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JUNE  2019

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JUNE 28, 2019

VENEZUELA AS A FOCUS OF ATTENTION AT THE FIRST PLENARY OF THE XLIX OAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
   

       MEDELLIN,  COLOMBIA    --     The XLIX General Assembly of the OAS was installed during the night of tlast Wednesday, but it was Thursday, June 27, when the heads of the delegations make their first intervention in the first plenary session. As of 10:30 a.m., the first plenary will begin and Venezuela is expected to maintain the focus of attention due to the current political and humanitarian crisis facing the country.

     The General Assembly of the OAS was installed in Colombia with a call from President Ivan Duque to break the "dictatorship" in Venezuela and to expand attention on the migration crisis throughout the continent. "Our duty is the finished dictatorship, our duty is the doubled dictatorship," declared the conservative Colombian president during the inaugural session of the main organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) that will meet until Friday in the city of Medellin.

     The president also asked "the rest of the continent" to adopt a "temporary immigration protection status" that allows Venezuelans access to all goods and services to "alleviate" their situation. According to the UN, a quarter of the Venezuelan population -equivalent to seven million people- requires urgent humanitarian attention, while four million emigrated since 2015 due to the economic meltdown in the country. The crisis of the former oil power was the central axis of the meeting. Earlier, the secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, denounced the "deliberate, repressive and oppressive action" of the Chavez regime against Venezuelans. "To get out of the dictatorships of the 21st century there is no magic formula, there is no silver bullet," the head of the organization told a press conference.

 OAS SEEK TO INCREASE  PRESSURE ON DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO'S REGIME DURING ITS ASSEMBLY IN COLOMBIA

   MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA    -- The Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday sought mechanisms to increase pressure and isolation at continental level on the Nicolás Maduro regime, which it accuses of being a dictatorship, in a meeting in Colombia. The secretary general of the organization, Luis Almagro, said on Wednesday that the intention is also to debate possible sanctions, although he did not want to give further details. But several Caribbean island countries support Venezuela and that will complicate reaching an agreement at the OAS general assembly held in Medellín, since the hemispheric body of 35 countries has a tradition of making decisions by consensus. 

      "We must continue working on an incremental process of pressure and this meeting is part of that process," Almagro told reporters. "But we also recognize that each country has the sovereign right that corresponds or wants to take on any of the issues that are on the agenda." The political situation in Venezuela has been the main issue at recent meetings of the OAS, a body based in Washington that Maduro accuses of being in the service of the United States. Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, is going through a deep political, social and economic crisis that led millions to leave their country trying to leave behind the economic paralysis, the galloping hyperinflation, the shortage of basic products and the collapse of services.
  
      In January, opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself president in charge of Venezuela, citing the Constitution and was recognized by the United States and many nations of the European Union and Latin America. But still it does not obtain the unanimous endorsement of the continental body. Although Maduro announced the withdrawal of the OAS in April 2017, legislator Gustavo Tarre, appointed by Guaidó, was recognized and accepted in April as representative of the National Assembly of that country. In addition to Venezuela, the 49th OAS Assembly will also address the situation in Nicaragua, which is facing a political crisis amid protests against President Daniel Ortega. Reueters

THE CHIEF OF THE US SOUTHERN COMMAND, ADMIRAL CRAIG FALLER, CELEBRATES THE MILITARY COHESION OF THE COUNTRIES OF THIS CONTINENT
 

   SANTIAGO, CHILE     --  The commander of the Southern Command of the US Armed Forces (SouthCom), Admiral Craig Faller, praised on Thursday the unity that exists between most of the armies of the Americas, as evidenced by the celebration these days of a series of joint maneuvers in Chile. "Look at the union of all these forces, which are prepared together against common threats. But, in addition, we share so much in a good sense ... we share values, democracy, the rule of law, economic prosperity and even hopes, "Faller said in a conversation with Efe.

      "We are one, we are brothers, we are companions", the Admiral harangued when addressing the soldiers of the different countries during the ceremony. This military competition, which each year changes host country, is funded by the Southcom and is organized since 2004. This year, once again, the Colombian team was proclaimed winner of a competition whose goal, in any case, as explained by the commander in chief of the Chilean Army, General Ricardo Martínez Menanteau, is to foster cohesion among the armies of the participating countries. "These exercises, I believe, that the greatest gain they have is the camaraderie and the confidence that occurs when they are competing," General Martínez Menanteau told Efe.

      Faller also stressed the importance of the UNITAS naval maneuvers, which celebrate its 60th anniversary, which began this Wednesday in the coastal town of Valparaíso and in which this year involving 10 warships with crews from 12 different countries. The admiral stressed the importance of such a "number of countries, ships and commanders" working together to prepare for a crisis scenario - "like an earthquake" - that can degenerate into a situation of violence due to the appearance of criminal or extremist organizations that could take advantage of the situation of chaos. "I think that is a scenario that can be given, although I hope that is not the case. But, based on what I have seen here - in terms of ability to operate, communicate and fight - I would let some of these nations take over, without hesitation for a minute, "the admiral acknowledged.

JUNE 27, 2019

RUSSIA DIRECTS THE POLICY OF REPRESSION IN VENEZUELA

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --     "We are not creating any base, nor SENDING troops there. IT Never happened. We only honor our contracts, "said Russian President Vladimir Putin on the presence of military personnel from his country in Venezuela. The president also assured that they have sold arms to the South American nation, "but not recently." The presence of Russian personnel in Venezuela has caused concern in the United States and in the countries of the Lima Group, who have requested their immediate withdrawal. The arrival in March of two Russian planes with a hundred officers to Venezuela sparked a wave of speculation in the media about the role played by Russia in sustaining the regime, confirming the hypothesis that the Russian government provides Maduro with everything necessary to increase repression against dissent.

     Also in January of this year, Reuters news agency released a note announcing the arrival of Russian mercenaries to the country. According to the media, it consisted of 400 troops who would reinforce Nicolás Maduro's security ring. The information was released in the midst of the growing international recognition that Juan Guaidó received as president in charge of Venezuela. According to the Spanish paper El País, the mercenaries who arrived in Caracas for the safety of Maduro are linked to the Wagner Group, a dark private security company that has a close relationship with the Kremlin. According to various investigations, this organization has been present in places such as Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and the Central African Republic. In recent months, the Wagner Group has been involved in a strong controversy, due to the strange murder in the Central African Republic of three journalists who were dedicated to document the activities and movements of the members of this company.

      International analysts have indicated that the sending of undercover personnel by the Kremlin is a strategy to be present in faraway places such as Venezuela or the Central African Republic. The objective of these troops is to develop intelligence activities, train paramilitaries and achieve decisions that favor the interests of Russia. A diplomatic source from the United States assured our editorial staff that Russian authorities have bought riot gear in Europe to move Venezuela and strengthen the repression of the regime. Apparently the Putin government continues with its plans to increase its military forces in Caracas. The exercises carried out jointly by the Russian military with Venezuelans from Caracas was seen by Washington as an act of provocation and a sign that Russia is directing the strategy for the support of Maduro in power. Today, the Kremlin bets all its chips on the regime to survive to secure military contracts and natural resources for an economy that is one of the smallest in Europe.

 HOW DANGEROUS IS THE RUSSIAN WARSHIP APPROACHING VENEZUELA?

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    -- Vladimir Putin's administration continues to increase tension with the United States and other Western powers after sending to the Caribbean one of its most modern warships, Admiral Gorshkov, who has already visited the Cuban regime in Havana and now plans to deploy to Venezuelan coasts. The Admiral (Admiral) Gorshkov was built in the Russian shipyards, through project 22350, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, however, the interest to use it as a tool of military interference in the West is fulfilled as in the old days of the Cold War.

     It was launched into the water for the first time in 2010, went through innumerable tests until the end of 2014 and, after overhauls, it actively operates for the Russian Navy from 2018. It also has 135 meters of length and 15 of beam and its maximum speed It's 29 knots. The peculiarities of such a ship begin with composite materials and technologies that reduce its radar cross section, with the aim of escaping enemy sensors. In addition, it has the A-192 Armat artillery system, which can fire 30 rounds per minute up to 22 kilometers. As if that were not enough, it has an anti-aircraft defense system called Poliment-Redut and an anti-ship defense system that can fire Onix or Kalibr-NKE missiles. The radio-warfare system program REB 5P-28 protects you from weapon attacks with high precision.

     In short, Admiral Gorshkov is prepared to evade conventional air attacks, destroy targets on land and sea, and even hunt rival submarines. During this week's visit, the war frigate is also accompanied by the logistical vessel Elbrus and the rescue tugboat Nikolai Chiker, ready to assist him immediately in case of any incident. After the landing of warplanes at Simon Bolivar International Airport in recent months, Russia shows even more muscle with the upcoming arrival of Admiral Gorshkov to Venezuela. Meanwhile, Nicolás Maduro keeps his chair at the Miraflores Palace and the US watches very closely.

SUPREME COURT OF BRAZIL DENIES TWO "HABEAS CORPUS" AND KEEPS LULA DA SILVA IN JAIL

   RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL     --   The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Brazil denied on Tuesday two "habeas corpus" tried by the defense of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will remain in the prison in which he is imprisoned since April 2018. Although they had been removed from his agenda for this Tuesday, the Second Chamber agreed to try two appeals that tried to release the exmandatario. One for alleged vices in the trial of third instance and another for suspicion against the exjuez and now Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, who found him guilty of corruption. The first action tried was an appeal against a decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, which in the third instance denied in the middle of last year the freedom of the exmandatario.

     According to four of the five magistrates of the court, the decision taken at the time by the Supreme Court of Justice did not violate the legal framework, as the defense of Lula maintained. Even so, the judges still had to decide on another "habeas corpus" presented by the defense of the exmandatario, in which it was requested to review the process under the suspicion that the then judge Sergio Moro had had a "partial" behavior alien to the State of Law. This second appeal began to be tried at the end of last year but the session was suspended because Judge Gilmar Mendes, one of the members of the Second Chamber, requested more time to analyze the case. By that time, they had already pronounced themselves for denying the "habeas corpus" judges Carmen Lucia Antunes and Edson Fachin, but when the hearing was resumed on Tuesday, Mendes was favorable to the appeal.

     That position was also followed by Judge Ricardo Lewandowski, but the last to vote, Magistrate Celso de Melo, also denied the action attempted by the defense, with which Lula will remain in jail for a tight decision of three votes against two . Doubts about the way in which the trial against Lula was carried out, in charge of the current Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, increased in recent weeks, when messages emerged that the ex-magistrate exchanged during the process with prosecutors of the anti-corruption operation Lava Jato, that took the exmandatario to prison. The Second Chamber, however, tried an earlier appeal, which accuses Moro of "partial" and says that this thesis was "demonstrated" last year, with the appointment of the former judge as minister in the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro, leader of the extreme right and main political antagonist of Lula.
The messages that complicate the case were exchanged at the time of the trial through the Telegram messaging network and may suggest that Moro directed in some way the investigations of prosecutors of the Public Ministry, which is expressly prohibited by law. Moro has vehemently denied the "authenticity" of these messages, which were obtained by the Intercept portal with an anonymous "hacker", and has stated that his performance as a judge was beyond suspicion.

JUNE 24, 2019

OBLITERATION COULD STILL COME TO IRAN, PRESIDENT TRUMP WARNS

       WASHINGTON, D.C.    --     Despite calling off a military strike against Iran, the U.S. is still poised to hit Iran hard after weeks of mounting tensions between the two countries, President Trump said on Sunday, in what appeared to be a coordinated effort by the administration to keep the pressure on Tehran. Trump in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” said he is “not looking for war” with Iran, but warned of "obliteration like you've never seen before” if Iran resumes its efforts to build nuclear weapons. Vice President Mike Pence told Jake

Tapper on “State of the Union” that “Iran should not mistake restraint for a lack of resolve. “All options remain on the table,” he added.
National security adviser John Bolton, in Israel for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pointedly noted that Trump had “just stopped the strike from going forward ... at this time” and warned that another attack could occur at any time. Trump noted that Bolton was one of the administration’s leading “hawks.” “If it was up to him, he'd take on the whole world at one time," the president told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. On Friday, Trump said the U.S. military was "cocked & loaded" for a retaliatory strike after Iran shot down a U.S. military drone near its coast.

The shoot down came after attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf, which the administration has also blamed on Iran. The president said he canceled the authorized strikes at the last minute to avoid Iranian casualties. "Nothing is greenlighted until the very end because things change," Trump said when Todd asked if planes were already in the air. But when they were “about ready to go,” Trump said he asked his generals, "How many people would be killed, in this case Iranians?" Informed there would be approximately 150 casualties, Trump said, “I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead. And I didn't like it ... I didn't think it was proportionate."

 UNITED NATIONS' HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF MEETS WITH VENEZUELA'S GUAIDO AND MADURO

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --  The United Nations’ top human rights official met Friday in Caracas with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is locked in a prolonged struggle with President Nicolás Maduro for control of the crisis-wracked country. Emerging from the meeting, Guaidó said he spoke with U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet about the need to expel Maduro from power and end Venezuela’s “suffering.” “May this visit serve to bring solutions to the catastrophe that this country is experiencing,” Guaidó said on the steps of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. “This visit should serve to reinvigorate the fight in Venezuela.”

