Latest News


NOVEMBER 29, 2019


  --  Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou was elected president of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay by the National Party, after the final scrutiny after the elections held on Sunday showed Thursday an irreconcilable difference with Daniel Martínez, of the Frente Amplio, as reported by the local press and recognized his competitor of the Frente Amplio, Daniel Martínez. After completing the second scrutiny in the departments of Artigas, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Rocha, San José, Soriano, Salto, Tacuarembó and Treinta y Tres, the white candidate added 3,090 votes and stretched the distance over its competitor of the Frente Amplio, who can no longer reverse the result despite having also added votes, according to the newspaper El País. The count was still in Montevideo.

      During the first electoral round, held on October 27, Martinez had been the most voted candidate with 39.02% of the votes, followed by Lacalle Pou who won 28.62%. As neither of them reached 50% plus 1 stipulated, on November 24 they had to take a second round between the first two candidates. In this second instance Lacalle Pou won against Martínez, although with a very narrow difference of 48.7% to 47.4% and a large number of votes observed (35,229 observed), so no candidate proclaimed victory pending of the results of the final scrutiny. Lacalle Pou needed to obtain 2,615 extra votes among those observed to achieve victory, which he achieved this Thursday after exceeding 3,000.

     The victory of Lacalle Pou ends the 15 years of government of the Frente Amplio, represented by Tabaré Vázquez, twice, and José “Pepe” Mujica, and marks the return of the National Party to power after 24 years. The last white president was Luis Alberto Lacalle, father of the elected president, who held the position between 1990 and 1995. hearing the news, the president-elect expressed himself in a Twitter account. “My recognition and thanks to all the men and women who are defending the votes and democracy at each table these days. My thinking is with you, ”he said. For his part Martínez, who clung from Sunday to the possibility of reversing the tight result, finally acknowledged defeat on Thursday with a series of messages also from his official Twitter account. “The evolution of the scrutiny of the votes observed does not change the trend. Therefore we greet President-elect Luis Lacalle Pou, with whom I will hold a meeting tomorrow.


    HAVANA, CUBA  --   Cuba’s foreign minister on Tuesday charged the United States with violating the historic 2015 agreement reestablishing diplomatic relations after decades by interfering in the country’s internal affairs. Bruno Rodriguez tweeted the U.S. embassy in Havana was engaged in “illegal” activity “intended to attack our constitutional order.”It was the second time in less than a week that the Communist-run government accused U.S. diplomats of fomenting dissent.

     While harsh rhetoric has returned to the old Cold War foes bilateral relations, Cuba has refrained from attacking U.S. diplomats up to now. Relations, broken off in 1961 and only partially restored in the 1980s, were reestablished as part of a short-lived detente orchestrated by former U.S. President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump, upon taking office, quickly announced he opposed the warming trend and is demanding Cuba cease its support for the Venezuelan government of socialist Nicolas Maduro and reform its political and economic system.“They violate the Vienna Convention, the agreement for the reestablishment of relations and Cuban and U.S. laws,” Rodriguez wrote, without providing specifics. The U.S. embassy did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

      Last week an editorial in the Communist Party newspaper Granma blasted the embassy for its support of leading dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was arrested nearly two months ago. Granma accused U.S. diplomats of seeking to destabilize the country, recruit mercenaries and identify new sectors of the economy to sanction rather than boosting ties. The State Department defended the embassy’s activities and said they would continue. Cuba regularly brands dissidents as in the pay of Washington.


     WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  The United States on Wednesday accused Cuba and Venezuela of fostering conflicts in South America, the scene in recent weeks of massive anti-government protests in several countries. The special representative of the United States for the affairs of Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said that Caracas and Havana used social networks and other means to promote the disturbances, something "obvious" according to public domain records, he said, according to AFP. "It is beginning to have evidence of an effort by the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela to exacerbate problems in South America," said Abrams, who heads the diplomatic siege in the State Department to force the leftist president Nicolás Maduro out of power.

