cuba's efforts.A senior Trump administration official said the economic pressure on Cuba was aimed at forcing the socialist government to stop helping its allies in Venezuela and Nicaragua. The U.S. has accused Cuba of sending soldiers and spies to both countries to strengthen their leaders against protests and potential defection. Cuba denies that.

APRIL 20,  2019


     CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --     Juan Guaidó , Interim president of Venezuela, called all Venezuelans to the "largest march in the history of the country" next Wednesday, May 1 , in the framework of the final phase of Operation Freedom. "We summoned the Venezuelans on the first of May to the biggest march that is going to be in the history of the country , to demand that this tragedy be over (...) and just in case they do not listen, they will have to listen to us, " said Guaidó from an open town hall from the Plaza Bolívar in the municipality of Chacao .He also added that: "The destination site of that march will be to demand the definitive cessation of the usurpation ." "There are more than 3100 Help and Freedom Committees throughout Venezuela , all the places where the committees were founded will be the starting points for the following demonstrations," he added.

    We have been working tirelessly for our country, to recover progress and achieve freedom , here we have not rested. The cry of the Venezuelans today is clearer than ever: Cessation of the usurpation . It is the responsibility of Venezuelans as 209 years ago to give a cry of freedom and accompaniment to achieve the cessation of the usurpation. They could no longer deny that 7 million Venezuelans are in crisis. Despite the obstacles we reach Falcón, Zulia and the citizens are organized in the framework of Operation Libertad.

     We Venezuelans demand for our future, we speak of the freedom operation to speed up hope and the future. While some decreed free days, we have been working tirelessly for our country. Today I can say with absolute certainty, we are the majority mobilized that we are going to change the country , even though they persecute public employees. Do not be afraid, they are the ones who are afraid. Today, April 19, I say: the transition is beginning in Venezuela with the majority of the Venezuelan people . When we say that we are doing well , it is because we are the majority, it is because the Zulia resists, it is because Falcón is in the streets, it is because we go together and we are organized. Again, Guaidó affirms: We call Venezuela, for next May 1 to participate in the largest march ever seen in the world.


        LIMA, PERU --     The Lima Group made up of mostly Latin American countries called on the United Nations on Monday to "take action" to prevent an escalation of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis. The group of 14 countries, which also includes Canada, exhorted U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the General Assembly and the Security Council to "take measures to avoid the progressive deterioration of peace and security, and to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the population of migrants coming from Venezuela." Monday's meeting in Santiago came as Canada announced new sanctions against 41 members of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro's government it holds "responsible for the deterioration of the situation" in the South American country.

    The sanctions included a freeze on the individuals' assets and a ban on them conducting business with Canada, which previously sanctioned another 70 top government officials. The Lima Group was created in 2017 to try to find a solution to Venezuela's economic meltdown. More than four years of recession have left Venezuela in crisis, with the country's poorest residents suffering from shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine. Despite this the South American country sits on the world's largest proven oil reserves. Most Lima Group members refused to recognize Maduro's second term, which began on January 10, due to alleged fraud during his reelection last year.

    The speaker of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, launched a challenge to Maduro's authority in January and has since been backed by more than 50 countries, led by the United States, that recognize him as Venezuela's interim president. Guaido wants to force Maduro, whom he deems to be illegitimate, from office and set up a transitional government ahead of new elections. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ended a whistle-stop tour of South America on Sunday by visiting Colombia's border with Venezuela. There he urged Maduro to reopen the border to allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid that has been stockpiled in the Colombian town of Cucuta for two months now.


   CARACAS, VENEZUELA     -- In the morning hours of this Thursday Santo members of the civil society made a walk in protest to the partisan use that they assure is giving to the delivery of the Humanitarian Aid in the welfare centers, a situation that has provoked the dissatisfaction of patients, according to their denounce. Carlos Salazar, coordinator of the union coalition that groups public sector workers, reported that the protest walk was held in the Santa Rosalía parish from La Milagrosa church to the San Miguel church in El Cementerio, and that parishionersand patients participated in it, teachers and workers, outraged by the discretionary handling of medical supplies that arrived in the country as part of Humanitarian Aid.

    "We are protesting because both the government and the opposition, through their non-governmental organizations, are making a partisan use of this aid. We want these contributions from friendly countries and institutions to be distributed by the society of patients, schools of doctors, medical society, nurses' school and workers, "said Salazar. In the opinion of the coordinator of the union coalition, this humanitarian aid should be distributed mainly to patients who are confined in hospitals and not outside them. "The requirement of medical records and reports is not an accurate measure," he added.

    "The Follow-up Commission should establish control mechanisms with resident doctors of hospitals. The Medical Federation must also participate, and create a social comptroller in which the workers and the society of patients participate, only this way will be able to guarantee impartiality in the delivery of the medicines, "he said. People's achievement  On Tuesday, April 16, the Venezuelan Red Cross made a call to depoliticize Humanitarian Aid, considering that it represents an achievement of the Venezuelan people. Through an official statement Mario Villarroel, national director of the aforementioned humanitarian organization recalled that the fundamental principles that govern the international movement of the Red Cross are neutrality, impartiality and independence.

APRIL 19,  2019


     MIAMI, FLORIDA   --    The US government strengthened on Wednesday the embargo on Cuba and further restricted travel and remittances to the communist island, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said in a speech in Miami. Bolton lambasted the regimes of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba – led by Nicolas Maduro, Daniel Ortega and Miguel Diaz-Canel, respectively – calling them the “troika of tyranny” and the “stooges of socialism.”  In addition to tightening the US embargo on Cuba, which had been announced on Tuesday by the Trump administration, the new package of measures designed to increase pressure on the three regimes includes other “economic tools” to “end the glamorization of socialism and communism.”

     Bolton confirmed that starting on May 2 plaintiffs will be able to turn to the US courts to seek indemnities from international companies with an economic presence in the US for properties confiscated in Cuba after 1959 and then used by those firms for their business activities on the island, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had unveiled a few hours earlier in Washington. “Americans who have had their private and hard-earned property stolen in Cuba will finally be allowed to sue,” said Bolton. It is expected that in particular the measure will affect Spanish, Canadian and British firms having investments in properties or expropriated assets on the island and who will conceivably face legal action in the US along with visa restrictions.

     “Anyone who traffics in property stolen from Americans will not be issued a visa to the United States. They are not welcome here,” stated Bolton regarding the activation of Titles III and IV of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act that tightens the embargo on Cuba. The hardline national security adviser also said that remittances sent by exiles or other family members to relatives in Cuba will be limited to $1,000 per quarter and that the US Treasury Department will also “restrict non-family travel to Cuba, or in other words, ‘veiled tourism.’” In addition, Bolton added that five Cuban companies linked to “Cuba’s military, intelligence and security services and personnel,” including Aerogaviota, will be added to the Cuba Restricted List of entities with whom direct financial transactions are prohibited.


        WASHINGTON, D.C.        Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Banco Central de Venezuela, or the Central Bank of Venezuela, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended, for operating in the financial sector of the Venezuelan economy. Additionally, OFAC designated Iliana Josefa Ruzza Terán (Ruzza), pursuant to E.O. 13692, as amended, who is determined to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela. “Treasury is designating the Central Bank of Venezuela to prevent it from being used as a tool of the illegitimate Maduro regime, which continues to plunder Venezuelan assets and exploit government institutions to enrich corrupt insiders,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States is committed to helping the Venezuelan people.

     While this designation will inhibit most Central Bank activities undertaken by the illegitimate Maduro regime, the United States has taken steps to ensure that regular debit and credit card transactions can proceed and personal remittances and humanitarian assistance continue unabated and are able to reach those suffering under the Maduro regime’s repression.” This action targets a key entity and individual in Venezuela’s financial sector, which the Maduro regime continues to exploit in order to stay in power, and illustrates the Trump Administration’s resolve to prevent the Maduro regime from gaining access to the U.S. financial system, including through Venezuela’s central bank.

     As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of this entity and individuals, and any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entity or individual, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 13692 or E.O. 13850, both as amended, who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the illegitimate Maduro regime, and combat corruption in Venezuela.


   MOSCOW, RUSSIA     --  Russia today rejected the new round of sanctions imposed by EE. UU against the Central Bank of Venezuela and the announcement of the reactivation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows the claiming before US courts of property expropriated after the Cuban Revolution. "All this is totally unacceptable. Let's oppose it. Venezuela and Cuba are our allies in this region, they are our strategic partners. We will do everything that depends on us to receive our support, "Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Riabkov said today, according to the official agency RIA Nóvosti.

      Riabkov called these sanctions "absolutely illegal and legitimate". The senior diplomat expressed his satisfaction with the response of several states - such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU) - that opposed the implementation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. "We join the voices of those who condemn US impositions on Latin America or any other region of the world," said the Russian deputy minister. For its part, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajárova, said at his weekly press conference that Moscow "is against any unilateral sanction."

     "Sanctions are only possible if they are measures that are prepared within the framework of international institutions, such as the UN, on the basis of international law, collectively," he said. The diplomat indicated that this type of decision should not be taken based on the interest of a single country. In the specific case of Cuba, he pointed out that these are interests that are not even State-owned but rather a political group, recalling that during the presidency of Barack Obama there was a rapprochement between Washington and Havana.

APRIL 18,  2019


     WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    The United States announced a raft of new sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua on Wednesday, as it seeks to pressure what it has dubbed the western hemisphere’s “trioka of tyranny,” reported dpa news. US National Security Advisor John Bolton revealed new caps on remittances to the island, limited to $1,000 dollars per person per quarter. Travel to Cuba will be restricted for US citizens to family-visits only, a significant new blow to the island’s tourism industry. The details of the new restrictions will be forthcoming. The latest moves include sanctions on the Venezuelan central bank and its director. Bolton also announced on Wednesday sanctions against a huge “slush fund” used by Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, as well as targeting Ortega’s son Laureano who heads the government investment program called Pro-Nicaragua.

      The National Security Advisor also issued a sharp warning to “external actors,” including Russia, to stay out of the US sphere of influence in the region. US President Bill Clinton signing the Helms Burton Act in 1996. Photo: Regarding Cuba, Washington will on May 2 lift a ban which had prohibited US citizens from suing foreign companies and individuals utilizing property confiscated from them by the Cuban government. Those who use such property will also face visa restrictions to the US. The move would likely hurt foreign investment on the island as companies try to protect themselves from the tentacles of the US Treasury Department.

     The European Union and Canada, both whose corporations have significant investments in Cuba, criticized the moves against the island, jointly saying any US claims could set off “an unnecessary spiral of legal actions,” as they would be matched by counter-claims in both jurisdictions. The EU said it “is ready to protect” its interests. Kimberly Breier, a senior State Department official, said European firms would have nothing to worry about from operating in Cuba provided they are not using property confiscated from Cuban-Americans. “There will not be any exemptions,” Breier added. Cuba denounced the US measures as an attack on international law and its sovereignty. “Aggressive US escalation against Cuba will fail. As in Giron (Bay of Pigs), we shall overcome,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted, referring to the failed US-backed invasion of the island in 1961 that aimed to overthrow the Communist revolutionary government.