Maduro, who will meet with Bachelet later in the afternoon, maintains that his rival’s efforts have been part of a U.S.-backed coup intended to remove him from office and exploit the nation’s vast oil. Bachelet’s first trip to the South American country as chief of the U.N. watchdog comes amid heightened international pressure on Maduro for allegedly silencing opponents with jail, torture and excessive violence. A once-wealthy oil nation, Venezuela is now experiencing a severe political and economic crisis that has driven a staggering 4 million people to flee. The government struggles daily to keep the lights on and provide reliable drinking water.

In his closed-door conversation with Bachelet, Guaidó said he emphasized that Maduro’s government is still holding two opposition lawmakers in jail in addition to nearly 700 activists considered to be political prisoners. Guaidó said the high commissioner also appeared deeply concerned about human rights abuses, noting that she spent several hours on her visit this week with victims of violations and their relatives. She proposed opening a temporary office in the country to monitor human rights issues and allow her representatives to visit other regions, Guaidó added. Earlier this year, Bachelet issued a tough statement criticizing Maduro’s government for harsh crackdowns on dissenters and reports of extrajudicial killings of poor, unarmed residents at the hands of security forces.
 

ANALYSIS BY LUIS VICENTE: BACHELET'S VISIT TO VENEZUELA

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA     --   Bachelet's visit to Venezuela presentED opportunities for both sides in conflict and the net balance will depend on how each one exploits these advantages in front of his adversary. It is obvious that for the government the cost-benefit analysis is positive. If not, I would never have allowed the visit, even if I had asked for it beforehand. The government is well aware of the opinion of the team of the UN High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Venezuela. His past criticisms have been clear and severe and hardly changed with that visit. The official capacity to mask problems and abuses of power is very limited and it is obvious that they could not control much the agenda of visits and meetings that Bachelet developed in the country.

There is no doubt that your visit report will include criticisms equivalent to those previously made by your team, even if you do so with sufficient care to maintain a valid intermediary status for all parties in any future negotiation process. But then, why does Maduro insist on celebrating his visit? Because what Bachelet says in the negative has nothing new, it's raining in the wet, while having been here, being received at the airport by Maduro's chancellor, visiting the presidential palace controlled by the revolution is a more valuable symbol for Maduro than the criticisms she could make ... again.

For a president in a precarious situation of international relations, unrecognized and isolated by a fundamental part of the modern world, this visit is an explicit way to remember who controls the Venezuelan territory, who is the president, regardless of the adjectives used to qualify it. , with whom Bachelet met officially, thus recognizing his investiture, something that for the revolution today is a very scarce good and of course a very precious added value. The UN is not recognizing Maduro for the first time. His position has been completely removed from the tougher positions adopted by the United States, the European Union and the Lima Group. But this was Maduro's opportunity to show him and record the visits and meetings that were convenient for him and exploit them publicly, making use of his communicational control. Of course, the costs to the government are also there. The meetings with the opponents, the visits to the political prisoners, the vision of the migratory problems, the disaster in the health system, the precariousness of the institutions and the dramatic situation of the prison system is impossible to hide.is impossible to hide.

JUNE 20, 2019

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO ANNOUNCES THE END OF ALMOST FREE  GASOLINE FOR ALL VENEZUELANS

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --     The Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro, assured that gasoline will begin to be sold at "international prices" with the exception of those who have the national identity card, who will be able to access discounts. Maduro said Monday that gasoline, heavily subsidized in the country, "must be sold at international prices." The president announced a new system of direct subsidy through the so-called "Carnet de la Patria", a controversial census that the opposition has repeatedly denounced as an illicit means of population control and that many Venezuelans do not have.

      "We are going to make a progressive direct subsidy system, in a two-year plan (...) I hope that in two years at the latest we have solved the deformity that was created over the course of many years, where Venezuelan gasoline practically we give it away, "Maduro said from the Miraflores Palace in a televised message to the country. However, those who do not have the controversial ID card of the country, mostly sympathizers of the opposition, will have to pay gasoline at the price of international markets, located well above what is now in Venezuela.

     Maduro warned that Venezuelans must obtain the identity card of the country to be able to access the subsidized fuel. It will also be necessary to register the vehicle in a national census that the Venezuelan authorities have organized in the last weeks and that will conclude in the coming days. Venezuela suffers a serious economic crisis and a process of uncontrolled rise in prices that has left the State in a precarious economic situation and has hit the population hard. The measure is included in the so-called Economic Recovery, Growth and Prosperity Program, with which Maduro said that his country will defeat the "economic war" that, according to him, has been suffering in recent years.

 THE PARLIAMENT OF VENEZUELA WILL ASK MICHELLE BACHELER TO VISIT THE BORDERS

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --  Deputy Franklyn Duarte announced that the National Assembly will ask the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to travel to the most vulnerable areas of the country. The National Assembly indicated that the border states are the most vulnerable in the country. In the framework of the expected visit of Michelle Bachelet to Venezuela, on Wednesday the National Assembly (AN), an opposition majority, announced that she will request the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to travel to the border, where, according to Deputy Franklyn Duarte, are the states most vulnerable to the crisis that the country is going through.

      The MP also revealed that in those areas there are cases of children being sexually exploited or recruited by irregular armed groups. "Children from 12 to 14 years of age are offered one million pesos a month to join groups such as the FARC or the National Liberation Army," he said. "Venezuela is among the countries that least protect children and This is an important piece of information for the commissioner of human rights, we are going to collect reports and receive reports to take them to international bodies and follow up on all cases of violation of the rights of Venezuelan children. "Duarte said that from the Family Commission of the National Assembly will send a detailed report to Bachelet, who will be in the country between this Wednesday and Frida

     The intention of the parliamentarians is that the former president of Chile appoint a special mission to ensure respect for the human rights of Venezuelans throughout the world. In that line, Duarte asserted that many of his compatriots are victims of labor exploitation, xenophobia, racism and intolerance. The report that will be sent to Bachelet will also include evidence of how the regime of Nicolás Maduro violates the rights of the Venezuelan family, especially by denying them identity documents such as the identity card and passport. Parliament will send a report to Bachelet to report on the situation of Venezuelan children. This is in addition to the request made this week by the National Assembly to Bachelet to mediate "for the release of political prisoners" of the Chavista dictatorship.

RUSSIA'S MOST MODER WARSHIP SAILS THE CARIBBEAN AS TENSION GROWS WITH THE UNITED STATES

   WASHINGTON, D.C.    --   It is the first time in years that a Russian surface fighter has sailed in the region, not to mention one capable of firing modern land-based cruise missiles. Photo: Courtesy It is the first time in years that a Russian surface fighter has sailed in the region, not to mention one capable of firing modern land-based cruise missiles. One of the most recent warships in Russia, the first class frigate of Project 22350, Admiral Gorshkov, is sailing in the Caribbean and may be heading to Cuba.

     The presence of the ship in the region could incite the wrath of the United States, especially if it also makes a visit to a port in Venezuela, where the US government and Russia continue to support rival political factions. Wherever you sail, your impact can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that the rest of your fleet consisting of three support vessels, including a heavy tugboat that often follows the wake of the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, of the Russian Navy and that now is indefinitely out of service, reviewed thedrive.com . Admiral Gorshkov traveled from the Eastern Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean through the Panama Canal on June 17, 2019. The Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy says he expects the multifunctional logistics vessel Elbrus 23120, the tanker Kama and the heavy tug Nikolay Chiker have crossed the Caribbean for tomorrow, according to an official statement, It is still unknown where the ships are going.

     The fleet has already traveled some 26,000 miles since it left the main base of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk, in the far north of Russia, in February 2019. This included stops in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and Sri Lanka in the Ocean Indian before visiting China. There, Admiral Gorshkov participated in a major naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Army of the People's Liberation Army. The ships also stopped in Ecuador before sailing to the Panama Canal.

JUNE 19, 2019

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: CUBA MUST "GET OUT OF THE WAY" OF the VENEZUELAn freedom

       MIAMI, FLORIDA    --     The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, said on Tuesday in Miami that Cuba must "get out of the way" that leads to the freedom of Venezuela. In a press conference at the port of that city in South Florida, Pence reported on the five-month mission that the hospital ship Comfort of the US Navy will carry out in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to alleviate the humanitarian crisis of the Venezuelan refugees. If a country interferes in the destiny of Venezuela, "it is not the United States, but Cuba," Pence said, and reiterated support for interim president Juan Guaidó until democracy is restored in the oil country. President Trump and I are together with Acting President Guidó, he stated

      The Vice President Pence was, accompanied by his wife Karen, Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the Southern Command; the Secretary of Health, Alex M. Azar, and Carlos Vecchio, representative in the US of Guaidó. Pence said in Spanish to the Venezuelans: "We are with you until the freedom". The vice president thanked the region's allied countries "for joining us to provide relief to those in need and for making this the Hemisphere of Freedom that should always have been." "Nocolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate right to power, and Nicolás Maduro must leave," he said, adding that the Maduro regime is not just a threat for Venezuela, but for the entire region.

     The hospital ship is scheduled to leave today Wednesday for a five-month mission that will take it to Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. The US ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Trujillo, also reiterated his support "to the administration of President Guaidó and to all the officials of all the parties that are against (Nicolás) Maduro." The Comfort has on board with more than 1,000 beds, a dozen operating rooms, digital radiological services, a laboratory, pharmacy and a blood bank with 5,000 units. It also has a helipad for large aircraft. More than four million Venezuelans, according to United Nations data, have emigrated due to the crisis, and that has put under pressure the health systems of the countries that have hosted them.

 VENEZUELAN DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO ERASED $3 BILLION OF DEBT OF CUBA WITH VENEZUELA  WITH A "STROKE"

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --  An unpublished document shows how Nicolás Maduro "compensated" Cuba's debts for supposed services and products supplied to Venezuela allegedly without backups, including work on the national electricity system and supply of raw materials that the island does not produce. The document also shows how Havana had its hand in a wide variety of businesses, from contracts with Pdvsa Industrial and Minerven, to the provision of hospitals, supply of steel and cement bars, telephone and air services. A debt of $ 3 billion that Cuba accumulated with Venezuela at least since 2006, and that included numerous loans with public agencies such as the National Treasury, Fonden and Bandes, was eliminated and "compensated" secretly by order of Nicolás Maduro after arriving from a trip of consultations to Havana.

     According to a five-page Account Point 045-16 proposed by Chavez leader Delsy Rodríguez when she was Chancellor of the regime, and signed by dictator Maduro, the Cuban debt was erased with a stroke for "compensation" with supposed debts that Venezuela had with Cuba. The compensation not only forgave $ 3 billion that Cuba had already spent, but it included a credit line of $ 177 million in favor of Havana, because Venezuela's debt was higher. The document, obtained exclusively by First Report and published for the first time, was signed by Maduro in mid-2016, after arriving from a trip to Havana to sign new agreements with Cuban dictator Raúl Castro.

      The Cuban debt disappeared from the accounting of Venezuelan state agencies, including Fonden, Corpoelec, Cantv, PDVSA and Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG), among others. And according to prosecutors who investigated the case, the invoices and receipts of the products sold and the services allegedly provided by the Cubans included in the Account Point do not appear or are kept secret. According to the document, Cuba's total debt to Venezuela was $ 3,008 million and included several credits with Fonden, promissory notes of the Central Bank of Cuba for the National Treasury Office, deposits made by PDVSA at Banco Internacional de Comercio SA, of Cuba, in other aspects. The document was kept secret until it was leaked to First Report by a senior PDVSA executive who was against the operation. Neither the senior executive nor one of the prosecutors who initiated the inquiries confidentially found receipts, invoices or proof of the services allegedly described in the Account Point.

COMPLAINS SOUND LOUDER ON THE EVE OF BACHELET'S ARRIVAL IN VENEZUELA

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --   Oil workers remain in protest on Tuesday, demanding the presence of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, in the Plaza de la Moneda, a few meters from the Miraflores Palace, in Caracas (Venezuela). The former workers of Exxon Mobil have been on hunger strike since May 30, demanding that President Nicolás Maduro pay the labor liabilities.

      A long list of complaints was announced on Tuesday in Venezuela when there are only hours left for the arrival of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who will make a three-day visit to the country, with a private agenda until now.
The Parliament, non-governmental organizations, civil associations and even the Prosecutor's Office used the microphones to point out to the media the alleged perpetrators of human rights violations, the subject that will focus Bachelet's stay in Venezuela.

     Although the agenda of the Chilean president remains in reserve, the ambassador of Spain in Venezuela, Jesus Silva, told Efe that on Thursday he will hold meetings with the diplomatic corps accredited in the country. The high commissioner is also expected to meet with the representatives of the seven UN agencies operating in Venezuela. The National Assembly (AN, Parliament), with an opposition majority, asked Bachelet, who will arrive on Wednesday, "his good offices for the release of the political prisoners of the regime" of Nicolás Maduro, who governs Venezuela since 2013. Also, the Legislative asked him to intercede for 14 deputies that he considers "persecuted" by the Justice, after they were stripped of their jurisdiction, to be identified by their alleged connection with the failed military rebellion on April 30, and that They find exiles, in hiding or refugees in embassies.

JUNE 18, 2019

LISTEN BOY, POLITICAL POWER IS NEVER GIVEN FOR GOOD

  CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --      José Guerra and Tomás Guanipa have been disqualified as parliamentarians. Guerra is an eminent economist. It was a decision of the Supreme Court of (In) Justicia that presides over Maikel Moreno in Venezuela. Moreno, before becoming a lawyer, was a DISIP police officer and was the bodyguard of President Carlos Andrés Pérez. The DISIP was transformed during Chavismo in the sinister SEBIN. At the time of democracy Moreno was accused of two murders, but his links with the police took him out of prison and decided to study law. It seems that he climbed to power for his friendship with Cilia Flores, the wife of Nicolás Maduro.