      Elliott Abrams also noted the recent expulsion of 59 Venezuelans from Colombia for participating in mass demonstrations against conservative President Ivan Duque. He also cited accusations, denied by Havana, that Cubans financed protests against the right-wing interim president in Bolivia, where leftist president Evo Morales resigned amid allegations of fraud in his controversial search for reelection. US officials also accused Venezuela of influencing the demonstrations that have shaken Ecuador and Chile in the last month and a half.

    The protests, all against allied governments of the United States, left more than 60 dead and millionaire damages. "We follow very closely what Cubans and Venezuelans are doing throughout South America," Abrams warned. The United States considers that Cuba, its enemy since the revolution of Fidel Castro in 1959, is Maduro's main ideological supporter , who remains in power despite the fact that most Western and Latin American nations consider his mandate illegitimate after numerous reports of irregularities in the elections of May 2018.

NOVEMBER 28, 2019


  --  The US envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said from the State Department that there are plans to strengthen sanctions against the regime of Nicolás Maduro. “We want to encircle the regime and we want the sanctions to work better.

     There are companies that have tried to avoid sanctions and the Treasury Department is still looking for new sanctions targets, ”he continued. In this context, he clarified that he will work to do what the Chavista regime cannot, which is to help address the humanitarian crisis.

    “The regime has money for food and medicine. They have paid debt for $ 1.5 billion to the Russians of Rosneft, to the Chinese. And they continue to steal money and use food to control the population, ”he added. To conclude this issue, he explained that Venezuelans are not willing to live in oppression and have their support.


    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA --   The partner countries of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) will evaluate next week in Bogotá measures to restrict the travel of Chavez leaders across the Americas, said the US special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. The measure will affect "several dozen" of officials loyal to Nicolás Maduro and will be discussed during the meeting held by the foreign ministers of the signatory nations of the TIAR, also known as the "Treaty of Rio", in Bogotá on December 3.

      “Next week, on December 3, the signatory countries of the Rio Treaty will meet in Bogotá, Colombia, to consider and we hope to adopt restrictions on regionally coordinated trips and measures to deny visas against several dozen officials of the Maduro's regime, ”Abrams said. "This is a new step in the growing regional efforts against the regime and in support of the return to democracy," he added.

     Abrams also denied that the Venezuelan opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president for more than fifty nations, has lost momentum and reiterated his country's support for Guaidó, although he acknowledged that Venezuela's "recovery" will be a "multiple years" project. "We don't have a 'plan B', we have a 'plan A', we believe it will work, we are supporting the people of Venezuela," he said. However, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will not attend the Bogotá meeting, which will be attended by his regional counterparts, because the head of US diplomacy will be on an official trip in London, Morocco and Portugal between December 1 and 6. To approve any measure, the vote is needed in favor of at least 13 of the 19 signatory countries of the TIAR.


     WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  US oil company ConocoPhillips filed a motion on Tuesday in a Delaware court that seeks to take assets from the Houston-based Citgo Petroleum refinery as part of a payment of some $ 2 billion of an arbitration award against the state Venezuelan PDVSA. Citgo, a US subsidiary of PDVSA and one of Venezuela's main assets abroad, is under siege against numerous lawsuits against the Republic and the state oil company for late payments. However, any action against the company is restricted by United States sanctions aimed at pressuring the exit of power of Nicolás Maduro.

     Last year, the International Chamber of Commerce authorized ConocoPhillips a $ 2,000 million award as compensation for the expropriation of its assets in Venezuela in 2007. Conoco said that PDVSA made some payments, but has not fulfilled the entire amount agreed, despite the order issued by the instance. When claiming PDVSA's assets abroad, Conoco joins a list that includes a request from the Canadian gold mining company Crystallex, which won a judgment of about $ 1.4 billion for the expropriation of its assets, and the holders of the PDVSA 2020 bonus, which is backed by a 50% stake in Citgo.