        MIAMI, FLORIDA       --National Security Adviser John Bolton on Wednesday announced new sanctions against the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in a speech to Cuban exiles in Miami in which he reiterated that the current US administration does not support "dictators," nor abandon "never" to those who fight against communism. Bolton's speech before the Association of Veterans of the Bay of Pigs is especially symbolic for Cubans because it coincides with the 58th anniversary of the failed US invasion of the island in 1961, which sought to overthrow Fidel Castro. With harsh words, Bolton reported that the Donald Trump administration has given the green light to Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which gives Americans the right to sue companies that profite with property confiscated by Cuba in the 1960s.

"We have decided to end the exemptions of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, once and for all," said Bolton emphatically, in apparent allusion that all US presidents since Bill Clinton have suspended this section for fear of bothering US allies. and complicate the long-standing bad relationships with Havana. The decision represents a drastic change in more than two decades of US policy towards Havana. Bolton also announced other sanctions against the island, whose authorities he accuses of helping to sustain the government in dispute with Nicolás Maduro, which include more restrictions on visits by Americans to the island and establish limits on sending family remittances, fixing up $ 1,000 per quarter the amount allowed as of now.
"The Cuban regime clenched its fist and extended its tentacles," Bolton said.

     For years, the Cuban regime has smothered Venezuela and contributed directly to the current crisis for its own gain and survival. At this moment, Havana continues to prop up (to Maduro), "he said. He called Maduro "puppet" of Cuba, adding that he has used the same tactics to repress the opposition: "We know what the roots of the Venezuelan collectives are," he said, referring to similar groups operating in Cuba. He also referred to the pressure being exerted by the United States in the case of Venezuela and said that the sanctions are being applied "in a transparent, aggressive and effective manner." He said that what they are looking for on the island is to support the Cuban people to "promote freedom of assembly and expression."


   MIAMI, FLORIDA    --  The United States is restricting travel to Cuba and how much money Americans can send to family members in the Caribbean nation, national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday. The announcement, made at a Bay of Pigs Veterans Association event in Miami, is a reversal of President Barack Obama's attempts to loosen restrictions and normalize relations with Cuba.

     Under the new policy, Americans may send up to $1,000 per person every three months. Under the Obama administration, remittances to Cuba were unlimited.   Bolton also announced new restrictions on travel, which will be limited to family visits only. The national security adviser also used the event to criticize Venezuela and Nicaragua, which, together with Cuba, he described as "the troika of tyranny."

     "The United States looks forward to watching each corner of this sordid triangle of terror fall: in Havana, in Caracas and in Managua." Bolton announced new sanctions on the Central Bank of Venezuela, which he said props up the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Bancorp, which he described as a "slush fund" for Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.    Wednesday's announcement is the latest in a series of moves by the Trump administration to unravel Obama's normalization efforts. In March, the State Department said it planned to reduce B2 tourist visavalidity for Cuban nationals to three months with a single entry from five years of multiple entries. And earlier this month, the Trump administration canceled an agreement that would have allowed Cuban baseball players to play in Major League Baseball.

APRIL 17,  2019


     WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    Donald Trump's government will allow for the first time that suits be filed in US courts against all foreign companies doing business with Cuba using properties confiscated from Cuban-Americans and other citizens of the country, a senior official said on Tuesday. in Washington. The measure, which will be formally announced on Wednesday, could expose US, European and Canadian companies to legal action and complicate the communist government's efforts to attract more foreign investment.

     Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, will also announce new sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua on Wednesday , said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Trump is acting after a threat issued in January to allow a controversial law that has been suspended since its creation in 1996, allowing US citizens to sue foreign companies for properties seized in the 1960s by the Cuban government. The State Department plans to let a provision known as Title III of the Helms-Burton Act go into effect.

     All the presidents have suspended it in the last 23 years due to opposition from the international community and fears that it creates chaos in the United States judicial system with a flood of lawsuits. The European Union warned Washington that any measure that allows US citizens to sue foreign companies doing business in Cuba could lead to litigation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a cycle of claims in European courts. Relations between the United States and Cuba have deteriorated strongly since Trump became president, partially reversing the detente initiated by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama and returning to the rhetoric of the Cold War.


      CARACAS, VENEZUELA     --The president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó announced on Tuesday that on April 19 there will be a large open meeting to offer a balance sheet and continue fine-tuning strategies for the cessation of the usurpation. "Know the people of Venezuela that this Holy Week we will continue working, this next April 19 we will have a new open council to see how the balance has advanced to continue the cessation of the usurpation," said Guaidó during the Consultative Assembly held at the headquarters of the National Assembly (AN).

      Guaidó also addressed the arrival of humanitarian aid to Venezuela by the International Federation of the Red Cross, congratulating first the Humanitarian Aid Committee and highlighting the fact that the Maduro regime allowed the entry of inputs. "For there to be humanitarian assistance, you want to say that there is a humanitarian crisis, that means a humanitarian emergency. We have complaints and indicators to recognize the humanitarian crisis," he said.

     He added that Chavez officials now acknowledge that they are murderers of more than 7 million Venezuelans, because they recognize the humanitarian crisis that they have generated and that they have been denying for several years. "How from one day to the next did the UN recognize what 7 million Venezuelans were suffering? This regime does not protect anyone, today humanitarian aid came in because the crisis was visible," he said. "They created the complex emergency, there is no rhetoric that endures such abuse against the people of Venezuela. Today, with great responsibility, we celebrate the effort of Venezuelans to demand their rights. " The aid, which is coordinated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and comes from this organization in Panama, will be distributed in 28 hospitals in the country and in eight primary care centers.


   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --  The amount, which would amount to almost 9 tons, was reflected in a fall in the bank's total reserves, which fell to $ 8.6 billion on April 12, according to data provided by the central bank. About $ 5.1 billion of that is gold. The sale could mean that President Nicolás Maduro has found a way to get around the economic blockade. Maduro has flown through reserves, selling gold to firms in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, as sanctions increasingly remove his authoritarian regime from the global financial system.

     While maintaining absolute control over power on the ground, including the military and government bureaucracy, opposition leader Juan Guaido is using the support of dozens of countries to slowly seize Venezuela's financial assets abroad. The United States, which recognizes Guaido as the nation's legitimate leader, sanctioned state gold producer Minerven last month. He said that the lucrative trade in the precious metal keeps the military loyal to Maduro.

     The fall in total reserves could also mean that the bank is canceling the gold it can no longer access, including some of the $ 1.2 billion stored in the Bank of England. The bank has denied the government's requests to repatriate it. The central bank of Venezuela, headed by Calixto Ortega, has been operating with what it calls an emergency team of only about 100 workers of about 2,000, since a blackout left its headquarters without running water. The group has been working from a library with the help of water tanks, focusing on vital tasks such as transactions between local banks and reserves.

APRIL 16,  2019


     TEHRAN, IRAN    --   The theocracy of Iran offered dictator Nicolás Maduro an alarming support: members of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) could participate in the protection of the dictatorship he commands, according to data obtained by Infobae. The disturbing offer was made in the last week and promised to be evaluated - and perhaps accepted - by the chavista. That armed body was recently declared by the United States as a terrorist group and is one of the main promoters of fundamentalism in the Middle East and the rest of the world. The offer was made by the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif to Maduro, who anticipated that he would gladly accept the treat in moments of such weakness of the Caracas regime.

     The IRGC is a special force of Tehran dedicated to operations outside the borders of its country. With the elite corps formed by Quds Forces, Iran operated in the recent civil war in Syria, crushing the rebel opponents of dictator Bashar Al-Assad. Iran did it jointly with Russia. However, It is not yet clear whether the offer was made with knowledge of Moscow, although it is likely. During the vicious Syrian armed conflict, the most outstanding individual was the current commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani, one of the most prepared generals who responded directly to Ayatollah Khamenei. The military is a fundamental piece in the external planning of the Iranian theocratic regime. To such an extent that all military decisions in the rest of the world, including Latin America, pass through him. It should be noted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards of Iran (IRGC) is responsible for many human rights abuses all over the world.

    The proposal of Zarif to the Venezuelan dictator coincides with another worrying fact: the restart of direct flights between Tehran and Caracas. They are known as "aeroterror" because of the arms and drug traffic they represent. The agreement was signed on the last visit made by the head of the Department for the Americas of the Foreign Ministry of Iran, Mohsen Baharvand who acted as spokesman for the foreign minister. Mahan Air's first flight to the Venezuelan capital departed from Imam Khomeini International Airport on Monday, April 8, linking Tehran with that city. In the plane, Baharvand traveled to meet Maduro. Along with him flew a delegation to advise the Chavista in times of crisis. Also were in the flight executives of the airline, who met with their counterparts of Conviasa to finalize details of the new partnership. The Iranian offer ignited alarms throughout the region. Mainly because of the presence of Russian military, which would be joined by new troops and technology shipments in the coming weeks, now when the Chavista dictator has formally added Iranians uniformed, the same who control, for example, Hezbollah a terrorist organization with extensive ties with the Caracas regime. The so-feared "syrialization" of Venezuela is under way.


      OTTAWA, CANADA    --In response to the Maduro regime's attempts to strengthen its authoritarian rule over Venezuela, Canada today announces its fourth round of sanctions against key figures in the regime, in addition to the 70 who have already been sanctioned. Under the Law of Special Economic Measures, Chancellor Chrystia Freeland today announces specific sanctions against 43 people responsible for the deterioration of the situation in Venezuela. They are senior officials of the Maduro regime, regional governors and / or are directly involved in activities that undermine democratic institutions.

      "During the meeting of the Lima Group held in Ottawa on February 4, 2019, we asked the international community to take measures against the Maduro regime. Today, Canada is taking that action by holding 43 people accountable for their role in the worsening situation in Venezuela, "Freeland said during the meeting of foreign ministers of the Lima Group in Santiago, Chile.

     These measures are taken in response to the anti-democratic actions of the Maduro regime, in particular related to the repression and persecution of members of the interim government, censorship and the excessive use of force against civil society, which undermines the independence of the judicial power and other democratic institutions.


   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --  The plan of the United States Government that with direct pressure on the Venezuelan military would force the fall of Nicolás Maduro has not yielded the expected results. According to ABC,John Bolton, National Security Adviser at the White House, personally contacted the Venezuelan Minister of Defense, General Vladimir Padrino, last month to urge him to turn his back on Maduro. success. Seeing how Maduro resists the toughest economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, foreign policy makers in the Donald Trump team are running out of options prior to military intervention, ABC reports .

    Next week, three months have passed since Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president in charge of Venezuela with the support of the United States. The White House has maneuvered to obtain the backing of Democrats and Republicans in the application of an embargo on the purchase of Venezuelan crude oil and to sanction companies that do business with the regime. In addition, Donald Trump has managed to get 54 countries to recognize Guaidó as legitimate president, the only one with the power to call general elections once Maduro falls. For this to happen, Bolton and his team have directly contacted the most powerful generals in the regime, urging them to recognize Guaidó to avoid jail and protect their heritage.

    At the moment, according to the figures handled by the US Department of State, only 1,500 soldiers, mostly low-income, have left the regime and are waiting for a change in the border of Colombia with Venezuela. As reported by the Casla Institute, which investigates the torture of the regime, it has intensified reprisals against relatives of deserters, with kidnappings and torture to deter those who are planning an escape. Washington believes that there are some 20,000 Cubans infiltrated in Venezuela's military and security apparatus. The Organization of American States estimates that the actual figure may rise to 46,000. The difference between Trump's firm pronouncements and his highest officials - "all options are on the table," is the phrase that the American president has repeated the most - and the prudence with which they act while the crisis is perpetuated has provoked an growing unease among the opponents. "We expected more from the White House after they promised us so much," a Venezuelan diplomat appointed by Guaidó told ABC yesterday, asking that his identity not be revealed so as not to provoke tensions with Washington.