     Maduro's plan is quite obvious and was outlined by his Cuban advisors in December 2015 when the opposition obtained two thirds of the deputies, a percentage that allowed him to change the venal magistrates to the service of the ruling party. Maduro, starting in 2016, frightened, decided to govern by means of obedient judicial power and, consequently, eliminated three indigenous deputies from the Amazon through a baladi pretext. Those three deputies made the qualified majority that the opposition needed to clean up the judicial power. They could not or they wanted to sustain them. The TSJ declared in contempt of the National Assembly (AN) until it yielded and the deputies admitted the first pruning.

     Cuba trusts that, over time, the adverse international scenario that prevails today will change, and Venezuela, as happened to the island, will no longer be an anomaly and everyone will become accustomed to the presence of a corrupt narco-state that has escaped from the 20th. or 25% of the population. It has already done 15%. In any case, it is suicidal for Latin Americans to cross their arms before the immense tragedy of Venezuelans. More than four million people have already escaped from the country and it is very possible that a famine will be unleashed that will kill many others. Maduro and his accomplices are not going to hand over the authority just because society demands it. Fidel told Chávez many times: "Political power is never given for good, boy." You have to conquer it with cannon fire.

EUROPEAN UNION WILL DISCUSS THIS WEEK DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS IN VENEZUELA

   BRUSSELS, BELGIUM   --  The Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) addressED on Monday in Luxembourg the diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution to the Venezuelan crisis and the consequences of the application of the Helms-Burton law on Cuba by the United States, among others current affairs. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, will inform the ministers about the first contacts made by their special adviser for Venezuela, Enrique Iglesias. Likewise, it will give an account of the meeting recently held by the international contact group -driven by the EU to promote conditions in which fair presidential elections can be held in Venezuela- with the Lima group, composed of American countries critical of the Government. of the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro.

    The EU supports any dialogue that allows finding a peaceful and political solution to the crisis that Venezuela is going through, such as the negotiations between the government and the opposition that take place in Oslo, as long as they are complementary to their diplomatic efforts. The contact group, which will meet again soon, has access to all parties involved in this conflict, as well as to civil society. Several diplomatic sources considered that the time has not come to speak of sanctions, although the Council of the EU continues its preparatory work of a legislative framework to apply them. On the other hand, Mogherini will address the effects of the activation by the United States of the Helms-Burton law, which allows to sue before US courts foreign companies with interests in the Caribbean island, which have benefited from expropriated land or property after the Revolution of 1959.

     On May 24, Mogherini discussed the matter with Cuba's foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez; both showed their rejection of this measure undertaken by Washington and evaluated the next steps. The EU has already advanced its intention to apply the "blockade statute", which prohibits the application in EU territory of sentences in the USA. on Title III and allows defendants to receive compensation in European courts. Neither does it rule out a possible claim before the World Trade Organization (WTO), a measure to which the European bloc already appealed when the Helms-Burton was approved in 1996 and that was not withdrawn until Washington undertook to keep the aforementioned Title III.

NICOLAS MADURO, STILL DEEPLY UNPOPULAR, FINDS STRENGTH IN VENEZUELA STALEMATE

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --  A new poll suggests that the five-month political stalemate in Venezuela is subtly helping Nicolás Maduro, as an increasing number of people acknowledge that he’s the country’s legitimate leader — despite the international recognition for his rival, Juan Guaidó. A poll released by Datincorp over the weekend found 41 percent consider Maduro the country’s “constitutional president” versus 36 percent who say the same about Guaidó. In February — a month after Washington and more than 50 other nations backed Guaidó as interim president — 49 percent believed the young politician was the country’s true leader, versus 34 percent who said the same about Maduro.

     Even so, the poll also makes clear that Maduro, 57, remains deeply unpopular in a country seized by hyperinflation, electricity rationing and fuel shortages. The study found that 40 percent of the population considers itself in the “opposition” versus 19 percent who say they are government supporters or “Chavistas,” the ruling party that follows ideology implemented by the late President Hugo Chávez. Thirty-eight percent say they are “non-aligned.” If presidential elections were held now, Guaidó would win with 33 percent of the vote versus Maduro’s 16 percent. Opposition stalwarts Leopoldo López and Maria Corina Machado would win 11 percent and 4 percent, respectively. But a full 18 percent said they wouldn’t vote for any of the likely candidates.

     The poll comes as Guaidó, the 35-year-old president of the National Assembly, has been struggling to turn international support into political power. In January, he declared himself interim presidentand in April he tried to seize control through a military uprising, only to see it fizzle. Since then, Maduro has tightened his grip, jailing more than a dozen people for their role in the putsch. It’s unclear how the impasse will be resolved. Initially, Washington suggested that outside military force wasn’t out of the question to bring Guaidó to power. It has walked back that idea since then. And the poll found that just 38 percent of Venezuelans believe a military intervention is possible versus the 54 percent who don’t think it will happen.

JUNE 17, 2019

JUAN GUAIDO REQUESTS COLOMBIA TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGED ACTS OF CORRUPTION BY HIS COLLABORATORS

  CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --     The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, asked on Friday the Colombian authorities to investigate alleged acts of corruption of his delegates in that country, after allegations of embezzlement of funds. A publication of the digital media Panam Post points out two delegates of Guaidó, recognized as interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries, to divert resources destined to defray military expenses that withdrew their support to Nicolás Maduro and defected to Colombia last February.

"Delegation in Colombia has handled the situation of the military in that country with austerity and economic limitations, and in the face of denunciations, I ask Ambassador Humberto Calderón Bert to formally request Colombian intelligence agencies to carry out the necessary research: Transparency above all!" Guaidó wrote on Twitter. Humberto Calderón Berti, former president of the state oil company Pdvsa, is the representative of Guaidó in Bogotá. According to Panam Post, the irregularities include "invoices that show excesses", expenses "of clothes in very expensive stores in Bogotá and in Cúcuta", as well as vehicle rental and payment of hotels with "overpricing". The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, echoed the newspaper text and requested an investigation.

"We ask the competent jurisdiction for an investigation to clarify the grave charges laid down here, determine responsibilities and demand accountability, and there is no possible democratization under the opacity of acts of corruption," he affirmed on Twitter. On May 15, more than sixty deserters from the armed forces of Venezuela and their families were evicted from the hotel where they were sheltering in Colombia due to debts with the lodging. Guaidó, who for more than four months has been leading the pressure to remove Maduro from power, has insisted that the oil country's debacle is a consequence of the corruption registered during 20 years of Chavez administration.

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES CONSIDER IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO AND HIS CRONIES IN  THE REGIME

   BRUSSELS, BELGIUM   --  The main European nations are considering imposing sanctions on Venezuelans Nicolás Maduro and several high-level officials for their recent crackdown on political opponents, although the divisions continue on the schedule of any action for fear of derailing a negotiated solution to the country's crisis . Sanctions such as financial and travel restrictions are being evaluated by a core group of five nations (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands) before being proposed to the European Council, said diplomats and members of the Venezuelan opposition with knowledge of the plan.

A total of five sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deliberations publicly. While Maduro is among a dozen officials who could receive sanctions, a final decision has not been made, two people said. The group must still overcome internal divisions before making a formal proposal to the executive branch of the EU.

Diplomats and members of the Venezuelan opposition with knowledge of the plans said that the sanctions being analyzed could also be applied to important members of the armed forces and the judicial system, who have been instrumental in the arrest of the Venezuelan opposition leader's allies. Juan Guaidó However, the main obstacle to the plan is the fear that it could hamper current international efforts to
find a negotiated solution to the country's crisis.

THE SWEDISH GOVERNMENT WITHDREW ITS SUPPORT FOR  PROJECT THAT ALLOWS RATIFICATION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND CUBA

   STOCKHOLM, SWEDISH --  "The Swedish Government revokes draft law 2017/18: 285 Agreement on political dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and its member states, on the one hand, and the Republic of Cuba, on the other, the Swedish Foreign Ministry reported," by not having enough votes in the Parliament of that Scandinavian nation. Erik Jennische, director for Latin America of the organization Civil Rights Defender, explained via telephone to 14ymedio from Stockholm, that the Government and the Foreign Commission after listening to the Cuban democrats decided not to ratify the agreement. Several opponents of the island have presented to Swedish parliamentarians, in the last year, their proposals to democratize the island, which include a rejection of the agreement between the EU and the Cuban authorities.

     "For the last five years we have been working with opponents and representatives of civil society to help European Union politicians take into account not only the opinion of the Government of Cuba, but also that of independent activists," Jennische explained. "Neither the European Union, nor obviously Cuba, have allowed -for example- that independent journalists attend press conferences once the bilateral meetings in Havana have concluded, nor have they held meetings with independent civil society," he added. In the opposition the agreement has not enjoyed legitimacy because civil society was not invited to participate in its preparation, explained human rights defender Erik Jennische

    Jennische referred to the agreement signed by the European Union with Central America and regretted that Cuba, "a definitely undemocratic country," is required less than the countries of that region. "The content of the agreement is very weak and does not demand changes on the island. [The Government of] Cuba could continue to violate human rights without breaking the terms of the agreement." The only thing the agreement asks is a dialogue on human rights that is being carried out. once a year and where it is the Cuban government itself that chooses the organizations that participate in it, "he explained. Along with Sweden, neither Lithuania, Ireland and the Netherlands have ratified the European Union's agreement with Cuba. The opponent Manuel Cuesta Morúa believes that the Swedish authorities are "sending an important message: we have tried everything with the Cuban Government and this shows no real will to change, to respect the agreements and its own constitutional architecture" "With a little honorable government can There is no dialogue, no cooperation, the continuity of the repression and the existence of political prisoners does not invite cooperation with this type of States, I do not agree, "said the Coordinator of the Unit for Democratic Action.

JUNE 15, 2019

USA MILITARY SAYS IRANIAN VESSELS WERE OBSERVED NEAR 2 TANKERS ATTACKED IN GULF OF OMAN

  WASHINGTON. D.C.   --    The U.S. Navy assisted the ships, one of which was set ablaze. Some 44 crew members abandoned ship; they sustained only minor injuries. Hours after two oil tankers were hit in a suspected attack in international waters of the Gulf of Oman, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran. He did not offer any evidence that Iran was responsible for the attack, pointing instead to intelligence, the weapons used and recent Iranian attacks on other targets. Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown released a statement Thursday that said, "The U.S. and our partners in the region will take all necessary measures to defend ourselves and our interests. Today's attacks are a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce."

     "We have no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East," he added. "We will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community." Last month, four commercial ships in the same passageway sustained serious damage in another episode that Pompeo said was carried out by Iran. Iran's permanent mission to the U.N. called the U.S. accusations "inflammatory." The statement said, "Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim." It said the U.S., which "unlawfully withdrew" from the international nuclear agreement, has no standing to call on Iran to engage in negotiations and diplomacy. The statement said the U.S. is the main source of "insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region."

     Speaking to reporters at the State Department in Washington, Pompeo said Iran is using "terror, bloodshed and extortion" in an attempt to pressure the U.S. to ease what he described as a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. "Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran," Pompeo said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Thursday that "these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security." Pompeo provided no specifics about any planned response and took no questions from reporters. The U.S. has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran since the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal a year ago. The U.S. wants a tougher pact than the one agreed to in 2015. American officials are also calling for Iran to behave like a "normal" nation. Pompeo focused on diplomatic responses to the attacks on Thursday, a sharp contrast coming after weeks of concern over whether the two countries could be headed toward a military confrontation. "Our policy remains an economic and diplomatic effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table," he said.

IN MAY, THE OIL PRODUCTION AND EXPORTS OF VENEZUELA FELL.  IT SEEMS TO BE THE NEW LOW

   Washington, D. C.  -- OPEC has just published the Monthly Bulletin of the Oil Market corresponding to May 2019, which shows an increase to the production of Venezuela, standing at 741 thousand barrels per day (bpd), according to independent or secondary sources. A collapse equivalent to 4.51% with respect to the previous month. In terms of the PDVSA box represents a monthly fall in revenues of USD 61 million. In May, Venezuela's oil production fell 35 thousand bpd with April The Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum (direct communication) indicated that oil production was 1.05 billion bpd in May. An increase of 13 thousand bpd compared to April.

     However, Venezuela produced 1,229 million bpd due to the fact that OPEC's assigned quota of 1.97 million bpd -focused at the December 2016 meeting-, although, in the last agreement of December 2018, Venezuela was left out of the new cut in OPEC production. For the executive director of Inter-American Trends, Antonio de la Cruz, " Venezuela's oil production returned to the volume of the month of March, indicating that the previous month's rise was the product of the import of light crude oil from Nigeria" Yes this trend is maintained, Venezuela would be producing 383 thousand bpd at the end of 2019. " The production of crude oil in the environment of 700 thousand bpd was not observed in the country since the two months of the national civic strike of 2003.

     Also, the executive director of Inter-American Trends said that " in May, Venezuela exported 644 thousand bpd according to the TankerTracker. A fall of 231 thousand bpd compared to the previous month ". The company Baker Hughes reports in its May " International Rig Count " report that drilling activity in Venezuela remains the same since March. Of the 22 rigs on the ground, 2 were assigned to the gas area and the rest to the oil area. Regarding the price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil, OPEC indicated that Merey-type crude (Venezuelan marker) was at $ 59.15 a barrel in May. An increase of 0.3% with respect to the previous month.

