JUNE  2019


JUNE 10, 2019


  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 It was first known that he had withdrawn Russian personnel from Venezuela, then expressed his support for Nicolás Maduro and then Putin said that Guaidó is "a nice guy" and confirmed that he has met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."


   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."


   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


  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.


   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 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


   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. .


  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


   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.


   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.


  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


   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.


   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.


   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


   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.


      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.


   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


   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.


      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.


   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


   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.


      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.


   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 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.