APRIL 16,  2019


      WASHINGTON, D.C.    --  Having strangled Venezuela's economy with its ever-expanding sanctions, the US has now volunteered to negotiate a $10 billion trade aid package to give to Caracas – but not until its own protege is in power. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the US has been leading the effort to salvage the Venezuelan economy, which his own country has been choking off with the long and continuously growing list of punitive measures. The help will only be available to the "new government" of self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido, who Washington has been backing in a push for regime change in Caracas.  "We're going to be working on trying to put together a consortium of about $10 billion of trade finance that would be available for the new government to spark trade," Mnuchin said.

      Venezuela has been battling with soaring inflation, which made basic goods unaffordable for the general public and gave rise to a flourishing black market. A shortage of food and water as well as near-daily blackouts triggered mass migration from Venezuela, as its economy lies in tatters. The economic woes have been exacerbated by political turmoil, with the US and its allies betting on Guaido to exploit the economic hardship and incite a coup against the elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

     Speaking after the meeting, Mnuchin said that the ministers agreed to "support robust engagement by the international financial institutions to assist interim president Guaido's government as it prepares for new elections," noting that "very significant trade finance" would also be needed to revitalize the country's private sector. For now, though, the US and about 50 countries that have vouched for Guaido will keep pushing to see him come to power. "We will continue to support Venezuela in its transition to a legitimate government as soon as possible to meet the people's aspirations for a better life and democratic future," Mnuchin said.


      WASHINGTON, D.C.     -- Hugo Carvajal, the former intelligence chief of Hugo Chávez arrested in Madrid, is a living encyclopedia of the criminal operations of Chavez and could be devastating for Nicolás Maduro's regime if he collaborates with the US authorities. This is how el nuevo herald.comreviews it. Experts said that Carvajal - known as El Pollo - is literally the man who knows too much.

     To cooperate, "could become the most important witness in the criminal history of Venezuela" given that as director of Military Intelligence, kept spies for more than a decade to all members of the regime, documenting their criminal activities in files that later they could be used against them in case they tried to be disloyal to Chavez. "They arrested the man who has more information, collected during 12 contiguous years, of all the criminal activities of the Chávez regime, setting up the criminal library in Venezuela," said security adviser Martín Rodil. "He built intelligence files on all the criminal activities in which the regime has been involved since the time of Chávez - be it drug trafficking, arms trafficking, human trafficking, corruption and money laundering.

     It has the details of all the actors and all the crimes committed during the Chávez and Maduro era, "said Rodil, an expert in the criminal operations of the Bolivarian regime. Drugs, guerrillas and passenger planes. Carvajal had fallen into the sights of American justice since authorities discovered that he had become one of the main links between the government of then President Hugo Chávez and the FARC.Since then, "they, through the Cartel of the Suns, facilitated the movement of cocaine from the FARC through Venezuela," said one of the sources consulted by the Nuevo Herald that spoke on condition of anonymity.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.    --  Once again the statements of members of the US government about the situation in Venezuela open the question about military intervention. In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Craig Faller, head of the US Southern Command and a four-star admiral, assured that his command is "looking at a range" of options and "will be ready" for any decision President Donald Trump makes. "We are on the tip of our feet," Faller continued. For Faller, the situation of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela is comparable to that of Bashar al-Assad of Syria. "The crisis could approach that level by the end of this year if Maduro is still in power. It's so bad, "Faller said.

     These statements were made in the middle of an interview in which the admiral discussed about the American concern regarding the influence of China in the world and the issue of Venezuela appeared in the dialogue when referring to its growth in Latin America. It's not the first time. The path of military intervention in Venezuela is an issue that few officials refer directly to, but which can be read between the lines in the United States discourse regarding political change in the neighboring country. Trump has ensured that "all options are on the table." Mike Pence, his vice president, has also repeatedly sends the same message. In addition, John Bolton, US National Security Adviser, let the world see some annotations on his notepad that indicated: "5,000 soldiers to Colombia."

      And last Tuesday Republican Senator Rick Scott, said that "there is only one option to bring help to the people of Venezuela, and is something that nobody wants to talk about. However, It is becoming clear that we will have to consider the use of US military assets to bring aid."   He added that the goal is to support Guaidó to prepare for democratic elections in the neighboring country and also that it will be a "long and costly process to rebuild Venezuela after many years of bad economic policies and kleptocracy." The ministers will begin to talk about a sort of 'Marshall Plan' to help the neighboring country to recover economically and socially once the government of Chavez has ended. "We agreed to closely monitor the situation in Venezuela," said the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, saying that his country and its allies will continue to support that country "in its transition to a legitimate government as soon as possible."

APRIL 13,  2019


      MADRID, SPAIN    --   Hugo Carvajal, the former director of Venezuela’s military intelligence and a high-profile critic of the Nicolás Maduro regime, has been arrested in Spain and is awaiting extradition to the United States on drug charges, according to local reports. Carvajal has been in the U.S. crosshairs since at least 2014 on allegations that he helped Colombian drug cartels operate out of Venezuela, but he stepped into the spotlight earlier this year when he broke with Maduro and threw his support behind interim President Juan Guaidó — the man whom Washington and more than 50 other nations recognize as president.

     Carvajal’s detention comes at a tricky time for Guaidó — who has been promising military officials who defect from Maduro that they would receive amnesty for some of their crimes. Carvajal is one of the few high-ranking officials to openly break with Maduro, although the crimes he’s accused of wouldn’t have fallen under the amnesty program. Carvajal has slipped U.S. law enforcement officials before. In 2014, he was briefly detained by the government of Aruba but successfully fought off the U.S. extradition request. According to a U.S. indictment from the Southern District of Florida unsealed in 2014, Carvajal is accused of helping Colombia’s North Valley Cartel, including drug don Wílber “Jabón” Valera, move its trafficking empire to Venezuela in 2004. Valera was killed there in 2008.

     In exchange for bribes, Carvajal and others provided information about military and police investigations that helped Varela export cocaine to the United States, according to the indictment. The document also alleges that Carvajal was responsible for selling hundreds of kilograms of cocaine to factions of the North Valley Cartel. He’s also accused of coordinating the shipment of 5.6 tons of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico. Carvajal, a congressman and longtime confidant of the late President Hugo Chávez, is thought to have information that would be damaging to the Maduro government. Venezuela’s military has long been suspected of being involved in the drug trade, and a handful of military officials are on the U.S. Treasury Department’s drug kingpin blacklist.


      WASHINGTON, D.C.     -- Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA sent 1 million barrels of oil to Cuba days after the United States imposed new sanctions on a group of vessels and companies that participate in exports to the island, according to a PDVSA document and tracking data. With the actions, the administration of Donald Trump's government seeks to stop the crude trade between the two political allies. The tankers Trident Hope and S-Trotter left the Venezuelan port of Jose between Wednesday and Thursday bound for Cuba. The first carries 600,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil Zuata 300 and the second will deliver 400,000 barrels of Merey crude.

     Last week, Washington sanctioned 34 vessels owned or operated by PDVSA, as well as two companies and one vessel that previously delivered oil to Cuba, with the aim of impacting on the supply of crude that is crucial for the island. Jorge Arreaza said during the week that the OPEC nation plans to "fulfill its commitments" with Cuba. The leader of the island's Communist Party, Raul Castro, responded that Cuba would never abandon its ally.

     Venezuela has always sent subsidized crude to Cuba. The United States describes the agreement as an "oil for repression" scheme in which Havana helps Nicolás Maduro to cope with an economic crisis and a power struggle in exchange for fuel. Neither the Trident Hope nor the S-Trotter were among the vessels sanctioned by the United States last week. Data from two other vessels destined for Cuba were waiting to load with raw or refined products from Venezuela. But one of them, the Despina Andrianna carrying 500,000 barrels of oil for Cuba's state oil company Cupet, is among the vessels sanctioned. Neither PDVSA nor the Ministry of Petroleum responded immediately to requests for comments.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.    --   Secretary of the Treasury met with finance ministers from various countries to talk about Venezuela.   At the conclusion of the meeting, in a harsh statement, after a meeting with finance ministers from around the world on the situation in Venezuela, thE Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Steven T. Mnuchin, said that in that country there is a 'kleptocracy', that is, that thieves rule there. This is the fifth meeting of ministers in which the political and humanitarian crisis of the neighboring nation is addressed. Mnuchin, whose office manages the feared Clinton List and has included Nicolás Maduro and his top bishops, said it is proven that the regime uses the resources of Venezuelans for their own benefit and to stay in power.

      Thus, he said that the United States will continue to look for the international community to take more steps every day to put pressure on the Miraflores government and to "support the democratically elected National Assembly and interim president Juan Guaidó." In that meeting in Washington, Ricardo Hausmann, the economic adviser appointed by Guaidó, participates. According to Mnuchin, there is a hemispheric consensus that the plans announced by the interim President will serve to "stabilize Venezuela's financial system, banish public corruption and promote economic growth."

     He added that the goal is to support Guaidó to prepare for democratic elections in the neighboring country and also that it will be a "long and costly process to rebuild Venezuela after many years of bad economic policies and kleptocracy." The ministers will begin to talk about a sort of 'Marshall Plan' to help the neighboring country to recover economically and socially once the government of Chavez has ended. "We agreed to closely monitor the situation in Venezuela," said the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, saying that his country and its allies will continue to support that country "in its transition to a legitimate government as soon as possible."

APRIL 12,  2019


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --    Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido said on Wednesday that “never again” will the opposition engage in “false dialogues” with the regime of Nicolas Maduro, who he contends has “usurped” the presidency. “We Venezuelans are not offering ourselves for any false dialogue,” Guaido, who has been recognized as the country’s leader by more than 50 nations, said during a protest in eastern Caracas favoring the efforts that Western Hemisphere and European countries have made to find a solution to the Venezuelan crisis via dialogue.

    The opposition leader added that a route had been “very clearly” drawn toward achieving a solution to Venezuela’s crisis and he noted that that route includes “ending the usurpation” by Maduro, the establishment of a transition government and the holding of “free” elections. “Any multilateral organization, entity, envoy or country who wants to cooperate to end the usurpation, (set up) a transition government and (hold) free elections, welcome; but never again any false dialogues. Never again,” he emphasized. To deal with the Venezuelan conflict, both the European Union and certain Latin American countries have created mechanisms to try and find common ground among the parties and reach a solution.

     Specifically, the EU created the so-called Contact Group – comprised of Spain, Germany, France and five other nations in the European bloc, while Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) set up the Montevideo Mechanism. On Monday, the EU met to discuss the progress of the Contact Group and later announced that it will accelerate its diplomatic efforts to find a solution to the political crisis in Venezuela, but did not rule out sanctioning Venezuelan authorities if it finds them responsible for violence. Meanwhile, Maduro called on Saturday on the members of the Montevideo Mechanism to “retake” the initiative to push forward with political dialogue in his country.