VENEZUELA DOES NOT HAVE THE LARGEST OIL RESERVES IN THE WORLD -- THE USA HAS IT

   WASHINGTON, D.C.      --    The USA Is the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, according to estimates by Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy. Venezuela ranks ninth behind China | Rystad Report June 2019. According to the most recent review (June 2019) of the Rystad Energy consultancy of recoverable oil resources in the world, Venezuela does not have the largest proven reserves in the world. Officially, Venezuela has the largest crude oil reserves in the world with 303 billion barrels of proven reserves. However, a large part of this oil is extra-heavy crude and it may not be economical to produce it at the current prices. Therefore, it is possible that part of the Venezuelan barrels is no longer in the "proven reserves" category. The proven reserves of Venezuela went from 77 billion barrels in 2005 to 297 billion barrels in 2014.

    The main reason for this was not a lot of new oil discoveries. No, it was the fact that oil prices had reached three digits, which made Venezuela's extra-heavy oil production economic. In other words, the "resources" (oil in the soil) were transferred to the category of "proven reserves" (oil that is economically feasible to produce). Venezuela reported to OPEC that by the end of 2017 it had 302,809 million barrels of oil as proved reserves. The numbers of Rystad Energy severely challenge the official figures of Venezuela, when calculating that Venezuela has 68 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources (2PCX), 2 billion less than in the previous revision (June 2018).

    The Rystad group based in Oslo also analyzes production performance, drilling and exploratory activity to estimate reserves for individual fields. As a result, the fall in the price of oil since 2014 and the consequent economic turbulence in Venezuela has drastically dragged its reserve estimates for the country. "The main reason oil resources in Venezuela have been revised downwards is due to lower prospects for oil prices," said Rystad analyst Aditya Ravi in 2017. "The lower oil price has especially affected Venezuela and the production in the country has decreased faster than we estimated for the first time " In fact, while Venezuela's official reserves have increased since the year 2000 because oil prices increased optimism, the country's oil production went in the opposite direction since Chávez came to power in 1998. And with Maduro since 2013, the problems were aggravated. The largest reserves are in the US.

JUNE 14, 2019

MARIA CORINA MACHADO AND ANTONIO LEDEZMA AFFIRMED THAT FORCE IS THE ONLY OPTION TO END THE MADURO DICTATORSHIP

  Caracas, Venezuela --    Through a public letter, Venezuelan opposition leaders asked interim president Juan Guaidó to cancel the mediation of Norway, considering it an "opaque and harmful negotiation." María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma and Diego Arria again demonstrated against the mediation of the Government of Norway to find a solution to the Venezuelan crisis, and reiterated their position to use force to end the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. "Cancel and close definitively, without leaving spaces for suspicions, this opaque and harmful negotiation," the opposition officials indicated in a public letter addressed to interim president Juan Guaidó. Machado, Ledezma and Arria warned about "the possibility of a pact with organized crime arising a 'democratic elections' to be held under his control."

     "You, Mr. President, have insisted on repeating that, faced with the regime, all the options are on the table, in fact, there is only one and only real option left on the table, which is strength, understood as the appropriate combination of the institutional strength of the National Assembly, of its Interim Presidency and of the legitimate TSJ, with the strength of the organized mobilization of the Venezuelans and the strength of a loyal international coalition, that cooperates with us in the task of evicting the prevailing narco-state, liberating to Venezuela and to rebuild the Republic, we ask you to assume this reality, "the letter added. You know that the propaganda skill of the Russians and the Cubans tries to fix a narrative that the proposed thing would be, thus, a military invasion difficult to execute and of uncertain effects even after the regime was overthrown; arguing the existence of opposing forces that would resist, generating problems of uncontrollable violence and ungovernability. But you and we know that this is the Cuban legend of occasion and historically recreated in all the criminal experiences in which it has colluded.

    The Venezuelan people are deeply united in their pain, in their urgencies, in their demand for humane and dignified treatment, in that more than 90 percent that reject drug trafficking. The bulk of our own National Armed Forces, without the Cuban controls, would be on the side of the people and the Constitution in a country that, like ours, at a good time, has no ethnic, religious or interregional problems, and has shown in different moments of its history a formidable capacity to assume and successfully overcome its political transitions. The opposition leaders sent this letter on the same day that Maduro launched a tough threat against Guaidó, stating that the interim president "will not take power either by bad or by good." "The opposition wants to carry out a coup in Venezuela, but they will not succeed, I swear they will not come back badly or for good, there will be revolution for long, I swear to you," he exclaimed on Tuesday during the second anniversary of the Movement We are Venezuela.

PRESIDENT TRUMP EVALUATES THE POSSIBILITY OF GRANTING TPS TO VENEZUELANS

   Washington, D. C.  --  US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was studying the possibility of granting asylum or temporary protection status (TPS) to Venezuelans who have left their country because of the political crisis. economic and social life there. Before the specific question of a journalist in the White House about that possibility. "We are looking at that and we are very involved in the crisis in Venezuela, it is a horrible situation, a horrible situation that has been brewing for many years, it really started in the worst way since the Biden-Obama administration, but it has been brewing for a long time, "said Trump.

      The US government had already said it was evaluating that possibility, but it is the first time that Trump has ruled on the matter. In March, at a Senate hearing, the United States special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said that the possibility of granting TPS to Venezuelans was "under consideration." Trump also pointed out, on Tuesday, at the White House before leaving for Ohio, which received a warm letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and described the correspondence as "beautiful."

     "I just received a beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un. I can not tell you the content, obviously, but it was a very personal letter, very warm and very nice, I appreciate it, and I'll say it again, I think North Korea has a tremendous potential and he will be there, "said the president. He even praised the leadership of that country, the people and its location, which he described as "incredible". "I think North Korea has tremendous potential, and the one who feels that more than anyone else is Kim Jong Un." Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump added: "I think something is going to happen that will be very positive," but did not give details.

THE PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY OF 22 DEPUTIES ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE HAS BEEN THREATENED

   Caracas, Venezuela     --   The deputy of the National Assembly (AN), María Hernández, counted up to 22 members of the Legislative Power threatened by the mechanisms of the Chavista regime of Nicolás Maduro to be persecuted, ignoring their parliamentary immunity. After the threats to Tomás Guanipa and José Guerra on Wednesday, June 12, the number of parliamentarians appointed by the Supreme Court, under the orders of Chavez, exceeds twenty. Before the outrage against Guerra and Guanipa, Guaidó denounced "the pretension of the regime to end the National Assembly." He also considers that each harassment worsens the country's problems and sharpens the end of the dictatorship. "

     # 12Jun There are 22 Members of the @AsambleaVE whose immunity, Universal Right for the representatives of the citizens, has been violated by the Dictatorship. Even so, persevere in being Free. And we will achieve it. Top Venezuela Let the Dictatorship fall! pic.twitter.com/z06IooN09c The updated list is headed by Julio Borges, who represents the country before the Lima Group, the young leader Juan Reuquesens and the president of the Legislative Branch, Juan Guaidó, recognized by more than 50 countries as the interim president from Venezuela.

      Several deputies chose to take temporary refuge in embassies attached to the democratic return, as is the case of Freddy Guevara or Richard Blanco; others remain active from exile, as do José Manuel Olivares or Luis Florido and, finally, the first vice president of the AN, Edgar Zambrano, was the victim of arbitrary detention. We must warn the seriousness of the acquiescence to the immunity of @JoseAGuerra and @TomasGuanipa, the abuse of the will of the voters and the pretension of the regime to end the @AsambleaVE. Each harassment worsens the country's problems and sharpens the end of the dictatorship.


JUNE 13, 2019

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO THREATENED PRESIDENT INTERIM JUAN GUAIDO: "HE WILL NOT TAKE POWER EITHER BY BAD OR BY GOOD

  Caracas, Venezuela --    The Venezuelan dictator sent a message to the President in Charge, recognized by more than 50 countries of the world. "Here there is revolution for long," he challenged. He also denied poverty rates "The opposition wants to take a coup in Venezuela, but they will not succeed, I swear they will not come back badly or for good." There will be a revolution for a long time, I swear, "he exclaimed. this Tuesday Nicolás Maduro during the second anniversary of Movimiento Somos Venezuela in a clear message to Juan Guaidó, the president in charge of Venezuela recognized by more than 50 countries. "Whatever they do they will not be able to, because there is a solid civic-military union, a solid power based on the Constitution, the further we advance, the more guarantee of peace and stability there is," the Chavez added.

     The dictator launched these threats at the same time he asked for "a dialogue" to get out of the crisis. Weeks ago, negotiations in Oslo were frustrated precisely by the lack of Chavez's will. According to the Guaidó environment, the only possible dialogue must include the exit of the "usurper". In the same intervention in which he threatened his detractors, Maduro also assured that in Venezuela, extreme poverty or misery, has been "reduced" and put in "five or six percent" the number of people in this condition. He made these statements even when there are studies that affirm that 60% of Venezuelans go to bed hungry every night. In addition, it did not provide any official figures, statistics that the regime has been hiding for years.

     Moreover, this week Unicef warned that one in three Venezuelan children require urgent help in nutrition, health and education. The United Nations agency said there are 3.2 million children with these basic needs unmet. It is that Venezuela experiences the greatest economic collapse happened in a country without war in at least 45 years. According to the economists quoted by The New York Times, the bad government, corruption and erroneous policies of the regime of Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, unleashed a rampant inflation that closed businesses and destroyed the country. Last Monday, for example - and according to the data released by the Finance Committee of the National Assembly - it was known that inflation in May stood at 31.3%, with which it accumulates 905.6% in the first five months of the year.

LAURA CHINCHILLA: REGIME OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO HAS DISPLACED 4 MILLION VENEZUELANS

   Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic  --  The ex president of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) presides the conference "Integral migration policy: An experience from Costa Rica" this Tuesday, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Chinchilla affirmed that the "dictatorial" regime of Venezuela has provoked a humanitarian crisis of such magnitude in that country, which has caused the largest diaspora known in the history of the American continent. "According to recent figures from the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), and there are four million Venezuelans who have left their country, especially in the last three years, because of a dictatorial government that has cut the human rights and the cause of the debacle of the economy in Venezuela, "said the ex-governor during a conference in Santo Domingo. She compared the situation of the Venezuelan people with the crisis in Syria and complained that, in the face of the Venezuelan situation, the international community does not provide the support that is required.

     Although she appreciated the support that Venezuelan emigrants have given to nearby countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, she warned that these nations "can no longer tolerate" the pressure of such high migration from Venezuela. "The situation in Cúcuta, on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, is dramatic (...) these days I was in Washington talking to the ambassadors of Venezuela and Colombia and the latter told me that his country is investing 4% of its GDP ( gross domestic product) in aid for Venezuelans, "said Chinchilla. However, she assured that Latin America has an obligation, for humanitarian reasons, to welcome Venezuelans fleeing the crisis situation in their country, always doing so in an orderly manner and respecting human rights. On the other hand, Chinchilla, who delivered the conference "Integral migration policy: An experience from Costa Rica," said that there are also specific processes in the region in relation to emigrants, and cited the cases of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as those of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

     In her opinion, the Dominican Republic is in the "right direction" in immigration matters and stressed that the Caribbean country is working "seriously" in that regard, and that it has the "necessary instruments" to try to get the most out of the migratory flows. Also, that as a result of the crisis situation that Nicaragua went through last year, many citizens of this last country migrated to Costa Rica, where a "populist and xenophobic" movement against them arose, which was stopped by the association of "all "Costa Rican" ex-presidents, who initiated the 'Somos Hermanos' campaign. " The conference that Chinchilla dictated was organized by the National Institute of Migration of the Dominican Republic (INMRD), and was supported by the World Leadership Alliance-Club of Madrid (WLA-CdM), represented by its program officer, the Spanish Rafael Moreno López.

JOEL GARCIA: AN ACTIVE DUTY GENERAL CONFESSED THAT JUAN REQUESENS WAS TORTURED TO INCRIMINATE OTHER OPPOSITION LEADERS

   Caracas, Venezuela     --  The lawyer of the deputy Juan Requesens, Joel García, indicated that they will offer the result of the hearing to the parliamentarian that culminated this Tuesday in the Palace of Justice. Requesens affirmed that on July 1 will be answered from the audience and assured that the freedom of the diplomat will come hand in hand with the freedom of democracy.

     This was said in an interview for TVVenezuela, that the outcome of this hearing will be announced on July 1 and noted that Requesens "is morally strong and convinced that this fight is worth it and soon will end because his freedom comes hand in hand with the freedom of Venezuela. " "I know that Juan Requesens' freedom comes soon, either by the hand of the judge or by democracy," he said. He also said that "Juan Requesens is prepared to be a prisoner, he is aware and he is not even imploring a freedom for nothing because he knows that his freedom has to come by being innocent.