     But the US Department of the Treasury said it would block any attempt to demand payments, judgments or arbitral awards that attempt to seize Venezuelan property. In the document he presented to the court, Conoco acknowledged that claiming the actions of PDV Holding, parent company of Citgo, would be “more complicated”, but argued that his request is as legitimate as Crystallex's. “The ability of any creditor to execute the actions of PDVH (…) can activate the status of an interpretation of sanctions, authorizations and / or licenses of the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury,” said Conoco . PDVSA has not complied with a 12 million dollar tranche planned for the third quarter and has not canceled any of the amount required for the fourth quarter, Conoco spokesman Daren Beaudo said.

NOVEMBER 27, 2019


  --The Venezuelan opposition leader also said that Nicolás Maduro and the former Petist president "were partakers of the looting" to the people of Venezuela and Brazil. Juan Guaidó launched a strong response against Lula da Silva following criticism from the former president of Brazil, during a Workers Party (PT) Congress, in which he referred to the crises in Venezuela and Bolivia. "After what we saw in Bolivia, we must be proud of everything the Venezuelan people resisted so as not to surrender to the whims of the US government," Lula told his followers.

     Through his Twitter account, the interim president of Venezuela sent a strong response to the former Brazilian head of state, who recently left prison after being convicted of corruption. “I have been elected deputy 2 times. By our Constitution and for the world I am President in Charge. Unlike you who is a convicted thief. Maduro and you were partakers of the looting to our villages through Petrobras, Odebrecht and PDVSA, ”said the Venezuelan opposition leader and president of the National Assembly (AN), a majority opposition.

      “Fortunately, Brazilian institutions are still strong and you were imprisoned as the thief you are. Today is free, but not innocent. You will possibly return to prison, while in Venezuela very soon there will be justice and freedom, ”he added. Lula, who left prison on November 8 after serving 19 months in prison for passive corruption and money laundering - after a trial that sentenced him to almost nine years in prison - called the PT to regain power in Brazil. However, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian published days ago, he implied that he will not stand for the 2022 elections, underlining that for the next elections he will be 77 years old and “the Catholic Church, with 2,000 years of experience , he retires his bishops at 75 ”. In addition, to appear for the elections, Lula would require that his sentence be annulled.


    WASHINGTON, D.C.  --   The Special Commissioner for Security and Intelligence, Iván Simonovis, through a publication in his account on the social network Twitter, revealed a meeting held by some representatives of the Nicolás Maduro regime in Fort Tiuna, in Caracas, to “raise socialist plans in Latin America. Simonovis explained that this meeting was protected by officials of the Military House with the aim of "destabilizing the region."

     “This meeting was attended by: Diosdado Cabello, Delcy and Jorge Rodríguez, Iván Hernández Dala, Eduardo Serrano, Valentín Santana and others. With the support of terrorist groups, the socialist left works on an aggressive plan of mass destruction of democracies in Latin America, ”he said. He also emphasized that what the regime proposes to carry out is "to initiate a training plan for intelligence collectives and to provide insurgency instruction to militia groups, who will carry out destabilizing actions outside Venezuela." Given this, he stressed that “very soon”, the Tiar member countries that work for the liberation of Venezuela will take “a decisive and historic step to end the export of anarchy in our region. Only a proportional response to this threat will prevent chaos in Latin America, ”concluded Simonovis.

     On Monday, the Colombian government announced the expulsion of 60 Venezuelans for their participation in looting and acts of vandalism in the framework of protests against the government of Iván Duque. At the beginning of October, the Ecuadorian government announced that it arrested 17 foreigners, "most of them Venezuelans," with information about the movements of President Lenin Moreno, who faced strong indigenous protests over his economic adjustments.


     BOGOTA, COLOMBIA --  THE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT has imposed a curfew on its capital city of Bogota for the first time in decades following a second day of anti-government protests. Violent clashes between protesters and police occurred after an estimated 250,000 took to the streets to reject the conservative government of Colombian President Iván Duque. Duque imposed the curfew after three people were killed following the peaceful daytime protests in what authorities described as violent looting incidents overnight. According to police, 146 people have been detained in the two days of unrest. At least 151 police and military officers have been injured, in addition to 122 civilians.