      WASHINGTON, D.C.     --  Commander of U.S. Southern Command Craig Faller, testifies during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 7. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) As U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security team mulls a military intervention to oust Venezuela’s strongman president, Nicolás Maduro, the Pentagon is watching China’s commercial and financial creep in the crisis-gripped nation with growing alarm. In an interview with Foreign Policy, Adm. Craig Faller, the four-star military officer who heads U.S. Southern Command, pointed to a Chinese disinformation campaign designed to blame the United States for the blackouts that devastated Venezuela in recent weeks.  Maduro, whose government is backed by China, Russia, and Cuba, has himself publicly accused the U.S. Defense Department of causing the blackouts. Following the power failures, Beijing offered to help the Venezuelan government restore its grid.

     “China came out publicly, a state spokesman, implying the blackouts were attributable to U.S. cyberattacks,” Faller said during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. “That is just such a blatant lie. The blackouts are attributed to Maduro’s inept leadership, corruption, inattention to his people, and lack of concern for any humanity.” The Pentagon is worried about China in other arenas as well. In the Pacific, China is building up its military capability, intimidating its smaller neighbors, and threatening Taiwan. In Africa, Beijing is using debt diplomacy to gain control of crucial ports and other infrastructure. And in Europe, the Trump administration is pushing NATO to address potential Chinese cyberthreats and commercial threats.

     “I think the biggest threat to democracy and the way of life around the world is the trend that we see in China,” Faller said. He said China was trying to assert economic control in Venezuela by investing in infrastructure and providing hefty loans that Caracas would have difficulty paying back. Much of Beijing’s financial interest in Venezuela is tied to loans-for-oil deals struck between the two countries in 2007. By 2014, the China Development Bank had provided Venezuela with more than $30 billion in loans tied to oil production. These loans have served to prop up the Venezuelan government over the past two decades, “far beyond the point at which its bad policies would have historically caused a change,” said Evan Ellis, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There is no other actor in Latin America, with the possible exception of the Cubans, who as much controls the fate of Nicolás Maduro and his henchman as China does,” Ellis said.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.    --   The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) said Thursday they are ready to help Venezuela, but said they cannot do it until the members of both agencies decide which government they recognize in Caracas. The legitimacy of the government of Venezuela is in question since January, when Juan Guaidó challenged the authority of Nicolás Maduro, amid a worsening of the economic and humanitarian crisis in the South American country. The managing director of the IMF, the French Christine Lagarde, and the new president of the WB, the American David Malpass, expressed their "great concern" about the situation in Venezuela in two press conferences in the framework of the spring meetings of both institutions , which take place this week in Washington.

     Both the IMF and the World Bank are waiting for the positioning of the international community, and therefore of its member countries, for a possible recognition of Guaidó, who has the support of more than 50 countries, including the United States, the main nations of the European Union and Brazil. But Maduro, who assumed a second term on January 10 until 2025 after questioned elections, is usurping power, with internal support from the military and external support in particular from Russia and China. The question of the recognition of one or the other "is not decided by the Bank but by its shareholders," said Malpass, promising that the WB will be involved to address the "humanitarian crisis". "People no longer have the ability to feed themselves," he said.

     In tuning, the director of the IMF said: "We are really very, very worried about the humanitarian crisis that is developing before our eyes in Venezuela," he said, noting that the IMF hopes to be "guided" by its members. "It is up to them to indicate what authority they diplomatically recognize so that we can act," insisted Lagarde. "As soon as they do, we will act," he added. Since 2004, the IMF has not made technical visits to Venezuela to review its accounts, as provided in the bylaws. But Lagarde said despite the fact that the Fund was declared 'persona non grata' in Caracas, it has "enough" information. "We have done all the preparatory work we could (...) to be ready to act in the fastest possible way," he said.

APRIL 11,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --   US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, considered Wednesday that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro represents a "real threat" to US security due to his alliances with Iran, Cuba and Russia. "I do not think there is any doubt that the Maduro regime poses a threat to US security," Pompeo said in an appearance before a Senate committee. In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted the "very real risk" posed by the alleged presence in Venezuela of the Lebanese Shi'ite organization Hezbollah; as well as drug trafficking through Venezuelan territory and its ties with Russia, a country that recently sent two planes with military to Caracas.

      "It combines all this with the relationship with the Cubans and the Cuban circle that surrounds Maduro and it is clear that the old leadership of Venezuela, the Maduro regime, is a real threat to the United States," insisted Pompeo, whose government refers to Maduro as "ex-president". The government of Donald Trump assures that Maduro is protected by agents of Cuban intelligence and, for that reason, has threatened Havana with toughening the embargo that for more than 50 years has been impeding the commercial exchange with the US, which is only 145 kilometers from the island. In addition, Trump has urged Moscow to withdraw from Venezuela the hundred soldiers who arrived at the end of March to Caracas aboard two planes. The Kremlin, Maduro's faithful ally, has defended that its cooperation with Caracas is part of an agreement ratified in 2001 by both countries and has rejected "the destructive interference" of other nations in the internal affairs of the Latin American country.

     Washington leads an international pressure campaign aimed at forcing the exit of Maduro, in power since 2013 and who took office again on January 10 as a result of elections held in May 2018 and questioned by the community international. The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, called on Wednesday to the UN to expel Maduro's ambassador to the organization and recognize as president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó, who claimed the leadership of the State on January 23, considering nule the re-election of Maduro. USA was the first country to recognize Guaidó as president of Venezuela and, since then, has taken several measures to pressure Maduro, including sanctions against the company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the main source of foreign currency for Caracas.


      UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK    --  The Security Council of the United Nations (UN) met on Wednesday to discuss the serious humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, at the request of the United States and was attended by US Vice President Mike Pence, who requested, along with others Member States that the Council address the emergency. Mark Lowcock, Deputy General Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs of the UN, opened the session explaining that the objective of the meeting will revolve around the priority humanitarian assistance in Venezuela. He said that in the country there is a real humanitarian crisis, which has been aggravated by the recent blackouts that have affected the entire national territory. Lowcock explained that 7 million people in Venezuela urgently need humanitarian assistance, which represents 25% of the current population in the country.

     He was emphatic in describing the precariousness of public services in the country, noting that in Venezuela health systems has collapsed due to lack of personnel, supplies and electricity, and the water supply is in crisis, this forces citizens to look for non-potable water. He also adds that the accessibility to basic foods and with the necessary nutrients has decreased alarmingly in the country. He mentioned that the UN is present in the national territory with about 400 workers performing in depth especially in the western states. On the issue of migration, Eduardo Stein, the joint special representative of UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, mentioned that more support is needed for those states that have been governed by the open door initiative and receive the Venezuelans as a result of the high migration that has caused the crisis in Venezuela. "We need more support for Venezuelan migrants, but also, for host countries, we refer to economic support because they also have needs," he said.

    The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, asked the United Nations Security Council to recognize Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela, considering that Nicolás Maduro is usurping power after proclaiming himself president after winning elections that lack legitimacy. Pence called Nicolás Maduro a dictator and urged the usurper to abandon power. "The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, Nicolás Maduro is illegitimate and has to leave," he said. He mentioned that they have adopted different measures to put pressure on the regime with the application of various sanctions, and he was emphatic in saying that, as mentioned by Donald Trump, they may be more severe in their actions. He promised that new sanctions will come against the dictatorship and against Cuba, and reiterated that the US government is still considering all options.


   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --   The sharp decline in Venezuela's oil production accelerated last March, with a fall of 28.3% from the February level, to 732,000 barrels per day, according to estimates published today by the Organization of the Exporting Countries of Venezuela. Oil (OPEC). The figures, calculated on the basis of "secondary sources", that is, estimates of various independent institutes, and presented in the monthly report of OPEC on the evolution of the world crude market, reveal a sharp worsening of the crisis that the industry is going through. of the Latin American country since 2015.

Venezuelan pumping dropped by 289,000 bd within a month and current production is the lowest in more than three decades, with the exception of the collapse in 2002 and 2003, when a strike at state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) sank the extractions below 100,000 barrels per day for several months. Within OPEC, Venezuela has gone from being the third producer (when pumping more than 3 mbd) to occupying the tenth position, ahead only of Ecuador, Congo, Gabon and Guinea. Regarding the average level of extractions for the year 2017 (1.9 mbd), the current decline is already over 60%.

     Although the numbers provided by Caracas to OPEC, which also publishes the document, do not coincide, they show the same trend, with an even more pronounced monthly collapse of 472,000 bd, almost 33% of the 960,000 bd that would have been the level pumping official. The problems in the state oil company, including multiple investigations for corruption and the selective non-payment to some suppliers, have dragged on for months the already serious financial and economic crisis in the country, which has the largest proven reserves of crude oil in the plant. But the situation has gotten even worse with the new batches of US sanctions against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, which is fighting with the opposition led by the head of Parliament, Juan Guaidó, to control the state oil company and its subsidiary. in the US, Citgo.

APRIL 10,  2019


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA     --   The president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, recognized by more than 50 countries, said on Tuesday that he has supported "very discreet" communications with Venezuelan military personnel, noting that the armed forces of his country do not escape the overwhelming majority that want a change of government. " We have had very discreet communications , of course with the military, but now is not the time to give some clarifications because unfortunately here (Venezuela) there is a dictatorship. Persecution is the order of the day, " said Guaidó in an interview with the radio station RPP. He said that "91% of Venezuelans" wants a change in the government of President Nicolás Maduro "and that does not escape the Armed Forces."

     "The military family and all those who are linked to the crisis in Venezuela know what they live," said the leader. According to Guaidó, there are "some important features of discomfort" in the members of the Armed Forces, whom he considered as "the last remaining appendage of support to the dictatorial regime" of Maduro. He argued that the libertarian forces "will continue to fight peacefully, not violently, but very forcefully to achieve that additional step and regain democracy. Guaidó denounced the existence of a thousand political prisoners in his country, including his chief of office Roberto Marrero, while those responsible for sound companies used in opposition demonstrations were briefly detained and must appear before the courts. However, he assured that despite the persecution the support grows.

    Guaidó was proclaimed president in charge on January 23, after the parliament, which had an opposition majority, declared Maduro "usurper" of the presidency, calling his election "fraudulent." Since then, he leads the opposition with a road map: cessation of usurpation, transitional government and free elections. Fifty countries, including Peru, support it. The Venezuelan opposition told RPP that if this route is followed, a new government will "validate all those (obligations) contracted legitimately" by Venezuela. "It will not be a problem for Russia, China or any other country because what will be respected is the rule of law, the constitution, the rescue of the legal security that is lacking today to generate confidence in our economy," he said.


      Washington, d.c.    -- The Organization of American States (OAS) discussed and approved on Tuesday the acceptance as representative of Venezuela to the envoy of the president in charge Juan Guaidó, Gustavo Tarre , with 19 votes in favor. The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) convened an extraordinary session to analyze the situation in Venezuela, which is facing an acute political and economic crisis in the midst of which the opposition leader Juan Guaidó was sworn in as interim president. The session to consider the situation in Venezuela is held after a request submitted by the permanent missions to the Colombian, Argentine, Brazilian, Canadian, Chilean, Paraguayan and Peruvian bodies, the OAS detailed in a statement. Before starting the session, the delegation of the Maduro regime tried to suspend the activity because, in their opinion, it represents a violation of the founding charter of the OAS to approve a resolution that recognizes a different representative of Venezuela in a Council Permanent. "The only way I as a representative of Venezuela can lift me from this chair is to have the resolution approved by the General Assembly in your hands," he said.