     On the other hand, he said that "an active general confessed that he was tortured and told him that in order to get out of the problem, he only had to record a video saying that Antonio Ledezma, Leopoldo López, María Corina Machado, and deputy Juan Requesens are involved in the assassination, of course he refused to do so and that is why he is still behind bars. " He assured that the Public Prosecutor's Office is aware of these "cruel and inhuman" treatment, because on many occasions, they were present because the deputies could see them "

JUNE 12, 2019

INTERVIEW: JUAN GUAIDO REITERATES THAT DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO MUST LEAVE MIRAFLORES BEFORE A FREE ELECTION

  Caracas, Venezuela --      After five months of assuming the presidency in charge of Venezuela, in a dictatorship, the president of the National Assembly, Juan Gerardo Guaidó, spoke exclusively with LaPatilla.com , where he expressed the critical situation that Venezuelans live, "we are about to pass from the emergency to the humanitarian catastrophe, although what we live is a total tragedy ". "How is the country? Very critical, very serious, on the verge of passing from the humanitarian emergency to the catastrophe, the difference is for technical terms of the United Nations Organization, because for us it is already a tragedy ".

     However, he stressed that in the reconstruction of our democracy " we are doing well, because we are the majority and we are going to exercise it, we have international support , we have seen that the Armed Forces are in favor of the constitution". Although he said that "of course there is a leadership that is taking care of their interests." "They have been an unpublished five months for Venezuela, but never before have we gathered the necessary elements to achieve the transition as now," said the president in charge. When asked about what has been missing to achieve the cessation of the usurpation, Guaidó emphasized that " we are facing a dictatorship, and that is the last little push that is needed to recover our normality ."

    He reminded readers that there are some variables that have made progress towards change:
1.- Popular support, they do not have it anymore.
2.- International support, they no longer have it. Russia and China have already given different statements, which we applaud.
3.- Support and difference in the Armed Forces, it can not be generalized that the Armed Forces support Maduro.
4.- The popular mobilization in the street, they do not have it either. Years ago they lost it.|
He added that in order to obtain "ingredient X", it is necessary to exercise these variables together until the cessation of the usurpation occurs. "Transitions are not decreed, they are built, as we have done in Venezuela". In addition, he called for further pressure on these variables. "The world consensus is a free election"

45% OF THE COLOMBIAN TERRORIST GROUP ELN IS OPERATING IN VENEZUELA TERRITORY

   Caracas, Venezuela    --    The Marxist guerrilla group ELN is operating in Venezuelan territory with the approval of Nicolas Maduro's socialist dictatorship. According to Colombian General Luis Fernando Navarro, 45% of the terrorist group ELN (National Liberation Army) is currently operating out of Venezuela. General Navarro declared that they are working to determine the exact number of troops in that country. Over one thousand men out of 2,300 guerrilla soldiers identified by the Colombian Ministry of Defense are thought to be on Venezuelan soil. According to General Navarro, these men are mobilized in border states such as Zulia, Apure, and Tachira, with the approval of Nicolás Maduro’s regime.|

     “Based on our intel reports, we estimate that about 40% or 45% of the ELN is in Venezuela, particularly the North, Northeast, and East fronts. That is also the case with respect to its leadership: alias “Pablito” remains in the Apure state along with other top leaders from the National. Directorate,” claimed General Navarro in an interview for Caracol Radio. The PanAm Post has spoken with sources confirming that the ELN operates in 12 Venezuelan states in total, carrying out operations similar to those they used to undertake in Colombia. Fundaredes director Javier Tarazona informs us that the ELN recruits migrants fleeing from the regime: they control radio stations, manage and distribute CLAP boxes (boxes with basic goods such as milk, corn flour, vegetable oil, among others), and indoctrinate minors at schools nearby the Colombia-Venezuela border.

     Tarazona argues that is necessary to thwart the activities of illegal organizations that are abusing the people, especially the Venezuelan people, by recruiting more and more individuals for their criminal operations. In addition, the Attorney General’s office has received reports that the Venezuelan military is providing illegal Colombian organizations, including the ELN, with weapons and ammunition. Security and defense analyst John Marulanda told the PanAm Post that the ELN’s presence in Venezuela involves illicit businesses, which bring in considerable funds for the organization. “That money allows ELN to recruit people, purchase weapons, and buy loyalty.” He also claimed that, both in Colombia and Venezuela, the ELN is not only present in zones of coca production, but that the guerrilla group is in areas rich in minerals, so they engage in illegal mining. “We must be aware that the ELN is forging alliances with other criminal groups, while continuing to kidnap and extort. The ELN is a real and current threat,” he said.

MILITARY FROM CUBA, RUSSIA, VENEZUELA AND THE USA WILL BE ABLE TO ENTER NICARAGUA

   Managua, Nicaragua     --  Military personnel from Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and the United States, among other countries, may enter Nicaraguan territory in order to exchange experiences and conduct training operations. This was approved by the Parliament of Nicaragua with 73 votes in favor and 16 against, according to EFE. The request was made by President Daniel Ortega "as a matter of urgency" to the National Assembly, who approved it during an extraordinary assembly, this Friday. Foreign soldiers will visit Nicaragua for the purpose of "training, instruction and exchange of military experiences and exercises of a humanitarian nature and the departure of Nicaraguan troops, ships and aircraft out of the country during the second half of 2018", according to the approved permit.

     Nicaragua is submerged in a sociopolitical crisis that has claimed the lives of at least 285 people, including young people, because of the repression in protests against Ortega, so this decision of Parliament, mostly pro-government, caused controversy in the country. Nicaragua will also be able to enter the military from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Taiwan. The deputies also gave way to the training of Nicaraguan soldiers in Mexico, Panama and Russia, in the same semester. Despite the controversy, the entry of foreign troops into Nicaraguan territory is approved every six months, regardless of the political context.

     The Nicaraguan analyst Elvira Cuadra Lira, from the Center for Communication Research (CINCO) and expert in security issues, was quoted on the subject to Diario de Cuba , where she confirmed: «Every semester of the year, the National Assembly approves decrees authorizing this type of military missions to Nicaragua. The participating countries are diverse, including the United States. I think it responds to an image of 'normality' that the Government and the Army want to convey outward.Probably, it also contains a dose of interest to intimidate and generate speculation within the country in relation to the arrival of troops from Cuba and Venezuela to participate in the repression actions, "he said.

JUNE 11, 2019

COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT IVAN DUQUE WILL NOT ALLOW VENEZUELAN BORDER TO BE REBEL SANCTUARY

  BOGOTA, COLOMBIA --      Colombia will not allow its border with Venezuela to become a sanctuary for the leftist ELN rebel group, President Ivan Duque said on Friday, after local media published documents said to show Venezuela has given weapons to the group. Local media Red+ Noticias, which published the documents late on Thursday, said they are signed by Venezuelan military leaders and reference orders from President Nicolas Maduro that the armed forces treat the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels as their allies and avoid targeting them. Another document purportedly shows the Venezuelan military gave explosives to the guerrillas, who have fought the Colombian government for more than five decades.

     Reuters could not independently verify the content of the documents, one of which Red+ said was signed by Remigio Ceballos, the commander of the Venezuelan armed forces. Venezuela’s Information Ministry and Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “We won’t allow the border to become a sanctuary for the ELN,” Duque told journalists, adding the military will be on high alert to prevent the ELN from receiving any weapons or aid from Venezuela. “It doesn’t surprise me,” he said of the report. “The ELN’s top leadership are in Venezuelan territory. (Maduro) has been giving them arms, money and help for several years.”

    Maduro’s help is motivating the ELN to forcibly recruit children and commit crimes along the two countries’ border, Duque added. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Twitter he spoke to Duque about the ELN and pledged lawmakers would collaborate with Colombia to stop attacks. “It is time for our armed forces to exercise the sovereignty of our nation and fight this irregular occupation of our territory,” said Guaido, who invoked the constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, denouncing Maduro’s re-election as illegitimate. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted that Duque is “lying in a scandalously compulsive manner to evade his responsibilities and distract public opinion” and that the Colombian president should “put on his pants and fulfill his obligations”.
 

VENEZUELA EXODUS ACCELERATING

   Caracas, Venezuela    --    The latest figures from the Colombian government show that the rate at which Venezuelans are fleeing their country has accelerated to the tune of 30,000 migrants a day from some 5,000 in the days before embattled leader Nicolas Maduro ordered the border with Colombia closed four months ago. That’s the Cuban “Mariel” boatlift every 4 days, although the exodus of 120,000-plus Cubans that took place from Cuba to Florida in 1980 took place over more than 5 months. And the surge comes just after the UNHCR warned that the exodus was going to accelerate. The Venezuelans leaving their country now join more than 4 million already abroad, according to that United Nations agency for refugees.

     Germany’s DW television network reported Monday that the number of asylum seekers from Venezuela in the European Union jumped 121% in March, to 14,257, citing figures by the Funke Media Group. Venezuelans seeking asylum are currently ranked in the second top position in the European Union, only behind those from Syria, whose migrants are still in the number one position with 20,392 of them seeking EU protection. Syria is closer to Europe and experiencing a fierce dictatorship and a civil war going on its seventh year. And the total number of applicants from Syria has actually decreased by 8%, according to the DW report. And even if Colombia is bearing the brunt of the exodus (1.2 million and counting, according to the UN), the effect of the crisis is already being felt outside of the Western Hemisphere.

    While not at war, Venezuelans are fleeing hyperinflation (the Maduro government admitted to a 130,000%-plus inflation rate in 2018), a nascent humanitarian crisis marked by severe food and medicine shortages that has necessitated Red Cross intervention and an economy that has lost more than half its size in terms of Gross Domestic Product since 2013. Street and political violence have also increased over the years and there is also a Constitutional crisis playing out with Maduro and National Assembly President both claiming the mantle of President. Migrants were seen using both legal crossings into Colombia and the unlawful “trochas”, crossing trails that are often besieged by criminal gangs, meaning the figures for Venezuelan migrants could be much higher.
 

THE REQUEST OF MACRI AND DUQUE TO RETURN DEMOCRACY TO VENEZUELA

   Buenos Aires, Argentina     --  The president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and the one of Colombia, Iván Duque, demanded this Monday in Buenos Aires the cessation of the usurpation and the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, so that the citizens of that country can recover their freedom. "Let us all accelerate the diplomatic siege to achieve the cessation of usurpation and the dictatorship, the transitional government and the restoration of democracy in Venezuela," said the Colombian in an appearance with his counterpart at the Argentine government headquarters in Buenos Aires. Aires, where they previously had a bilateral meeting. Macri added that Maduro is "seriously affecting" the lives of millions of his compatriots who are forced to leave the country. "Some come to Argentina and many more are going to Colombia. This is something we do with great joy and solidarity, but that can not be a sustainable solution over time, "he said.

      In a speech before the media to summarize the issues discussed at the meeting, in which no questions were accepted, Duque considered his Argentine counterpart "a great ally of a just and necessary cause", as it is related to the crisis in Venezuela. "Today I want to recognize here, in your country, the support you gave to the lawsuit against the dictator Nicolás Maduro before the International Criminal Court for the crimes he has systematically committed against his citizens," said the Colombian head of state. That "support", he continued, has been "transcendental", as well as the one that the Argentine president gave "within the framework of the Lima Group and within the framework of the inter-American system to denounce these abuses" of the Chavez regime.

      In turn, Macri reiterated the "deep commitment" with the Venezuelan people, to help do "the impossible to restore democracy." "Venezuela and its Venezuelans must have the right to recover freedom in their country, a wonderful country full of potential that will only emerge from regaining democracy and respect for human rights," he concluded. Both Argentina and Colombia are part, among other more than 10 countries, of the so-called Grupo de Lima, which since August 2017 analyzes and tracks the political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is experiencing. Most of the member states recognize as interim president of the country the leader of the Parliament, Juan Guaidó, whose objective is precisely to achieve the exit of power by Maduro - who is not recognized as a legitimate head of state when considering the latter irregular elections- to start a transitional government and call elections.

JUNE 10, 2019

OPPOSITION REFUSES TO ATTEND OSLO MEETING HOWEVER, RUSSIA CONFIRMED THE OPPOSITE

  MOSCOW, RUSSIA --     The Russian leader for Latin America confirmed A new OPPOSITION AND VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT MEETING in Oslo for TODAY June 10. The president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, explained this Friday from Valencia, Carabobo, that a next meeting with representatives of the Nicolás Maduro government in Oslo, Norway, was not planned. "When there is a new meeting in Oslo or with the Contact Group I will inform you, it is not raised today (...) We sit wherever we want, if we want, as long as we are closer to the cessation of the usurpation, transitional government and free elections ", emphasized Guaidó. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday a new mediation agenda between the regime and the Venezuelan opposition, in Oslo, Norway. According to the Russia Today media, the head of the Latin American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexánder Schetinin, assured that the meetings would be "next week" (June 10).

     "As far as we know, it will take place next week, but this is not a question for us, but for the Norwegian intermediaries, we clearly know that there is a great demand from the part (of Venezuelans) and it is absolutely justified for these contacts are made in the most relaxed atmosphere, without much fuss about it, "said Schetinin. And it is that the Russian Government had avoided, until now, becoming a leading voice in the dialogues. In fact, even the president of the United States, Donald Trump, had assured that "Putin does not seek to get involved in the Venezuelan crisis". In recent weeks, Russia has made the headlines worldwide in relation to Venezuela. It was first known that he had withdrawn Russian personnel from Venezuela, then expressed his support for Nicolás Maduro and then Putin said that Guaidó is "a nice guy" and confirmed that he has met with representatives of the opposition.