      One thing is a peaceful expression through protest,” he said. “Another very different thing is to take advantage of the protest to sow chaos.” The last time the city imposed a curfew was in 1977 for a general strike, before drug-related cartel violence became rampant and the country’s war with leftist guerillas intensified. Duque also announced that he will open a “national conversation” throughout the country next week to find long-term solutions to inequality and corruption. “The space for dialogue exists,” he said. The demonstrations follow a wave of protests overwhelming Latin America. Large protests in Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador have broken out as citizens voice frustrations with political leaders.

     In the first 15 months of his administration, Duque has watched his approval rating plummet to 26 percent and has faced a series of setbacks. “Colombia is facing a set of complex problems that are as difficult as any in its recent history,” said Cynthia Arnson, a Colombia expert and director of the Latin America program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. “I think any political leader faced with this array of problems would have a difficult time.” The nation has absorbed 1.6 million refugees escaping Venezuela’s economic crisis, and tensions soared to an all-time high with both sides sending troops to the Venezuela-Colombia border.

NOVEMBER 25, 2019


  -- The Chavista leader refloated the issue of conspiracies against his regime mounted from the United States and Colombia. "We have dismembered more than 47 attempts to capture officers of the four components," the president said in an interview. A few weeks ago, the president of the official National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Diosdado Cabello, said 47 soldiers had been contacted by officials Colombians to sell them information about the missile system and Sukhoi planes, but who had behaved as patriots and informed the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence.

     The next day, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López spoke about the issue, but showing that there were military detainees. Nicolas Maduro tried to express as a scoop, in an interview with the political operator of Chavismo José Vicente Rangel, something that already Cabello and Godfather told the FANB and the country. “I can tell you as a scoop that right now, in recent months, from Colombia, we have dismembered, by our own participation of our Armed Forces, more than 47 attempts to capture officers of the four components to put them at the service of Colombia's strategy, Army of Colombia and the gringos, to try to annul the Sukhoi system, the system of fixed and mobile radar, torpedo and missile defense of the Bolivarian Navy.

      He said that “there are people imprisoned for that. Some were purchased and were simply discovered or intercepted by the information of patriotic officers. We are doing permanent intelligence. That speaks of the level of despair of the empire, of its allies in Colombia to try to divide, to weaken the Bolivarian National Armed Forces. ” Maduro did not explain what was the sale made by those detained military. Nor did he talk about the number of military detainees arrested for that reason. Much less, he referred to the damage that these officers could cause Venezuelan military teams. The uncertainty is whether the information or equipment that these people sold could constitute a danger to neighboring countries or to the region. It is not clear if they were sold to the Colombian army, the guerrillas, the paramilitaries or any armed gang or terrorist group.


    BOGOTA, COLOMBIA --   The president of Colombia, Iván Duque , said Saturday that the presence of Army soldiers will be maintained in the streets of Bogotá in support of the Police due to protests and excesses in recent days. " With the mayor (of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa) we maintain all the thorough coordination and we also have the continuation of the joint patrolling between the Police and the Army, " Duque told reporters after a meeting with local authorities and the military leadership. In this meeting, measures such as dry law and curfew were analyzed in Bogotá , which was lifted this Saturday at 06.00 local time (11,000 GMT) and with which it was sought to regain control of public order throughout the city.

      "This patrolling is necessary, but it is also done to give citizens peace of mind, " he said. Duque added that members of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Prosecutor's Office will continue “ with permanent support ” and rejected the wave of violence that took over Friday in several neighborhoods in southern Bogotá. " We express the total and absolute rejection of all Colombians for vandalism, for terrorism, for the plundering that some have wanted to perpetrate in the country to alter public order, generate anxiety and affect the freedoms of citizenship, " he added.