     After approving the agenda with 19 votes in favor, the delegate of Colombia , explained the resolution to be approved, and pointed out that the new term of the presidency of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, was declared illegitimate, and declared legitimate the one of the president in charge Juan Guaidó, therefore they exhort to recognize Gustavo Tarre like permanent representative by Venezuela before the OAS. The delegation of Mexico considered that a situation as delicate as this can not be solved with a superiority of votes, but deeply analyzed, arguing that the Permanent Council of the OAS does not have the capacity to decide who represents a State. In the same vein as Mexico, the delegations of Uruguay , Guyana , Antigua and Barbuda and El Salvador supported , stating that the General Assembly has principal powers, therefore, it is the competent body to decide this situation, and not the Permanent Council.

    Also, the delegations of Bolivia and Nicaragua stressed that, to their considerations, the resolution that is intended to approve violates democratic practices. Given the response of some delegations, the representative of Chile went ahead to clarify the full legality of the draft resolution presented, given the confusion with its adoption. The representative of Dominica completely rejected the resolution giving its recognition to the regime of Nicolás Maduro. "Dominica is opposed to this resolution and if it were to be approved, we ask for our position to be placed at the bottom of the page." The same position was assumed by the representative of Suriname , who stated that they would vote against the resolution. After all this, a vote was held where, with 18 votes in favor and 9 votes against and 8 abstentions, the Permanent Council approved a resolution recognizing the representative of the president in charge, Juan Guaidó, Gustavo Tarré as Ambassador of Venezuela.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.   --Carlos Vecchio, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States, affirmed that the defeat suffered on Tuesday by the Nicolás Maduro regime in the Organization of American States (OAS), with the official and full recognition of Ambassador Gustavo Tarre, vindicates the struggle of millions of Venezuelans for the cessation of usurpation and the conquest of freedom and democracy. "We have insisted that the struggle we are giving to the rescue of democracy involves pressure in three areas: on the streets of Venezuela, as happened again this weekend, in the institutional struggle that is taking place every day from the National Assembly, and in the international community. Today most of the countries in the OAS have formally recognized the interim government of President Juan Guaidó and Ambassador Gustavo Tarre officially occupies the representation of Venezuela; Today the usurpation before the OAS ceases and this defeat of the Maduro regime is a key step for the cessation of the usurpation in Venezuela, "said Vecchio.

    For the envoy of President Guaidó in Washington, "today the governments of the Americas are vindicating, with their clear support, the millions of Venezuelans who risk their lives daily in the streets, in the protests, in the committees for the defense of freedom. This is an indisputable step for the cessation of the usurpation, a step dedicated to the millions of Venezuelan students, mothers, workers, the patients who courageously stand firm with President Guaidó in Venezuela against a dictatorship that is increasingly more isolated and without any popular support base. " Vecchio insisted on the sense of urgency of Operation Libertad developed by President Guaidó, stating that "what is at stake in Venezuela is not only the survival of democracy, what is at stake is the survival of millions of Venezuelans whose life is threatened by hunger, scarcity, insecurity, the lack of basic services and the repression of a criminal regime capable of killing to keep power sequestered.

    Given this we do not stop for a minute, we move forward to achieve the cessation of usurpation, the transitional government and free and transparent elections that allow Venezuelans to recover the happiness they have stolen from us, that better Venezuela we all deserve. " The Ambassador praised the work that the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, has been doing uninterruptedly for the humanitarian and freedom cause of Venezuela. "As Secretary Almagro says, our democratic DNA is intact despite the regime's attempts to bend a whole people that decided to change." Vecchio recalled that "Venezuela always defended the democracies in the continent, in fact, when the Dominican Republic was threatened by the Cuban dictatorship, Venezuela mobilized the OAS to suspend Cuba as an interventionist. Today, the OAS honors its democratic commitment to Venezuela and tells us that hope was born so as not to die. The leadership of President Juan Guaidó with this regional recognition is compelling. Venezuela: Let's go well! "

APRIL 9,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D.C.     --   When journalists asked President Trump at the end of March how he would get the Russians out of Venezuela, the president said that "all options are open." This implies in fact the warning of a possible military action. And his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, then released a statement that evoked the Monroe Doctrine. "We strongly warned external actors in the Western Hemisphere against the deployment of military assets in Venezuela, or anywhere else in the Hemisphere, with the intention of establishing or expanding military operations." We consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to peace and international security in the region, " Bolton affirmed.

     Historically, the idea that the US has a special influence in Latin America has been based on the Monroe Doctrine. Introduced by President James Monroe in 1823 and summarized in the phrase "America for the Americans," that doctrine rejected colonialism on the continent and established that any European intervention would be seen as an aggression that would require US intervention, which then he expanded his own influence in the hemisphere. But the Kremlin has rejected the calls of Trump and his government, noting, according to the Russian agency RIA, that its presence in Venezuela was agreed with the government of that country and is legal. Some experts are beginning to question whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will approach Venezuela in a situation like the one that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev faced in the US sphere of influence during the Cuban missile crisis.

     "Putin has taken a big risk here, by publicly positioning a Russian military and cyber contingent in Venezuela, far from Russian territory, and in an area of the world where the US has an overwhelming military dominance," says Kimberly Marten, a professor at the Barnard College of Columbia University specializing in international security and Russia. "If Putin has calculated correctly, then perhaps it will dissuade any direct US action, or perhaps make a space for Russia to sit at the negotiating table to remove Maduro while protecting Russian interests, "Marten said in statements to BBC World. But she warns that if Putin miscalculated, "he runs the risk of subjecting his military personnel in Venezuela to a direct attack by the US that they cannot match" and creating "an escalation of the conflict between two nuclear superpowers." "That's what Khrushchev risked in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962," says Marten. "We can only hope that this conflict will be resolved as peacefully as that one."


      BRUSSELS, BELGIUM   -- "We are going to intensify the work on the political path, preparing the ground for elections to be held freely and transparently as soon as possible," said the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, at a press conference at the term of a Council of Community Ministers. The European leaders discussed the progress of the contact group, which has already held two ministerial meetings and has sent several technical missions to Caracas to talk with all the parties involved in the conflict in the country. Mogherini acknowledged that this objective of an early presidential election "is still far", given the resistance of Venezuelan, Nicolás Maduro. Regarding the "vital" access of humanitarian aid to the country, another of the points on which the contact group works, Mogherini considered "positive" that UN agencies and the Red Cross are operating on the ground.

    The head of Community diplomacy indicated about the mandate of ninety days given by the EU to the contact group that "has no expiration date" and that, only one month after the end of that period, it is expected that "in mid-May the results are reviewed. " "We will decide the route we will follow, but it is not a limited experience in time and it is not a countdown either," he said. Mogherini also referred to the possibility of extending sanctions to personalities of the Maduro regime, an option that the EU maintains on the table. He recalled that those that the EU has in force with restrictive measures directed against specific people "do not affect the Venezuelan people." He commented that they can be "updated in the coming weeks" in case, for example, of the use of force against the population or that the use of democratic institutions be limited or damaged. "Our main concern is the humanitarian and ensure the welfare of the population and remember that there are a million among them of European citizens," he said.

    For his part, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Josep Borrell, was convinced that the EU Member States have to "graduate the sanctions according to the events". "It is in the spirit to act with dissuasive force in the sanctions, but we are not punishing the Venezuelans, but their political leaders," he stressed, in the sense that it is not about "drowning Venezuela until they surrender like a castle medieval besieged. " The Spanish minister confirmed that "possible new sanctions" are being studied: "There may be more sanctions, the list of possible affected people is being studied," he said. Borrell said that, at the request of countries such as Spain and Portugal, the EU "will try to accelerate the work" of its contact group. "The European Union has quite asynchronous working times about the situation in Venezuela," said Borrel, adding that "the request to move faster has been welcomed."


   WASHINGTON, D.C.   --US President Donald Trump on Monday called Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, an unprecedented move that raises the specter of retaliation from Tehran in an increasingly tense Middle East. This is the first time that Washington formally issues a designation of this kind for a military force of another nation. "The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian government's main means of directing and implementing a global terrorism campaign," Trump said in a statement. Iran immediately condemned the decision, noting that it is an illegal act generated by Tehran's regional influence and its "success in combating the Islamic State," according to state television.

     Tension between the two countries has increased since Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal last May and has reimposed a series of sanctions that have hit the Iranian economy. Trump says the pact does not address Iran's ballistic missile activity or what it sees as a malign influence in the region. Formed after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 with the mission to protect the system of Shia government, the Revolutionary Guard is the most powerful security organization in Iran and has enormous influence on its political system, controlling large parts of the economy and the armed forces. With this measure, those who do business with the agency could receive up to 20 years in prison and can not enter or conduct business with the United States.

     The designation "makes clear the risks of conducting business or providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps," Trump said. "If you're doing business with them, you're financing terrorism." After reports of the planned measure were released on Friday, Iranian lawmakers warned that Tehran could take reciprocal action. Critics have warned that the action could leave American officials and military at the mercy of similar actions by hostile governments. The United States had already put on its blacklist dozens of entities and people affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, an elite body of the Islamic Republic, but not the organization as a whole. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an outspoken critic of Iran, has been pushing for a change in US policy as part of a firmer Trump government stance on the Islamic republic. Pompeo said Washington's measure will take effect in a week.

APRIL 8,  2019


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA .      --   The Minister of Defense of Venezuela, the General in Chief (Ej) Vladimir Padrino López, ordered Friday at 9 and 15 in the evening, through the radiogram Nr. 1011, and disseminated throughout the structure of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces this Saturday morning, to act firmly "against any armed group operating outside the law." It is significant that the high official says that, a few hours after Nicolás Maduro and Diosdado Cabello highlighted the performance of the so-called "colectivos" or armed groups of shock, which have been exhibited with firearms attacking the civilian population, facing to those who have come out to protest the serious problems of electricity, water, gas, food and medicine. In the radiogram, where Padrino López demarcates, among a series of disguised arguments, the position that has assumed the top heads of political power of the Government in Venezuela, highlights that:

     "The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic promotes participatory and protagonist democracy for the full exercise of citizenship, based on which the Bolivarian revolution has led the people to structure different forms of social organization in order to achieve their objectives, as an example they are the collectives that have a shared purpose, be it artistic, cultural, political, educational, sports, communicational, productive or others for the benefit of the community. " "In the midst of the media campaign deployed as part of the hybrid war that is being waged against the homeland, these groups have been tried to associate with armed groups and generators of common or organized crime of urban and extra-urban type. no association that generates violence can be called collective, since this would be the antithesis of its original conception ". "As a result, the head of the military is called to order at all levels of command and the Venezuelan people are urged to remain alert to the perverse plans of far-right political organizations, which, under the auspices of imperial agents, aim to infiltrate mercenaries with the aim of cause blood events that trigger chaos and confusion or a confrontation between brothers. "

    To give a shade to his demarcation of the messages of Maduro and Cabello, the high official says that "the FANB unrestrictedly supports the decisions of citizen Nicolás Maduro Moros, constitutional president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, our Commander in Chief, regarding the participation of the organized people to guarantee the peace of the nation and will act firmly against any armed group operating outside the law ". The Minister of Defense responds with this to the strong internal pressure that exists in the Armed Forces against the actions of the armed groups, which the common people called "collectives", and which has been seen in numerous videos, that circulate through the networks, acting with cruelty and violence, knocking down doors, firing and threatening, sometimes hooded, on motorcycles and always armed with rifles, pistols and short, punzpenetrating objects.