     Another meeting that does not go unnoticed is the one that the Russian Government made with that of Colombia. While Putin is an ally of Maduro, Iván Duque is one of the main allies of Juan Guaidó, he reviewed the website Panam Post. On Monday, June 3, the foreign ministers of Russia and Colombia met to discuss the situation in Venezuela, an approach that took place two weeks after the US State Department met with its Russian counterpart. It seems that Russia's new role comes after international pressure to mention it as a key element in what is happening in Venezuela. In addition, he would be looking to be aware of the details of the negotiation to avoid that the economic interests he keeps in the country are affected. A member of the Venezuelan opposition told the AP that Norway's mediation effort is stalling because of Maduro's refusal to accept free presidential elections to resolve the political crisis, which is why the Norwegian negotiators' objective is in Caracas it would be an attempt to encourage new negotiations. "You heard say in Russia or China: we unrestrictedly support the usurper Maduro", Guaidó points out that Beijing and Moscow take care of their commercial interests in Venezuela, trying to get their debts paid. "Venezuela is going to overcome this tragedy."

VENEZUELA'S OPPOSITION WELCOME FAILURE OF TALKS WITH DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO IN OSLO

   Caracas, Venezuela    --    Venezuelan parliamentary leader Juan Guaido's refusal to enter talks with DICTATOR  Nicolas Maduro in Norway last week has undermined efforts by European diplomats to set up negotiations that would preempt U.S. intervention in the embattled country, analysts say. But not everyone thinks that is a bad thing. "This time the opposition acted intelligently," said Miguel Otero, chief editor of the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional. He says that Maduro used past negotiations brokered by Spain to divide the opposition and set preconditions. Representatives of the European-led international contact group on Venezuela met with Canadian and Chilean officials of the U.S.-led Lima group at the United Nations on Monday. While EU external affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini had said she hoped to get the Lima countries' support for European-brokered talks with Maduro to organize elections, a joint statement issued after the meeting did not mention the Venezuelan leader by name.

     Instead, the statement reiterated support for what it said is the "democratically elected National Assembly" led by Guaido, and affirmed the need to "fully restore and respect its powers," which have been undercut by Maduro. It also called for the release of all political prisoners. Maduro received another blow this week with reports that Russia might withdraw hundreds of personnel sent to service military equipment that Moscow has sold to Venezuela. The Wall Street Journal quoted sources saying Russian defense contractor Rostec was withdrawing some of its staff due to business considerations. However Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied the report. Russia had backed the EU effort to set up negotiations in Norway between Maduro and the opposition. Last week, Guaido sent representatives to meet with diplomats who had been maintaining secret discussions with Maduro for three months, according to an Associated Press report.
 

    "We call on all states involved in the Venezuela situation to support the launch of the political process in the form of talks between the country's major forces," said Russia's foreign ministry, which also warned against setting "ultimatums" for Maduro. Guaido backed out of the talks after getting a telephone call from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, according to Venezuelan officials. Pence tweeted "Maduro must go" as the Norway meetings got under way, while the State Department issued a statement saying that the only issue under discussion should be Maduro's exit. Guaido was also pressured by other opposition leaders. Speaking from exile in Spain, former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma described the Norway talks as "a crass error which may mean more deaths for Venezuela." Opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado published an open letter to Colombian President Ivan Duque saying the talks could make efforts to oust Maduro "lose momentum."

VENEZUELAN CONSULATES IN CANADA WILL "TEMPORARILY" STOP PROVIDING SERVICES

   Caracas, Venezuela    --  The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday, informing that the country's consulates in the cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal will stop providing services temporarily, in response to the provisional closure of the Canadian Embassy. The Venezuelan government said that "the unsuspected anti-diplomatic actions of Ottawa were expressed through measures such as the non-renewal of credentials or issuance of new diplomatic visas for Venezuelan officials, as well as their support for the perverse financial blockade of Washington against Venezuela." The document also stated that "Venezuela hopes that Canada will soon recover sovereignty over its foreign policy in order to foster a better climate for dialogue and mutual respect for the benefit of both peoples."

     The full text: The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces that the decision of the Government of Canada to temporarily close its Embassy in Caracas, far from being an administrative matter, is a political decision that reflects the continued hostility of that government towards Venezuela, in disciplined subordination to the aggression of the Trump Administration against the Venezuelan people and its democratic institutions. The unsuspected anti-diplomatic actions of Ottawa were expressed through measures such as the non-renewal of credentials or issuance of new diplomatic visas for Venezuelan officials, as well as in their support for the perverse financial blockade of Washington against Venezuela.

     Consequently, the Bolivarian Government has acted strictly in accordance with the principle of reciprocity and will maintain its firm decisions until the Canadian authorities recover diplomatic synderesis and respect for international public law. In this regard, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela announces that it will temporarily cease to provide services at the general consulates in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. All the functions of the Venezuelan diplomacy in Canada will be concentrated in the headquarters of its Embassy in Ottawa. Venezuela hopes that Canada will soon recover sovereignty over its foreign policy to foster a better climate for dialogue and mutual respect for the benefit of both peoples. Until then, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela will defend, through diplomatic and legal channels, the dignity and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people.

JUNE 8, 2019

INTERIM PRESIDENT JUAN GUAIDO CLARIFIED THAT A NEW MEETING IS NOT PLANNED IN OSLO, NORWAY

  CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --     The INTERIM president  of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, where he received the Sectoral Country Plan of the entity, reiterating that he is a president in charge of dictatorship and that he is not planning to return to Oslo, Norway, for mediation with the representatives of the Nicolás Maduro regime. "A journalist echoed a comment from the Russians about the invention of whether or not we go to Oslo, and if so, what are we going for? To our democratic route: cessation of usurpation, transitional government and free elections. But for now no meeting is planned that does not contemplate the objectives of Venezuela, we will only continue on the democratic route, "he told the carabobeños who gathered in Valencia."I am a president in charge of dictatorship, because without resources we have raised a country with new plans (...) I have faced crises, tragedies ... But Venezuela will manage to overcome this tragedy," he said. He reiterated that "they (the regime) killed the bolivar three times: the Bolívar, Bolívar Fuerte and the Bolívar Soberano. But they also want to kill our history. They destroyed our present and that is why we must speak in the future. "

      On the change of name to the Vargas state by "La Guaira state", Guaidó said that "my home state will continue to be Vargas. What they did was decree something to distract, "he added. He also made reference to what was said in recent days by the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Mike Pompeo. "There have been differences here? Yes, of course we have had them. Do we have them today? Gradually, because we are all united in a cause. That electoral unit that brought us here today, that allows me to be the Pdte. (E) of Venezuela thanks to the support of Venezuelans, parliamentarians, the recognition of the world, is because we unite electorally "and recognized that" sometimes we have put it, but to err is human. Now, when we go to each of the spaces in this country, they will have to sit down. "

     "All together, united, not only political parties, civil society, elected authorities, rectors, academies, workers, Church, commerce, health, unions, today Venezuela is united around a just cause (...) which is freedom, democracy, of course there have been differences in the past, but for years we have built, first, the electoral unit, so solid, strong, that we even managed to defeat the dictatorship in 2015, "he insisted. He asserted that "if next Tuesday they put a winch on the National Assembly, Maduro will not be able to do anything because he will not have anyone to mess with. If Maduro is not president, then he is a dictator. " "We are closer to the cessation of the usurpation. No television channel will transmit me and block the Internet so that digital media does not cover me either. But this will soon end, "he insisted.

FOUR MILLION VENEZUELANS HAVE FLED THE CRISIS, ACORDING TO THE UNITED NATIONS

   Caracas, Venezuela    --    The number of Venezuelans who have left their country because of the crisis has overcome the barrier of four million, jointly announced today by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Venezuelan citizens have become one of the largest groups of displaced populations in the world, following the acceleration of the mass exodus from 2016. In just seven months, counted since November 2018, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants increased by one million, according to data from national authorities and other credible sources used by both UN agencies.

    "The pace of departures from Venezuela has been amazing. Some 695,000 by the end of 2015, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has shot up to more than 4 million by mid-2019, "IOM and UNHCR said in a joint statement. The vast majority of Venezuelans have moved to other countries in the region. Currently, Colombia hosts 1.3 million of them, followed by Peru, with 768,000; Chile with 288,000; Ecuador with 263,000; Argentina with 130,000; and Brazil with 168,000. "These figures are alarming and highlight the urgent need to support the host communities in the receiving countries," said the special representative of UNHCR-IOM for refugees and Venezuelan migrants, Eduardo Stein.

     Quoted in the statement, Stein praised the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean "for doing their part to respond to this unprecedented crisis," but added that they can not continue doing so alone, without international assistance. Both agencies are trying to provide part of this support through a regional plan launched last December, which would allow them to assist 2.2 million Venezuelans in receiving countries and 580,000 people in host communities in 16 countries. The big problem they have encountered is the scarce financing that this plan has received, whose budget is currently only covered by 21%.

MEXICO INVESTIGATES 25 COMPANIES FOR MONEY LAUNDERING WITH SHIPMENT OF CLAPS TO VENEZUELA

   Mexico City, Mexico   --  The person in charge of the financial crimes unit of Mexico wants to file money laundering charges against a total of 25 companies and individuals allegedly involved in sending food to a government aid program in Venezuela. Criminal complaints were filed against companies and individuals before the office of the attorney general of Mexico, said Santiago Nieto, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico in an interview. Nieto said he filed three indictments, raising the total number of signatures and individuals to 25, and declined to give more details about the ongoing investigation.

     Venezuela's food aid program, known as CLAP, has a virtual monopoly on subsidized food to the South American country. Mexico has accused the companies of using their ports to send low-quality food to Venezuela through CLAP, where they increased prices by more than 100% before selling them to hungry people in the country. In October, the organized crime division of the Attorney General of Mexico announced a fine of US $ 3 million to companies that send food to Venezuela to resolve the accusations of price increases. They had to pay the fine to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, as part of an agreement reached by the companies with the Office of the Attorney General. The head of the division at that time, Alonso Israel Lira, gave only the names of the five people who were part of the agreement. The key details of the agreement, including the full names of the companies and their top executives, remain sealed by court order.

     Nieto refused to identify the companies or individuals against whom the requests for judicial processing have been filed, nor did he specify whether any of the companies formed part of the agreement last year. Since April, the foods destined to the CLAP program have been sent from Veracruz, Mexico, to the port city of La Guaira, near Caracas, according to the shipping documents. Much of the food continues to come from the same Mexican companies that supplied the previous shipments. It has not transpired if any of these companies are involved in Nieto's accusations. The companies have received government food contracts for some US $ 700 million since the end of 2016, which have been largely fulfilled with products from a network of associated suppliers. in Mexico, said Luisa Ortega, former Venezuelan attorney general, in an interview earlier this year.

JUNE 7, 2019

IN SECRET RECORDING, MIKE POMPEO OPENS UP ABOUT VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION, SAYS KEEPING IT UNITED 'HAS PROVEN DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT

   WASHINGTON, d.c. --    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered a candid assessment of Venezuela’s opposition during a closed-door meeting in New York last week, saying that the opponents of President Nicolás Maduro are highly fractious and that U.S. efforts to keep them together have been more difficult than is publicly known. “Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,” Pompeo said in an audio recording obtained by The Washington Post. “The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.”

     The remarks provide a rare window into the challenges the Trump administration faces as the momentum to oust Maduro stalls and some of the countries that initially backed the opposition explore alternative diplomatic paths to resolve the crisis. Pompeo said he was confident Maduro would eventually be forced out, but “I couldn’t tell you the timing.” He said the difficulty of uniting the opposition has not only played out in “public for these last months, but since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do.” “We were trying to support various religious . . . institutions to get the opposition to come together,” he said. He expressed regret that during a failed April 30 bid to incite a military uprising, competing interests among opponents preevented the attempt.

         You should know that Maduro is mostly surrounded by Cubans," Pompeo said. “He doesn’t trust Venezuelans a lick. I don’t blame him. He shouldn’t. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves.” The remarks represent a sharp departure from the Trump administration’s official line touting the unity and strength of the opposition led by Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly leader recognized by some 60 countries as interim president. “This is the first senior official I’ve heard be so publicly candid about the opposition’s weakness and how it may make bringing democracy back to Venezuela so much harder,” said Shannon O’Neil, a Venezuela expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It is a sobering but accurate view,” she added. “They remain divided over how to take on the Maduro regime — whether or not to enter into dialogue, whether or not to engage with the military, whether or not to run a presidential candidate or boycott elections. They don’t even retweet each other.”

cuba after new us sanctions: solidarity with nicolas maduro "is not negotiable"

   Havana, Cuba   --     “On Thursday, the Cuban government rejected the new restrictions imposed by the United States on travel to the island and said that its alliance with the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, -criticized by Washington-, "is not negotiable". "Cuba's solidarity with the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavist revolution and the civic-military union of its people, is not negotiable," the Cuban government said in a statement published in the local press. Washington issued on Tuesday and enforced on Wednesday the ban on group travel and educational cruises to Cuba, the most used by Americans to visit the Caribbean island.

     These restrictions, which according to the White House seek to punish Cuba for its support of Maduro, are a major blow to the economy of the island, based on tourism. "The recent attacks against Cuba are argued with new pretexts, the most notorious of which is the slanderous accusation that Cuba intervenes militarily in Venezuela, a lie that has been publicly and consistently rejected by the Cuban government," the publication details. "The claim continues to be to wrest political concessions from the Cuban nation, through the suffocation of the economy and the damage to the population level," the text continues, published a few hours after the last American cruise ship left Havana. Venezuela has been Cuba's main political ally for almost two decades. Also its main oil supplier.

     The United States alleges that Cuba militarily supports Maduro in the government and demands the withdrawal of Cuban military personnel, which the island claims does not exist. Cuba maintains 20,000 civilian collaborators in Venezuela, mainly doctors, according to Havana. These collaborators "will remain there as long as the Venezuelan people welcome them, cooperating with that sister nation," the statement says. The measures dictated by Washington are added to other put into effect by the administration of Donald Trump, who since his arrival at the White House seeks to erase the rapprochement with the island that propitiated his predecessor, Barack Obama. "Cuba will not let itself be intimidated, nor distract from the essential and urgent tasks of the development of our economy and the construction of socialism, and we will be able to confront the most challenging adversities, they will not be able to suffocate us, nor will they be able to stop us", concludes the text. .

VLADIMIR PUTIN: WE DO NOT CREATE MILITARY BASES IN VENEZUELA, NOR SEND TROOPS

  Moscow, Russia   -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Moscow is not creating military bases or sending troops to Venezuela, but "must honor" its contractual obligations "with the Andean country in terms of maintaining equipment previously supplied. "We are not creating any base, nor taking troops there. Never happened. We only honor our contracts, "Putin said during an interview with the heads of the main world news agencies, including the president of the Efe Agency, Fernando Garea.

      "We have sold arms to Venezuela before, we have not sold recently. According to the contracts, we have to honor our obligations and our experts have always done so, "stressed the Russian leader, who admitted that it is possible that part of the Russian personnel has already left the Latin American country. "It is very likely that our specialists, but not only the military, but also the industrialists, have finished some work there," Putin said. "Some have already left, some have already returned," he added, to emphasize that Russia has "complied and will continue to fulfill our contractual obligations in the technical and military field."

     The presence of Russian personnel in Venezuela has caused concern in the US and other partners, and Washington came to ask Moscow to remove these people from the Andean country. US President Donald Trump recently assured in a message from the social network Twitter that Russia had informed Washington of the withdrawal of "the majority of its personnel from Venezuela", although the Kremlin assured that it did not transmit any official message in this sense to the US Administration. Putin also noted that Russia is against interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

JUNE 6, 2019

THE US GOVERNMENT  ANNOUNCES THAT IT WOULD RESTRICT CULTURAL VISITS BY AMERICAN CITIZENS TO CUBA  TO CUBA

   WASHINGTON, d.c. --    -The US government said on Tuesday that it would restrict cultural visits by American citizens to Cuba, as well as impose restrictions on private and corporate boat and airplane trips to the island, a move that represents a blow to the Caribbean nation’s economy. The Treasury Department said in a statement that Washington would no longer allow cultural and educational trips under the group people-to-people educational travel program, which allowed thousands of Americans to visit the island after a thaw in relations started under former President Barack Obama in 2014.

     “Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The Cuban government criticized the US moves, rejecting the policy changes and saying they were bound to fail. “I energetically reject the announcement by the United States of new sanctions against Cuba that restrict travel by Americans and harden the blockade. They seek to strangle the economy and damage the standard of living of Cubans to squeeze political concessions from us,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said. “They will fail once more.”

       The new US measures are aimed at limiting non-family travel to the island. While US citizens are prohibited from visiting Cuba as regular tourists, exceptions were made for individuals in 12 categories, among them government officials and members of the media, as well as people involved in religious activities or seeking medical care. The State Department, meanwhile, said that it would ban cruise ships from visiting the island. “The United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft,” the State Department said in a statement. “These actions are directly linked to the tourism industry, which has strong economic ties to the Cuban security, military, and intelligence sectors in Cuba. Veiled tourism has served to line the pockets of the Cuban military, the very same people supporting Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and repressing the Cuban people on the island,” the State Department said.

LUIS ALMAGRO: IRAN AND HEZBOLLAH HAVE A SOLID BASE OF OPERATIONS IN SOUTH AMERICA IN ALLIANCE WITH THE NARCO-DICTATORSHIP OF NICOLAS MADURO

   Washington, D.C.  --  Luis Almagro denounced on Tuesday that the Iranian regime and the Hezbollah terrorists operate in South America with the collaboration of "the narco-dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro." "Iran and Hezbollah have a solid base of operations in South America in alliance with the narco-dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, and if we fail in Venezuela, it represents a victory for terrorism, transnational organized crime and anti-Semitism," warned the Secretary General of the Organization. American States (OAS). The Uruguayan diplomat manifested himself this way during a ceremony at the headquarters of the American Jewish Committee, where he received the democracy prize awarded to the OAS for his fight against terrorism, anti-Semitism and dictatorships. For years, reports of links between Chavez and Hezbollah have grown.

     "Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which can be expressed as hatred towards Jews, rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish people or their property, towards Jewish institutions and religious facilities," the Alliance defined. International for the Remembrance of the Holocaust (IHRA, for its acronym in English) during the act. During the speech, Almagro announced that the OAS officially adopts that definition of anti-Semitism of the IHRA. He also asked that "all member states adopt this definition as well." While more than 50 countries recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, the dictator Maduro continues to cling to power, with Russia, Cuba, China and Iran as his main allies. Much of the international community also denounces the regime for its links with the Colombian guerrillas of the ELN and the FARC, and the terrorists of Hezbollah. The regime of Iran is one of the main allies of Nicolás Maduro.

     Months ago, in the midst of international pressure on Maduro, Admiral Craig Faller, head of the US Southern Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "Iran has deepened its coverage in the Spanish media in the United States and that it extended its state support to terrorism in Latin America. " This statement came a day after a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Hezbollah has active cells and with their actions, the Iranians, are affecting the peoples of Venezuela and throughout South America," said the US official last February. That close relationship came to light when the Lebanese terrorist group itself issued a statement acknowledging Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela, after Guaidó was proclaimed as the interim president on January 23.

RUSSIA URGED THE US TO DESIST FROMPLANS TO DIVIDE THE VENEZUELAN MILITARY

  Moscow, Russia   -- The Russian government urged Washington to renounce its plans to polarize the Venezuelan military. In this sense, the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Maria Zajárova, said on Wednesday that "we urge you to abandon your actions aimed at dividing the Armed Forces of Venezuela." This institutions she added, "must defend the constitutional order and not participate in the affairs of internal politics," Sputnik said. Although, she added, "the risk of direct intervention in Venezuela has been reduced, the threat of illegal acts against the Government of that country, including low-intensity armed actions, continues to be maintained."

     In addition, Zajárova indicated that Russia welcomes the willingness to dialogue of the Government and the Venezuelan opposition and offers to support it. "For our part, we applaud the Government's desire and opposition to dialogue, and we are willing to provide the necessary support to this dialogue," she said. The diplomat stressed that resolving discrepancies through peaceful and diplomatic means in accordance with the Constitution "can lead to a lasting solution to the crisis."

    The Government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition tried to hold a dialogue last month in Oslo, where two meetings sponsored by the Government of Norway have been held. Norway merely reported that the parties discuss an agenda with political, economic and electoral issues and ask delegations for "maximum reservation". The representative of the Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaidó in Washington, Carlos Vecchio, asked the Armed Forces of the United States for support to supposedly "restore democracy." The Venezuelan ambassador to Russia, Carlos Faría, in an interview in May, expressed his confidence that within the opposition there are sensible people who know the serious consequences of an armed invasion on the part of the Americans.

JUNE 5,  2019

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY AND COMMENRCE ANNOUNCED NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA FOR ITS INTERFERENCE IN VENEZUELA AND NICARAGUA

   WASHINGTON, d.c. --    -The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury announced amendments to the Regulation of Control of Cuban Assets (CACR) to implement the foreign policy of the President in Cuba. These amendments complement the changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) of the Department of Industry and Security (BIA) of the Department of Commerce, which the Department of Commerce also presents today. These regulatory changes were announced on April 17, 2019 and include restrictions on non-family travel to Cuba.
"Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist point of support in the region and supporting US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law and suppressing democratic processes," said the Secretary of the Treasury. Steven Mnuchin. "This Administration has taken a strategic decision to reverse the relaxation of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help keep US dollars out of reach of Cuban military, intelligence and security services. "

     These actions mark a continuous commitment towards the implementation of the Presidential National Security Memorandum signed by the President on June 16, 2017, entitled "Strengthening of the United States policy toward Cuba". These policies continue to work to channel economic activities away from the Cuban military. intelligence, and security services. The Treasury changes will take effect on June 5, 2019 when the regulations are published in the Federal Register. In accordance with the recently announced changes for non-family travel to Cuba, OFAC is amending regulations to eliminate authorization for group educational trips from people to persons.

VENEZUELA DEFAULT AND LOSES GUARANTEES FOR 750 MILLION DOLLARS IN GOLD AT THE DEUTSCHE BANK

   Caracas, Venezuela --  Venezuela has breached a gold swap agreement valued at $ 750 million with Deutsche Bank AG, prompting the lender to take control of the precious metal that was used as collateral and closed the contract, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter, published Bloomberg . As part of a financing agreement signed in 2016, Venezuela received a cash loan from Deutsche Bank and deposited 20 tons of gold as collateral. The agreement, which was due to expire in 2021, was resolved early due to the lack of interest payments, said the people, who asked not to be named to discuss a private matter.

     Meanwhile, the parallel government of the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, asked the bank to deposit $ 120 million in an account beyond the reach of President Nicolas Maduro, which represents the difference in price since gold was acquired to the levels current As part of efforts to oust Maduro, the US UU And more than 50 countries have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, despite not yet controlling the key institutions in the country, including the central bank. "We are in contact with Deutsche Bank to negotiate the terms under which the difference due to the central bank will be paid to the legitimate government of Venezuela," said José Ignacio Hernández, attorney general of Guaido in the United States. "Deutsche Bank can not". He risks negotiating with the illegitimate authorities of the central bank, "particularly after he was sanctioned by the government of the United States," Hernández said.

. It is the second time this year that the Maduro regime has not complied with financing agreements that have resulted in losses at a time when reserves are at an all-time low. The gold holdings have become one of Maduro's last sources to keep his regime and his loyal military forces afloat. The central bank did not meet the March deadline to repurchase Citigroup gold for nearly $ 1.1 billion. Before that, the Bank of England refused to return $ 1.2 billion in Venezuelan gold. While Maduro is becoming increasingly isolated from the global financial network due to sanctions, it still managed to sell $ 570 million in gold last month, which caused reserves to fall to a 29-year low of $ 7.9 billion. . Last year, the government sold more than 40% of Venezuela's gold reserves, selling to companies in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey in a desperate bid to finance government programs and pay creditors. Venezuela stopped paying its dollar-denominated bonds at the end of 2017.

BETWEEN PUNCHES WITH MEMBERS OF THE GNB JOURNALISTS MANAGE TO ENTER THE FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PALACE

   Caracas, Venezuela   -- Between jostling with members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the journalists from the legislative source managed to enter the Federal Palace to report the ordinary session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 4. "Welcome to the free press, the right of all", the deputies shouted and applauded, allowing journalists from the media in the country to enter the parliamentary precinct. For his part, the president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, denounced that the Parliament is without access to the Internet. "At this moment that I am talking to you, they have already knocked down access to the Internet, we have already been blocked, but we are moving forward," he said.

     "The truth is Venezuela knows, the truth is that Venezuela wants change. Today the press, the journalists, manage to enter the Federal Legislative Palace, accompanied by deputies (...) Let the world know: five weeks had journalists unable to enter the Federal Legislative Palace, a dictatorship that claims that the truth is not spread ", Also stressed the president of the AN. When the session began, the president of the AN Media Committee, María Beatriz Martínez, celebrated the event and invited the deputies present in the Chamber to welcome the journalists in the press box. "Today we showed that there was no reason for the free press to enter the AN. Today we opened the doors of the Federal Legislative Palace, "said Martínez.

     For his part, Marco Ruiz, general secretary of the Union of Workers of the Press (Sntp) was also invited to address a few words to the attendees. "I appreciate the opportunity because after more than a month and a half of jokes today journalists return to the National Assembly (...) This is how we claim the right of Venezuelans to know the information firsthand from within this legislative enclosure," he said. Ruiz. "The commitment of journalists and the media is to keep us in the place where the information is generated," he insisted. The chief of security of the AN, Leonardo Malaguera Hernández, continues without allowing journalists to enter the AN; However, this time the deputies imposed themselves between struggles and shoves that got representatives of the media into the press box.

JUNE 4,  2019

THE SUPREME COURT OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO LEAVES THREE PERMANENT Committees OF THE nATIONAL ASSEMBLY WITHOUT PRESIDENTS

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA   -   Three permanent commissions of the National Assembly (AN) have been left without a president, because a judicial measure issued by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) weighs on them, marked in the actions that from the National Executive are being applied against the Parliament Venezuelan since 2016 and that have intensified after the events of April 30, as revealed by a report prepared by the AN. The investigation carried out by Parliament shows that persecution, detention and forced exile have imposed a strategy aimed at removing the privileges of legitimately elected deputies. The legislative commissions affected with the judicial measures against the deputies are Integral Social Development, whose president is the deputy Miguel Pizarro, is kept in hiding; the Finance Committee, chaired by Deputy Carlos Paparoni, on whom a judicial measure weighs; and the Comptroller's Commission, headed by Deputy Freddy Superlano, who was granted immunity at the request of the TSJ.