      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -- The “chuleo” of the Venezuela oil is over, so Mr. Díaz-Canel the only interference that we will not allow anymore is the one that your Cuban G2 want keep doing in Venezuela," said Guaidó The opposition leader Juan Guaidó warned on Saturday the new Cuban leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel, that the supply of Venezuelan oil to his country has come to an end, after the United States sanctioned ships and shipping companies that transport oil to the island. During a gigantic opposition mobilization in Caracas, Guaidó, recognized as interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, denounced that Venezuelan crude finances the Cuban intelligence group "G2" operations in Venezuela.

    According to Guaidó, that Cuban command represses the military opposed to the socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. On Friday, in his strategy to smother Maduro, the US Treasury Department sanctioned two companies that Venezuelan authorities said delivered Venezuelan oil to Cuba in February and March 2019. In addition, the Treasury called 34 vessels "blocked property." of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Diaz-Canel considered the measures as "an act of extraterritoriality, interference and imperial arrogance," he wrote on Twitter on Friday.

     Venezuela supplies oil to Cuba at preferential prices, through an agreement in which Havana provides doctors to the assistance programs of Maduro, which has the support of the Armed Forces and Russia. The United States calculates 50,000 barrels per day. Washington, which hardened its policy against Havana, had already imposed punitive measures against more than 80 Venezuelan officials and former officials, including Maduro, and almost 40 entities. In addition, at the end of January, it applied sanctions to PDVSA, which will in fact operate as an embargo on Venezuelan crude oil when they begin to take effect on April 28.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.   --U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) YESTERDAY sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin urging them to designate armed irregular militia groups (colectivos) as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and to designate the Maduro regime as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO). In the letter, Rubio highlighted the Maduro regime’s links to U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), and its support of Hizballah sympathizers. Rubio is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

    The crisis in Venezuela continues to destabilize the region and threaten U.S. national security. Given that the United States and over 50 other nations now recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó—and therefore no longer recognize the regime of Nicolás Maduro as the official Government of Venezuela—it is time for the Executive Branch to take important and necessary steps to further isolate Maduro and make clear to the world his regime’s illegality, criminality, and depravity. I urge the Executive Branch to impose sanctions against the Maduro regime for its material support of terrorism; to designate the regime, as well as the estimated hundreds of armed irregular militia groups (colectivos armados) that it controls, as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs); and to designate the Maduro regime as a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO).

    First, the Maduro regime’s alarming record of providing material support and safe haven to State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations should compel the Executive Branch to impose counterterrorism sanctions against the regime under Executive Order 13224. In its most recent Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department noted its 12th-annual consecutive determination that Venezuela, under the Maduro regime, “was not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts” and maintaining a “permissive environment to known terrorist groups.” The previous year’s report noted the regime “allowed for support of activities that benefited known terrorist groups,” adding that “[i]ndividuals linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army [ELN], and Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) were present in Venezuela, as well as Hizballah supporters and sympathizers.”

APRIL 6,  2019


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA .      --   The head of Venezuela's opposition-controlled Parliament, Juan Guaido, who has been acknowledged as the country's interim president by more than 50 countries, on Thursday called on young people to turn out for a weekend protest in all major cities and urged them not to get accustomed to living without basic services. "On (April) 6 let's take to the streets and not for a second will we accustom ourselves to living like this," said the opposition leader during an event with student leaders at the National Assembly. He also called on people to demonstrate against the blackouts that since March 7 have affected services that depend on electricity including telephones, Internet access and the pumping of potable water, which have been curtailed or shut off completely virtually nationwide. "Not for a second will we accustom ourselves ... to the norm being that there's no water," he said.

     The parliamentary chief said that Saturday's protest will be "the start of Operation Freedom," a pressure tactic whereby he and his opposition supporters hope to bring about the "end of the usurpation" of power that they say President Nicolas Maduro is perpetrating. "We're going to deliver a task well done to Venezuela, we're going to deliver a completed mission," said Guaido, who in January invoked the Constitution to proclaim himself interim president and set forth a roadmap including removing Maduro from power, installing a transition government and calling for "free elections." The opposition leader also questioned the 30-day electricity rationing plan launched by the government last Sunday, emphasizing that the schedule and locations for the rationing in areas where the power has been out have not been announced.

     "They have wanted to show that there is a rationing plan when it's not true ... They have no ability at all to ration electricity ... They have sacrificed entire states (which have been left without power) because of the fear they have of Caracas," he said. Maduro has blamed the United States and the Venezuelan opposition of perpetrating "sabotage" against the country's electricity grid, claiming that "electromagnetic" attacks have been mounted along with a fire at the country's main hydroelectric plant that was started by a "long-range" sniper. The Venezuelan opposition blames the government for the failures in the electric system, saying that ineptitude and poor management of the sector's resources are the real causes of the blackouts.


      WASHINGTON, D.C. --  The Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions against two shipping companies and one vessel for transporting oil between Venezuela and Cuba, as the United States has declared that Venezuela’s oil resources belong to Juan Guaido’s interim government and not Maduro. An additional 34 vessels owned by PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-run oil company, were also identified as blocked property by the Treasury Department. The U.S. government and lawmakers have said that Venezuela sends oil to Cuba in exchange for security and intelligence services, using a lucrative natural resource to help Maduro maintain power instead of helping to alleviate Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.

     “Cuba has been an underlying force fueling Venezuela’s descent into crisis. Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Cuba continues to profit from, and prop up, the illegitimate Maduro regime through oil-for-repression schemes as they attempt to keep Maduro in power. The United States remains committed to a transition to democracy in Venezuela and to holding the Cuban regime accountable for its direct involvement in Venezuela’s demise.”

    The two companies who were sanctioned are the owner and operator of a crude oil tanker named Despina Andrianna, which the Treasury Department said delivered oil from Venezuela to Cuba in February and March. The companies are the Liberia-based owner Ballito Bay Shipping and Greek operator ProPer In Management. The Treasury Department also listed the names of the 34 PdVSA-owned vessels that are part of the ongoing exchange of oil between Venezuela and Cuba. The sanctions come a day before planned protests by Guaido supporters in Venezuela. “POTUS is taking action against a vital source of the Maduro regime’s wealth,” Vice President Mike Pence tweeted. “Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people!”


   CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe, Yván Gil, said today that as part of the military-technical cooperation between Venezuela and Russia, more Russian military personnel will arrive in the South American country because it requires a "constant" presence of Russian specialists. "There is a dynamic cooperation in military matters that has been in operation for 15 years and in this framework, Russian technicians will always be present," said Efe Gil, on the sidelines of a Russian-Venezuelan business forum, held on the occasion of the XIV. High Level Intergovernmental Commission between the two countries. "We have a quite complete and complex weapons system in our territory that allows us to defend the sovereignty and we will always be in contact with the Russian technicians to update systems, training, training, and everything that has to do with technology transfer, "he explained. "And this gives continuity to having a constant presence of technical specialists in Venezuela in this matter," added Gil.

     In the opinion of the deputy minister, "we wanted to mediate" the "punctual presence" of a group of Russian soldiers who recently arrived in Venezuela, "when it is a normal fact that we have a dynamic cooperation and the coming and going of technicians is permanent, Advisors and trainers of weapons systems. " "Venezuela has a very comprehensive system of air defense, ground and air transport equipment that it has acquired in Russia for more than fifteen years and that require constant exchange," Gil emphasized. "That will be constant. It is a constant fact. The specific fact now of the presence of some technicians is not something new. It is something constant that has been happening and will continue to happen, "said the vice chancellor for Europe.

      Venezuela is Russia's largest buyer of weapons in Latin America and in the past it has received from its partner tanks, multifunctional fighters Su-30MK2, Mi fighter helicopters and missile and anti-aircraft defense systems. The arrival of Russian airplanes with military personnel to Venezuela has provoked the annoyance of the president of the USA, Donald Trump, who has said that "it maintains all the options open" so that the uniformed ones leave Venezuela. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that Washington "will not sit idly by in front of the Russian presence in Venezuela

APRIL 5,  2019


       WASHINGTON, D.C.      --    Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to Cuba, accusing the Caribbean nation of providing support to the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro. The White House will take “strong action not only to isolate Venezuela but also we’re looking at strong action against Cuba,” Pence said Tuesday, according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs. Cuba “continues to provide personnel and support to the dictatorship in Venezuela,” the vice president alleged. He added that President Donald Trump is considering “a broad range of options.” Prior to his remarks on Cuba, Pence called for the release of six executives of Citgo Petroleum Corporation, who have been detained in Venezuela for more than a year. “They’re being held illegally,” he said, Bloomberg reported. “[Maduro’s] regime should release all political prisoners.”

     Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 1. Pence issued a stern warning to Cuba on Tuesday, accusing the Caribbean nation of providing support to the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images The Citgo executives were arrested in Venezuela just before Thanksgiving in 2017. Five of the six are American citizens, according to NBC News. They were initially called to fly to island nation for a corporate meeting with Venezuela’s state oil giant PDVSA. However, during the conference they were arrested by Venezuelan authorities and Maduro's government accused them of embezzlement. Pence’s comments regarding Venezuela and Cuba came as he met with family members of the detained executives.

    “The vice president will reiterate the administration’s deep concern for the welfare and safety of all wrongfully detained American citizens and he will call on Maduro to release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally,” a White House official told Reuters prior to the Tuesday meeting. In Venezuela, the Trump administration has backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president. Although Maduro has dismissed the challenge as “coup” and accused the U.S. of trying to kill him, Guaidó, who heads Venezuela’s National Assembly, claims that he is acting within provisions laid out by the constitution. Maduro won re-election last year in an election that was condemned by the opposition and many in the international community. A large number of Venezeulans boycotted the election all together and the opposition leveled accusations of voter fraud.


      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA --  Colombia on Tuesday rejected a Russian warning against foreign military intervention in Venezuela and said it supported a peaceful transition to democracy in the neighboring South American country. "Colombia reiterates that the transition to democracy must be conducted by the Venezuelans themselves peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution and international law, supported by political and diplomatic means, without the use of force," Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said in a statement. He was responding to a March 28 letter from the upper house of Russia's parliament, forwarded to Colombia's Congress by Russian Ambassador Sergei Koshkin, that said the "illegitimate use of military force against Venezuela by other states that support the opposition will be interpreted ... as an act of aggression against a sovereign state."

     Russia has emerged as a staunch backer of Venezuela's leftist President Nicolas Maduro as his nation descended into political turmoil this year. The United States and dozens of other nations have backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume Venezuela's interim presidency in January, arguing that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. Colombia, which supports Guaido, has repeatedly denied it has any intention of launching a military offensive across its border with Venezuela. But in his statement Tuesday, Trujillo said military support for Maduro's socialist government risked harming the transition to democracy while threatening regional peace and security. The March touchdown near Caracas of two Russian air force planes carrying some 100 Russian special forces and cybersecurity personnel has raised international concerns about Moscow's backing for Maduro.