     The three deputies who have presided over the Commission of Integral Social Development in this legislative period (José Manuel Olivares, Juan Requesens and Miguel Pizarro), have been persecuted by the regime of Nicolás Maduro; while José Trujillo (vice-president of that body), since April has not joined the parliamentary activities.According to complaints handled by the Venezuelan Parliament, the 112 opposition parliamentarians have been harassed, persecuted, investigated or imprisoned. To date there are 27 main deputies who are persecuted, exiled, isolated or in hiding; of these only 19 have been able to summon their substitute to maintain active the seat in the Assembly. The remaining eight will vacate their seats, as the alternates are persecuted or exiled.

      To reverse this situation, the National Policy Commission of the National Assembly is carrying out a project of punctual reform of the Internal Regulation and Debates, which would give a new respite to the opposition, since it will establish the mechanism of "Mixed Quorum", (face-to-face) and virtual), which would allow deputies who are in exile or persecuted to participate in the plenary sessions with voice and vote and maintain their positions. Recently, the Súmate Civil Association reported that judicial measures against parliamentarians have left 11 municipalities and seven parishes in the country without representation in the National Assembly.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID 'RUSSIA HAS INFORMED US THAT THEY HAVE REMOVED MOST OF THEIR PEOPLE FROM VENEZUELA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   -- US President Donald Trump said on Monday he had been notified by the Russian government that Moscow had withdrawn almost all of its personnel from Venezuela. The pronouncement of the US president comes amid questions about the Russian military presence in the South American country and the repeated signals offered by the regime of Nicolás Maduro that Moscow would come to his aid to produce a foreign invasion in the country.

     "Russia has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela," Trump wrote through his Twitter account. The Russian presence in Venezuela has been a point of tension between Washington and Moscow, at the urging of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russia should stop interfering in the Western Hemisphere. The approach was repeated by Pompeo in early May shortly before meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

     "I am going to say the same thing that the president has told the world: that all countries should leave [Venezuela] including the Russians," the Secretary of State told the Fox news network. "That's what what will I tell you We do not want anyone to be interfering with Venezuela. "Russia is one of the main allies of the Maduro regime, and has made large investments in the country's oil sector. It is also one of the main arms suppliers of Caracas.

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LIMA GROUP AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONTACT GROUP ME TO ANALYZE THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
 

   NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK    -- The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chile and Peru, members of the Lima Group, together with the High Representative of the EU and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and Uruguay, members of the International Contact Group, met today at the United Nations, in New York, to address the situation in Venezuela. The meeting reflected the decision of both groups to increase contacts in order to contribute to a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis. They agreed that although the solution requires that it be Venezuelan, the regional impact of the crisis demands that the region and the international community play a more active role in supporting an early return of democracy in Venezuela.

     Both groups confirmed their commitment to a peaceful transition aimed at free and fair elections. In this regard, they expressed their support for all ongoing efforts towards this objective. They reiterated their support for the democratically elected National Assembly and affirmed the need to restore and fully respect their powers, as well as the release of all political prisoners. They agreed to continue close coordination, including the approach to other relevant international actors. Both groups will also continue to work together to denounce human rights violations in the country, within the framework of the Human Rights Council and other multilateral organizations.

    The Lima Group and the International Contact Group agreed on the seriousness of the humanitarian situation, including the migration crisis, and pledged to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan population and the neighboring countries affected, in line with internationally accepted principles. They expressed their support for the coordinated response of the United Nations and stressed the need to increase international support, ensuring that humanitarian actors are able to carry their assistance without restrictions or political interference.

JUNE 3,  2019

IN SILENCE...RUSSIA WITHDRAWS KEY DEFENSE ADVISERS FROM VENEZUELA

   MOSCOW, RUSSIA   -   Russia has withdrawn key defense advisers from Venezuela, an embarrassment to President Nicolás Maduro, and a sample of how Moscow evaluates the political leader and economic resilience in the face of increasing pressure from the United States. The Russian state defense contractor Rostec, which has trained Venezuelan troops and advised on arms contracts, has reduced its personnel in Venezuela to only a few dozen, from about 1,000 at the peak of cooperation between Moscow and Caracas several years ago, said a person close to the Russian defense ministry.

      The gradual withdrawal, which has escalated in recent months, according to people familiar with the situation, is due to the lack of new contracts and the acceptance that Mr. Maduro's regime no longer has the money to continue paying for other services. Rostec. associated with previous contracts. Russia has been one of Mr. Maduro's largest international supports, but the decline of Rostec's presence shows the limits of Russia's reach in the South American country at a time when Moscow is facing economic difficulties, in part due to the impact of the sanctions of the United States at home. Venezuela has been one of Moscow's largest clients in South America.

      Rostec's withdrawal of permanent and temporary staff is an important setback for Mr. Maduro, who frequently uses the promotion of support and assistance from Russia and China as a sign that other global powers are willing to assist him in his confrontation with the USA UU The commitment of Russian military support has been fundamental for Mr. Maduro to defend Venezuela from any foreign invasion. A person close to the Russian government said Rostec weighed the political benefits of supporting Mr. Maduro compared to the economic growth of the regime and its liabilities, forcing the company to make a strategic decision about its ties to Caracas. "They think the fight is getting lost," the person said.

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT JAIR BOLSONARO ASSURES THAT THE ONLY SOLUTION TO THE VENEZUWLAN CRISIS IS A FISSURE IN THE ARMED FORCES

      RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL  -- The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said on Saturday that the Venezuelan, Nicolás Maduro, "is not the boss" in that country and the only solution that sees the Venezuelan crisis is a "crack in the leadership of the Army." "Maduro is not the boss. Maduro is today a puppet in Venezuela (...) There must be a rift in the Venezuelan Army leadership. Until that does not happen, that issue does not end, "said Bolsonaro in an interview with the Argentine media of La Nación. When asked if he believes that Maduro can accept to leave power through the mediation that is being carried out by Norway between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, the leader replied that "no".

      "Put yourself in Maduro's place. Maduro's weakness makes the dictatorship in Venezuela strong. He is there to the front because he co-opted the Army, whose leadership is now drug traffickers (...). In addition to his generals, Maduro has a considerable number of Cubans in there (...). There are also cells of the Hezbollah group, the militias, the collectives ... So, Maduro is not the boss. Maduro is today a puppet in Venezuela, "he said. The president has a resounding response when it comes to finding the light to the problems of the neighboring country.

      "There has to be a crack in the Venezuelan Army leadership. Until that does not happen, that matter does not end. The big problem is that it can intensify the regime there, transform itself into a North Korea without an atomic bomb; the Russians have participation there also because there is oil and gold, "he argued. Regarding the number of violent deaths in Brazil, Bolsonaro said that they decreased by 24% in the first quarter of this year thanks to the implementation of their security policies. "If it had increased, it would be my fault, but as it decreased, nobody said anything", reproached Bolsonaro will meet next week in Argentina with Mauricio Macri, for whom he always showed predilection, to deal, among other matters, with the Mercosur agreement. the European Union.
 

EUROPEAN UNION: CUBA SHOULD RESPOND TO US PRESSURE BY OPENING ECONOMY
 

   BRUSSELS, BELGIUM    -- The Cuban government should turn a negative into a positive by liberalizing the economy in response to recent moves by the United States to tighten the embargo on the Communist-ruled island, the European Union’s envoy to Cuba said Friday. “Beyond looking toward the past and criticizing the Helms-Burton Act (US legislation targeting Cuba), there is also an opportunity here to improve the security of investments, to facilitate trade and investment. And on that, the European Union will be with you,” Ambassador Alberto Navarro said.

      The Spaniard offered the advice during a meeting of Cuban officials with diplomats and executives from European firms with operations in the country. The government convened the gathering as part of its efforts to reassure foreign companies that their investments in Cuba are safe after President Donald Trump’s administration activated Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, a 1996 law that intensified the embargo the US imposed in 1962. Title III, which allows US citizens and corporations to sue entities that have been “trafficking” in property that was seized by the Cuban government on or after the Jan. 1, 1959, revolution, had not gone into effect until May 2 due to rolling six-month waivers.

     “In these difficult moments,” Navarro said, Cuba ought to “pursue the opportunity to improve the investment climate.” “I have not seen any country emerge from underdevelopment through development aid and international solidarity,” the EU representative said. “The countries that prosper, it is thanks to opening to trade and to foreign investment.”The EU has been outspoken in opposition to the tightening of the US economic embargo, while even close Washington allies such as Canada and the United Kingdom say they will neither recognize nor enforce court judgments resulting from litigation under Title III of Helms-Burton. Former owners of assets in Cuba have filed four lawsuits since the activation of Title III.


JUNE 1ST.,  2019

GENERAL PADRINO LOPEZ ASKS THE MILITARY TO ENDURE THE "STORM" CREATED BY U.S. SANCTIONS

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA   -   The Minister for Defense, Vladimir Padrino López, called on Thursday to the military to put up with the "storm" they face due to the sanctions of the United States. "There is a storm that is passing above all of us(...) therefore, we must hold on to our chairs (...) we all hold on tight, until this storm pass, at the end we are going to see the faces of those who have survived, "said Padrino. The military chief accused Washington of "blocking" the National Armed Forces (FAN) with sanctions, but assured that the military has been "maneuvering" in "the middle of the blockade" to acquire all that is necessary to keep the "quality of life of the troop".

     Padrino headed a day at Teniente Luis del Valle García Air Base, in Barcelona, Anzoátegui state, where military supplies, tires, mattresses and tanks were delivered to the military as well as tanks to store water. In 2006, the United States prohibited the sale of US arms to Venezuela, citing lack of cooperation in the war against terrorism. More recently, in 2017 it imposed financial sanctions on the country and on April 28 an embargo against Venezuelan oil began to rule. Faced with the worst crisis that Venezuela has experienced in its recent history, Padrino called the FAN, considered by the opposition and analysts the main support of the government of Nicolás Maduro, to "work the triple (...) because the enemy is three times superior, up to five times higher ".

     You have to "be creative, go to inventiveness, to new things, to turn around (the crisis) without falling into outrages and errors, with much discretion, we are destined to win," said Padrino. The minister's statements come a month after the events in La Carlota, which were backed by the president of the Legislature, Juan Guaidó. Guaidó, sworn in as interim president and recognized by half a hundred countries, constantly calls the military to turn his back on the socialist leader, whose reelection in 2018 not recognized by the opposition leader, as the United States, the European Union and a dozen Latin American countries.

CANADA AND THE US DISAGREE ON THE ROLE OF CUBA IN THE VENEZUELAN CRISIS

      TORONTO, CANADA  --Canada and the United States were this Thursday in disagreement on the role that Cuba could play in the crisis of Venezuela, an influence that the American vice-president, Mike Pence, described as "malignant," After the meeting that Pence held this Thursday in Ottawa with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the US Vice President thanked him at the final press conference and praised the work of Canada to denounce the Government of Nicolás Maduro.

     "I want to thank Canada for its strong position in support of a free and democratic Venezuela," said Pence, who also noted that Canada recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the Venezuelan "legitimate president" shortly after the United States had done so. "We also need to work together to expose the malign influence of Cuba in Venezuela. And ask Cuba to stop that influence and allow freedom to flourish in Venezuela. And we must do it together, "added Pence. But during the same press conference, when Trudeau was asked about Canada's position on Venezuela and Cuba, the Canadian prime minister refused to follow Washington's position.

     Noting that "one of the strengths" of relations between Ottawa and Washington is that their positions are sometimes "complementary" and recognize the US position. about Cuba, Trudeau said- "We have another" position. "In the Lima Group we recognize that Cuba can potentially play a positive role in the welfare and future stability of Venezuela," Trudeau said. "That is why Canada has been talking to Cuba in a way that tries to allow a positive relationship in a possible transition in Venezuela," Trudeau added.

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO'S REGIME IMMOBILIZES VENEZUELA WITH ITS DEFICIENT  SUPPLY OF GASOLINE
 

   CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --  In almost the entire country, citizens have been paralyzed in long queues to BUY gasoline. The effects have been seen in the absence of work places or non-compliance with the schedule, absence of students in schools, and with it the illegal business of reselling fuel. This is what maildelcaroni.com says. Every day the problem worsens and no solution is seen, nor who assumes this crisis. Overnight at service stations have become routine, at least 100 cars spend the night in a queue, with no guarantee that in the morning owners can fill their vehicle's tank.

      When the cars arrived at the cisterns, an employee begins to enumerate them, until 200 positions are reached, according to the calculations according to the liters of gasoline that they will receive. In some service statations, only one gandola arrives with 13,000 liters, in another it could be 23,000. The limit on filling has also been implemented, some of the cars could have a maximum of 30 liters, others up to 40 liters. In an attempt to give gasoline as many days as possible, drivers prefer not to move their vehicle. In addition to going to work, their movements are carried out in areas close to their homes, others on foot or mobilized by bus, if there are units available.

     In the state of Bolívar, the business of reselling gasoline varies. While in Ciudad Guayana the liter of fuel is sold between Bs. 1,000 and 1,500, in Upata it reaches Bs. 2,500 and Bs. 5,000 in Tumeremo. In El Callao, however, the business is in gold grams, between 3 and 3.5 grams per 70 liters, they consider that the price of each one has a value that ranges between Bs. 100,000 and 130,000. The inhabitants of Santa Elena de Uairén, meanwhile, prefer to stock in Pacaraima, border state of Roraima in Brazil, where they pay 4.5 reais per liter, while in the Gran Sabana municipality they can pay twice as much.


 


 

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