     Russia, which has supplied fighter jets, tanks, and air defense systems to Venezuela, has dismissed U.S. criticism of its military cooperation with Caracas saying it is not interfering in the Latin American country's internal affairs and poses no threat to regional stability. Colombia acted as a staging ground in February as the United States and other countries supported Guaido's effort to transport hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid into Venezuela. Maduro, who dismisses Guaido as a U.S. puppet, blocked the aid and Venezuelan troops pushed back protesters with tear gas. Millions of Venezuelans have fled to Colombia to escape widespread food and medicine shortages in their chaotic homeland, seeking jobs locally and passage into other Latin American countries.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.  --The United States is prepared to pump U.S. dollars into Venezuela to fortify the economy if DICTATOR Nicolas Maduro leaves, the top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Wednesday. Kudlow told reporters that Washington is already working with banks and the International Monetary Fund on a rebuilding plan to revitalize the country's crushed economy and said that, when the time comes, "we will be moving as fast as we can. "We call it Day Two," he said at a briefing arranged by The Christian Science Monitor newspaper. "It would be a rescue plan, it would be a restructuring plan, it would be a plan to put cash into the country."

     Venezuela's oil economy has crumbled under a collapse of crude exports and international sanctions against Maduro, who Washington and its allies view as illegitimate. The United States has been pressuring for Maduro to step down or be overthrown, but he has clung to power with the support of Venezuela's military. "The timeline is to get rid of Maduro. I have no idea when that is going to be," said Kudlow. Once Maduro leaves economic assistance would be immediate, beginning with pushing the US currency in to reignite economic activity, moving it via "banks, iPhones, apps," said Kudlow, who is director of the National Economic Council. "The cash will not be bolivares, it will be dollars, at least at the beginning," he said. "There is no demand for bolivares. Dollars are the answer.

    The country has been experiencing long blackouts for days that the Government of Maduro considers sabotage. Guaidó, on the other hand, maintained a private agenda on Wednesday after the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) gave the green light to the process against him at the request of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Maikel Moreno. In this way, the ANC withdrew, without saying so, the parliamentary immunity of Guaidó after accusing him of "terrorist acts" and "crimes against humanity". Washington has warned that if Maduro acted against Guaidó, it would be "one of his last decisions." The Venezuelan issue is very difficult. USA does not want another Cuba and also swimming in oil. Putin sticks his finger in Trump's eye as soon as he can and sends planes and some "mercenaries" to show that he remains a global superpower.

APRIL 4,  2019


       CARACAS, VENEZUELA     --    The INTERIM president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, said on Tuesday, after the announcement of the Cuban Constituent, that one should not respond to an organization that does not exist in the country. Guaidó stressed that Venezuelans only must answer to achieve the freedom of the country and not bodies that are not valid. "There is no need to respond to an organism that does not exist (ANC). What is our duty is to respond to Venezuelans. We can not stay in our house. We must make organized strategic protest, "he affirmed. The president in charge pointed out that Maduro's regime is wrong to ask for "paredon" against him.

     "They are still wrong when they ask for me to be shot on the wall, when they do not even dare to enter the word "rescin their ind"  decree. They also believe that by attacking me, my deputy, Mariela Magallanes, who is holding her in Maiquetía, they are going to stop the hope of change in Venezuela. This fight is for the soul of our country, "he insisted. The president of the National Assembly wondered if the FANB and security forces will lend themselves to try to stop him at the request of the ANC. "I want to know who of the Armed Forces and the security forces is going to to kidnap the President of the Republic?" He said. Guaidó reiterated that to get out of the current crisis the union must be maintained during the protests and without losing hope. In addition, he mentioned that the application of Article 187 of the Constitution "depends on our allies."

     "The people of Venezuela are determined and nothing is going to stop them. There is no turning back when we are mobilized, when the center of Caracas is protesting. As long as we stay united and mobilized, we will not lose. Of course we want it to be already accomplished. And we talk about the 187 but that depends on our allies. What depends on us is to stay on the streets, "he explained. The president in charge made the call to the citizens to join the mega protest for this Saturday, April 6. "On Saturday at 11:00 am, the mega strategic protest is being organized throughout Venezuela. They are not going to stop us. Here I am, "he declaredd.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  According to the financial services firm Barclays PLC in 2020 Venezuela will have a new government and estimates a growth of the local economy of 22.8%. The company wrote its quarterly report entitled "The Venezuelan spring", which was translated and published in the Twitter account of economist Asdrúbal Oliveros. The document indicates that the oil sector grows 36.1%; the non-oil sector rises 15.2%; fiscal deficit 11.4 points of GDP; inflation close 797% and official exchange rate (closing) Bs 992,963 per dollar. The director of Ecoanalítica extracts the most important ideas from the document where he emphasizes that "the financial situation of the regime, which was unsustainable, is becoming unmanageable. In the first quarter of 2019, it suffered a heavy loss of oil revenues and can not count on significant assets to cushion the shock. "

     Barclays calculates that the drop of barrels that generate cash is 60% much higher than the drop in oil production. He also estimates that the sanctions and the electrical crisis will produce this year a fall of 700 thousand barrels per day in oil production. Over the next few weeks: "the supply of goods will continue to deteriorate and tensions are likely to increase further in the coming weeks. Due to the loss of oil revenues, we expect a 50% decrease in imports starting in March. " The signature indicates that given the consequences of the Venezuelan crisis in the countries of the region, and the situation of the Iranian crude, they force the United States to put pressure on everything they can to achieve an exit to the crisis, before the end of 2019 .

     On the military in the medium term: "the unsustainability of the situation could lead them to take actions that until now they have not been able or have not wanted to take". Regarding a possible intervention, he pointed out that "the military option has always been the last resort and international communication still favors the use of diplomatic and political tools to find a solution; However, if the crisis deepens, this alternative could gain support. " He points out that "however, there remains the possibility that this extreme scenario (the intervention) can be avoided, and the opposition would probably need to exhaust all available options and build up strength before making such a move." On recent protests: "The will of the masses could begin to outpace the security forces, or a high risk that this situation will happen, could push the FAN to pressure Maduro to leave," he said.


   WASHINGTON, D.C.  --The Venezuelan exile COMMUNITY IN THE UNITED STATES IIS  warning that Russia could become a destabilizing factor in Latin America and repudiated the RUSSIAN "interference" IN THEIR COUNTRY, in addition to their declaration in "warlike tone" against the nations that still do not recognize the holder of the National Assembly Juan who is serving as an interim president. "This represents a direct threat to all the nations that have not aligned themselves in recognizing Nicolás Maduro, and therefore, we must expect forceful action on the part of the international community," said the Venezuelan Persecuted Political in Exile organization ( Veppex) this Wednesday.

     The position of the Venezuelan exiles was announced a day after a letter that the Russian Ambassador to Colombia, Sergei Koshkin, sent to the Congress of that nation warning that a military incursion into Venezuela will be considered a threat to peace and security international. Colombian President Iván Duque reacted by saying that his country "is not in the plan to attack any State" but"it is in its duty to defend the Inter-American Democratic Charter and to denounce clearly and forcefully the abuses of the dictatorship of Venezuela" .

     "It is time that of the options that are on the table, as the US administration has described, the firmer ones are used because of the level of threat that this represents for the national security of the United States," the organization said. Venezuela received two bomber planes capable of transporting nuclear weapons from Russia on December 10, 2018. Veppex called on the National Assembly to declare non grata the presence of Russian military in Venezuela and citizens to consider the Russians as enemies of the Venezuelan people. They also urged Venezuelans abroad to express their rejection of the "Russian invasion in Venezuela", in the consulates and embassies of Russia in the countries where they reside.

APRIL 3,  2019


       MOSCOW, RUSSIA      --   THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES THAT IT HAS opened a training CENTER in Venezuela to help Russian pilots fly Russian helicopters, Russian state-owned industrial conglomerate Rostec said on Monday, Moscow's latest gesture in support of Nicolás Maduro. Rostec said the center opened on Thursday of last week, the day the White House warned Russia and other countries that support Maduro not to send troops or military equipment, saying the United States would consider such measures a "direct threat". "To the security of the region.

     Washington, which supports incumbent president Juan Guaidó, issued the warning after two Russian Air Force planes carrying almost 100 military personnel landed outside Caracas, a contingent the Kremlin said were military specialists. Rostec indicated that the new training center, whose location he did not disclose, had been established with the help of Russian specialists and that his purpose was to train Venezuelan pilots to fly Russian Mi-35M combat helicopters as well as military transport helicopters.

     The facility was opened under a contract with the Venezuelan state arms manufacturer CAVIM. Rostec said he wanted to deepen military and technical cooperation with the Venezuelan Ministry of Defense if possible. Russia, which has also delivered combat aircraft, tanks and air defense systems to Venezuela, dismissed US criticism of its military cooperation with Caracas. Moscow assured that it is not interfering in the internal affairs of the South American country and that it does not represent any threat to regional stability. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has said that "Russia has to leave" Venezuela and that "all options" are open, threatening Washington with new sanctions against Moscow if it does not reduce its support for Maduro.


    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA       --
in addition to the presence of Russian TROOPS IN VENEZUELA, a complex and sophisticated program of cybernetic espionage is being carried out by  spies in Colombian territory. It has been denounced that experts from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are carrying out a sophisticated operation in Colombia to obtain strategic information through cybernetic espionage and more than 100 spies residing in the South American country. The complex espionage program, under the code name PLANET, is being controlled by a headquarters that concentrates all the Russian cybernetic intelligence identified as Center 16. The program is backed by 15 servers located in several countries in Latin America, the United States, the European Union, China and India. From there they obtain banking, political, military, technological and scientific information from the State.

     The Cuban José Manuel Peña García was recently expelled from Colombia after being arrested with photographs of a military base. To this is added the presence of more than 100 spies of Russian and Venezuelan nationals, who ware trying to obtain strategic military information by following people and through covert agents in different social and political spheres. The national media warns that the defensive capacity of the State to detect cyber attacks is much lower than the scope of the high technologies used by the Russians. That is why the greatest danger lies in hackers, whose capacity could block communications from the country and obtain secret information from military plans, missions, mobilization of armed forces, political decisions and even intervening in banking and financial operations. And although Migración Colombia has increased controls on the border with Venezuela, it is not difficult to filter out spies trained by Russian and Chinese specialists, under the facade of students, businessmen, merchants, among other profiles.

     In fact, in the last two weeks the Colombian government has discovered and expelled several spies from the country trying to obtain military information. They have also expelled members of the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guard who have entered Colombia irregularly. The last agent caught was a captain of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), who entered the country through the fluvial border in the department of Vichada, and was found with photographs of the Mayor of Puerto Carreño and the base of the Navy of that region, which is responsible among other missions to patrol the border with Venezuela. Previously, another Venezuelan identified as Brayan Andrés Díaz Díaz was arrested when he entered the Air Force Maintenance Air Command in Madrid, in the department of Cundinamarca. All this has been related to the recent arrival in Venezuela of two planes from Russia with regular soldiers, including about 400 mercenaries who apparently will train the Chavista Air Force


    BOGOTA,   COLOMBIA  --  "Colombia reiterates that any deployment or military incursion in support of the Nicolás Maduro regime jeopardizes the democratic transition and constitutional normalization in Venezuela, and constitutes a threat to peace, security and stability in the region," said the foreign minister. , Carlos Holmes Trujillo, in a video broadcast by his office. The foreign minister responded to an information in the newspaper El Tiempo according to which the Russian ambassador in Colombia, Sergei Koshkin, sent a letter to Congress warning the Andean country that a military incursion into Venezuela will be considered a threat to peace and  international security.

     For his part, President Ivan Duque said this morning that his country "is not planning  to attack any State" and added that it is "the duty of Colombia to defend the Inter-American Democratic Charter and to denounce human rights  abuses of Venezuelan dictatorship with clarity and forcefulness. " The Government of Colombia emphatically rejects the Declaration of the Council of the Russian Federation on the situation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The accusations contained in its declaration does not correspond to the reality and constitute a distortion of the position of Colombia, shared by several countries of the region, and of our concrete actions in relation to the illegitimate regime in Venezuela of Nicolás Maduro.

    Colombia has responded to the multidimensional crisis that is going on in Venezuela, and for which the illegitimate and usurping regime of Nicolás Maduro is responsible, with legality, solidarity and responsibility. Legality, in accordance with its obligations as a member of the Organization of American States, and in compliance with the inter-American democratic system. The situation in Venezuela is a regional and hemispheric issue that should not be used as an instrument of any geopolitical competition. In this regard, Colombia reiterates that any deployment or military incursion in support of the Nicolás Maduro regime jeopardizes the democratic transition and constitutional normalization in Venezuela, and constitutes a threat to peace, security and stability in the region.

APRIL 2,  2019

DICTator nicolas maduro announces electricity rationing  IN VENEZUELA

  CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --   Venezuela’s leftist incumbent Nicolas Maduro announced on Sunday the start of a plan for electricity rationing in the country that will last 30 days. During that time, he said he hoped to resolve the failures that have afflicted the system since March 7 when a series of national blackouts began. “I approved a 30-day plan to go to a load management system (rationing),” the socialist leader said in his first appearance on television since a power outage on Monday affected the entire country without the problem having been solved since then. Maduro reiterated that the instability of the electric power supply is due to alleged attacks on the system carried out by the opposition and US Administration of President Donald Trump, who he said wants to “lead the country to chaos, violence.”

    “The attack went directly to the generation system and affected the generation capacity (of the country’s main hydroelectric dam, Guri),” he said, pointing out that last Monday the facility was shot at with long-range rifles that ended up damaging several pieces of equipment. In addition, the president reported that the authorities are investigating a possible infiltration of the electric service “that could be working as a mole to cause damage from within.” He indicated that they have been able to re-establish the electricity supply “in some places longer than others” with almost all of Caracas reconnected as well as many of the southern and eastern states.

     Meanwhile, in the west of the oil-rich country, the power supply remains “intermittent” and some communities go up to 72 hours without electricity. According to Maduro, the constant sabotage has been aggravated by the high temperatures that help the “arson” caused by the “terrorists.” “We are in a serious situation (...) we have been managing a very serious situation,” the Venezuelan incumbent said after reiterating that his regime is making progress in restoring the potable water supply throughout the country. “These are the attacks of an electric war to drive this country crazy, to drive the people crazy, and we will not allow it. We are concentrated (...) on replacing, recovering, rebuilding everything that has been damaged by this electric war and to restore gradually in a self-administered regime, the electric service to our people,” he said.


 Dina walks slowly down the middle of a street without vehicles banging on the back of an empty plastic container with a stick. She moves toward a crowd that has begun to gather a short distance ahead on the Plaza de Altamira in Caracas. “I’m not going to leave, it’s the second time I’ve gone out (on the street), but today I said enough,” said the 52-year-old woman as she kept walking, still banging on the plastic container like a drum. Dina Dornela lost her patience on Sunday when she was waiting at the florist’s shop where she works for the latest power blackout to end and she noticed that the lack of electricity was not affecting everyone equally. “I saw that in the restaurant that faces on the shop there was light and I couldn’t take it anymore,” she said in a calm, but indignant voice, never ceasing to beat on her makeshift drum.

     Like Dina, residents in different parts of the capital on Sunday began to gather in small groups here and there to turn the day of rest into the day of the first protests after seven consecutive days of continuing electricity supply problems amid the umpteenth blackout. “Why don’t people come out like in ‘89, when there was 1/2 percent of all this?” she asked indignantly, recalling the social eruption known as the “Caracazo” – the wave of protests, riots, looting, shootings and massacres that began on Feb. 27, 1989, in Caracas and the surrounding towns during the government of Carlos Andres Perez. Immediately, however, she answers her own question: “Because of the collectives” – the groups of armed Chavistas who attack demonstrators in the streets. “Don’t think I’m not afraid, but here I am,” she said before joining the group of disgruntled citizens toward which she was heading.

     The protests have spread from eastern Caracas into the western zones, including into Los Palos Grandes, El Cafetal, Coche, Catia and 23 de Enero, all residential areas of the sprawling Venezuelan capital. In the central part of the city, a few streets from Miraflores Palace, where President Nicolas Maduro lives, dozens of people blocked a downtown avenue with obstacles and set various things on fire in the road to halt traffic. Until, that is, members of the collectives arrived and let off a few shots and the protesters started running, as EFE was able to verify. But opposition sources have reported similar protests in other states such as Carabobo, Aragua, Lara and Zulia. The protests are coming after a week of electricity supply problems starting with two power outages last Monday that have left the population of the Venezuelan capital largely without drinking water because there is no electricity to run the pumps.


    CARACAS, VENEZUELA --  Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido took his campaign for change to one of the country's most populous states on Saturday, while supporters of the man he is trying to oust, President Nicolas Maduro, held a rival demonstration in the capital after another nationwide blackout. Guaido, the U.S.-backed leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, made several stops in Miranda state near Caracas, delivering trademark denunciations of Maduro's government and promises of a better life for Venezuela's struggling population. Speaking from podiums in the street with his shirt sleeves rolled up, the 35-year-old politician drew applause when he said even bigger protests will be held on April 6 as the opposition Venezuelans intensify their push to topple Maduro.

     The opposition chief acknowledged power outages and other hardships in Venezuela as well as pressure from Maduro's embattled government, which retains the pivotal support of the nation's military leadership. Meanwhile, backers of Maduro gathered for what was billed as an "anti-imperialist" rally in the capital on Saturday. As at Guaido's rallies, some demonstrators at the pro-Maduro rally held Venezuelan flags and said they wanted to save the country. They filed toward the rally point, wearing red clothing associated with the socialist movement started by the late Hugo Chavez and reciting revolutionary slogans such as: "Always loyal! Never traitors!"

     Diosdado Cabello, a leading pro-government politician, gave a fiery speech, mocking the opposition for its hopes that Maduro would quickly fall and accusing its leaders of "pretending to be democrats." Such dueling demonstrations have become a pattern in past weeks as Venezuela's opposing factions vie for control of a country that has endured economic turmoil and a deepening humanitarian crisis. The situation got even worse this month because of several nationwide blackouts, most recently on Friday evening. The outages often knock out water pumps and communications for millions, forcing schools and businesses to close and cutting people off from family and friends Power returned to many areas on Saturday morning, but more outages struck on Saturday night, suggesting blackouts are becoming routine for much of the population.

APRIL 1st.,  2019


  CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --      Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido said this Saturday that he is ready to invoke the article of the Constitution that allows him to call international missions to the country for the cooperation they can provide. “When we spoke about Article 187 and we said, of course we’re going to invoke it, now, as part of that cooperation because it indicates what our allies can and cannot do, not what we can do,” Guaido, acknowledged as his country’s acting president by more than 50 nations, told a group of supporters in Miranda state, next to Caracas. “We’re going to insist on that cooperation,” he said. Some sectors of the opposition over the past few days have called for the application of Article 187.11 of the Constitution that enables the use of “Venezuelan military missions abroad or foreign missions in this country.”

     The Venezuelan opposition says the country is plunged in a complex humanitarian crisis and has asked for donations from the international community to ease the emergency. Some of that aid is being stored on Venezuela’s borders with Brazil and Colombia, but the attempt to bring it into the country last Feb. 23 ended with clashes of the opposition with the police and armed forces when the Nicolas Maduro regime refused to allow the humanitarian aid to be brought across the border. Guaido, who this Saturday is on a tour of a number of events, again called on Venezuelans to “organize a disturbance” every time there are cuts in the electric service and the water supply, after a week of constant blackouts nationwide. “We must organize a disturbance every time we need to demand our rights, enough of this fooling around,” he said.

     He also called for people to come together to express their discontent with Maduro’s regime, which he again blamed for the problems with the power supply and with the country’s entire economy, and said the movement he leads is far from having a power outage. “Some people go around saying that the movement has already shut down, don’t laugh. The only thing that has shut down is a regime that left the streets all over the country in darkness,” he said. Guaido said that nationwide there are “hundreds of places where people are demanding their rights,” an allusion to small gatherings of the opposition in different places coordinating their actions. “We’re not asking for patience here, just the opposite, we’re asking for organization and action right now,” he said


 The Panamanian bank Multibank closed numerous accounts of companies that maintain relations or trade with the Cuban government, including that of the Prensa Latina (PL) correspondent, according to official reports. Multibank, which started operations in 1968 under the name Gran Financiera, denied that the closure of the accounts is the result of external pressures or is related to the US embargo. The financial institution justified the measure as part of "an update to its internal policy and business lines.".

      Prensa Latina reports that at least more than a dozen companies financially linked to Cuba received a brief email dated December 1, 2018. "We inform you that the Bank has taken the decision to close your bank account next Friday, December 28. of 2018, "warned the text. Subsequently, the banking authorities informed by telephone that they had extended the deadline until January 3, 2019, although other entities contemplated to the same extent could maintain the service until the end of March. Attached to the message, the directors of Multibank sent the so-called 'Trump List', a list of companies sanctioned by Washington that operate in Cuba, some of them under the control of Cuban intelligence services and the Armed Forces.

     The decision was preceded by an announcement dated October 27, 2018, in which Multibank informed its clients that "due to new internal policies", since December 31 last year, the transfers received or sent from PAB (Balboas ) should be to Euros and not to US dollars as up to that moment. In 2015, Multibank, the third Panamanian bank due to the volume of its assets, had advanced its interest in settling in Cuba as part of the promotion to attract foreign investment made by the island today. "We see great opportunities in that country that will develop quickly and Multibank would love to be hand in hand with that development, both to support Cuban financial institutions and entrepreneurs who intend to invest there," said the CEO of that entity, Isaac Btesh.



    MOSCOW, RUSSIA --   They are "specialists in technical-military cooperation," says Moscow: "Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday that Russian military specialists in Venezuela are carrying out maintenance work on equipment previously supplied to the country, EFE reports: "We have explained what our military is doing in Venezuela. They work there in an absolutely legitimate manner and carry out the maintenance of previously supplied equipment under an intergovernmental agreement that was ratified by the Venezuelan Parliament and fully complies with the Venezuelan Constitution, "he said in a program on the Rossiya television channel 1.

      On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it has no military contingent in Venezuela and is not conducting military operations in the South American country. "It is not about any military contingent and, therefore, the claims that Russia is conducting military operations in Venezuela are totally unfounded," Lavrov spokeswoman Maria Zajárova said in a statement. He stressed that the Russians who recently arrived in Caracas are "specialists in technical-military cooperation." On Thursday, Zajárova indicated in his weekly press conference that the presence of these soldiers in Venezuela was legitimate and that they will remain in the country as long as necessary.

      US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he maintains "all options open" for the Russian military to leave Venezuela. Two days earlier, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned Lavrov in a telephone conversation that Washington will not stay "with crossed arms" before the Russian presence in Venezuela. -Caracas blames the last blackouts in Venezuela on "terrorist attacks": The government of Nicolás Maduro attributed to two alleged terrorist attacks both the blackout that occurred this Saturday throughout Venezuela and the one that occurred on Friday, in a week during which the country has not been able to recover the normal supply of energy.