     Similarly, he denied the information circulated last night on social networks that warned of alleged attempted robberies of residences in the capital, which caused residents of numerous buildings to organize into defense groups to protect the properties. The protests in Colombia began last Thursday, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the country to express their rejection of the Government, a day that ended with some outbreaks of violence and a spontaneous cacerolazo that spread throughout the capital and other cities . That day was the prelude to a wave of violence that broke out on Friday in the south of the capital, where hooded men clashed with the Police, which in the afternoon dispersed two teaspoons with tear gas against the Government in the central Plaza de Bolívar and in the Monument to the Heroes.


     CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --  Humberto Prado, Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to Victims, spoke about the massacre in the Pemón community of Ikabaru, in the Gran Sabana municipality of Bolivar state, while demanding “respect, protection of their territorial rights, prior consultation , and protection of their integrity and life ”. “Such facts must be investigated and those responsible punished. A work for the Fact Determination Commission recently created by the UN for Venezuela, since the lack of independence of the powers in Venezuela does not guarantee credibility of results ”, was part of what the Commissioner expressed in the Twitter account.

       Prado points out that “this would be the second massacre against the Pemón people. In February between February 22 and 27, 2019, more than 25 indigenous pemones were slaughtered during the five days of the taking of Santa Elena de Uairén. ” He also emphasizes that “on July 12, the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, said that the case would be brought before the ICC” highlighting that “what happened was a new attempt by Nicolás Maduro to remove this indigenous ethnic group from his territory, that occupies important spaces in the mining area of the country ”.

      Such facts must be investigated and those responsible punished. A work for the Commission of Determination of Facts recently created by the UN for Venezuela, because the lack of independence of the powers in Venezuela does not guarantee credibility of results.

NOVEMBER 22, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C.   -- The State Department "is together with José Daniel Ferrer and the Cuban human rights defenders who bravely face the Castro regime," he said Wednesday in a statement by Robert A. Destro, assistant to the Secretary of State for U.S. Destro met in Washington with Luis Enrique Ferrer, brother of the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), detained since October 1 with other members of that opposition organization.

     Destro's statement, assistant to the Secretary of State of the Bureau of Democracy, Human and Labor Rights in the US Foreign Ministry, was published on his Twitter account. Enrique Ferrer is in the US capital where he seeks support for the freedom of the Cuban opponent who has been behind bars for 50 days.

     In the morning hours, Luis Enrique Ferrer met with the Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, Juliete Chung, and talked about the delicate health of the UNPACU leader. The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, reported on his Twitter account that members of his team in the international organization met with Luis Enrique Ferrer. Almagro said on Twitter that "nobody believes the lies of the dictatorship against José Daniel. He is a political prisoner arbitrarily arrested again and tortured for thinking differently."


    WASHINGTON, D.C.  --    Venezuela received another setback this Thursday in the United States when an appeals court refused to hold a new hearing in the case against the Canadian miner Crystallex asking for compensation for the nationalization of a mine in 2011. The request for a new hearing by the panel and the judges was denied, according to documents of the Court of Appeal for the Third Judicial Circuit. In July, a US court determined that the Canadian mining company may confiscate Citgo shares - the Houston subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA - as compensation for the nationalization of a mine in Venezuela in 2011.

      Since February, Citgo is headed by a board appointed by Juan Guaidó, to whom the Donald Trump government handed over control of the company after he invoked articles of the Constitution to proclaim himself president in charge. "The case in the appeals court is over, there are no more options for Venezuela to appeal," Russ Dallen, an expert at the Caracas Capital Markets, based in Miami, told AFP. The judicial decision is suspended by executive order established in October by the Department of the Treasury, which, in the framework of the sanctions against Maduro, issued a temporary provision that prevents Venezuela's creditors from taking control of Citgo

     The case will return to Judge Leonard Stark to enforce the sentence but the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reiterated that the execution of assets of Venezuela and its national oil company PDVSA is blocked, Dallen said in a note. For the expert with the execution blocked by the Treasury - unless Crystallex has a new specific license to allow it - the opposition of Venezuela, which in the United States represents the country - probably appeals the case to the Supreme Court.


     CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --  The president of the official National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, said that "sooner rather than later Evo Morales will return made millions with the people." From the fraud and subsequent resignation of the leader of the MAS, 32 people died in his country. “We know that what happens in Bolivia is a genocide. It is the murder of the Bolivian people, of the people originating from the racist hatred of the fascist government of Bolivia under the orders of the government of the United States. They will not be able to with the Bolivian people. They cannot with Simón Bolívar's favorite daughter, ”Diosdado Cabello began his intervention, in his program Con el mazo danzo, dedicated to the crisis in Bolivia.
      "Sooner rather than later, Evo Morales will return made millions with the Bolivian people," he emphasized; before saying that "Bolivia is going to be the spark that will ignite the prairie of the Bolivarian breeze, the Bolivarian hurricane." Then he said that this country could become the “epicenter of a great Bolivarian hurricane” that extends throughout Latin America, setting as an example the “national strike” announced in Colombia for Thursday. “The people rose in awareness of freedom. They deserve the president they choose and elected Evo Morales, "he said. The Ombudsman of Bolivia confirmed on Wednesday that 32 people died because of the wave of violence unleashed in the country following the elections held last 20 October.

     In a statement, he spoke of the "existence of 8 people killed after the police-military operation in the Senkata plant sector, in El Alto." "During the current conflict in the country, there are a total of 32 deaths," says the text, which updates the dead balance so far. The blockade of the Fiscal Oilfield (YPFB) plant in Senkata had caused fuel shortages in both El Alto and La Paz. 80 percent of public transport was not working, according to local union data, in a city where fruits, vegetables and meat products, such as chicken.

NOVEMBER 21, 2019


CARACAS, VENEZUELA   -- National Assembly President Juan Guaido, the lawmaker who in January claimed the mantle of Interim President of Venezuela, warned embattled Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro about those around him, saying that Maduro’s entourage is negotiating giving him up. On Saturday, the Guaido-led opposition retook the initiative, marching in all of Venezuela’s 23 states against the Maduro regime, with some 750,000 demonstrators showing up to denounce Maduro in Caracas alone. Now, Guaido is taking actions one step further, criticizing Maduro and those around him like he has never done before and with the embattled leader clearly looking vulnerable after the sudden ousting of his long-time communist ally, Bolivia’s Evo Morales.

     “That is the problem the dictator has, that all of those around him want to negotiate him,” Guaido told journalists Tuesday before the legislative session of the day. Guaido is recognized as the lawful acting Interim President of Venezuela by 58 countries including the United States. Maduro on Sunday said he was still talking with “fascist, puppet” Guaido, but the lawmaker quickly denied that, saying the Norway effort has been dead for weeks. On Tuesday, the garrulous Guaido returned epithet for epithet, terming Maduro as an “incapable dictator, desperate and with mental problems.” “In his last two speeches he looked ill, disoriented, afflicted it would seem with a mental illness,” Guaido said of Maduro.

     Guaido representatives took part earlier this year in a mediated dialogue sponsored by Norway, where the Norse mediators talked alternatively with them and with representatives from Maduro about ways to end Venezuela’s current political crisis, or “the usurpation” as Guaido maintains that Maduro’s 2018 reelection was fraudulent. During the dialogue effort, a picture emerged of a formerly hard-core Maduro supporter, Miranda state governor Hector Rodriguez, now willing to go to Presidential elections without Maduro, several sources from the Guaido camp told LAHT at the time.


    LA PAZ, BOLIVIA  --      -- Bolivian police and troops killed three people and wounded 30 others on Tuesday in an operation to evict supporters of former president Evo Morales from an oil refinery in El Alto, near La Paz. “According to the preliminary information, the three people died as a result of gunshots,” the Ombudsman’s Office said. Security forces went to the refinery in El Alto’s Senkata district to enable the resumption of fuel shipments, which had been blocked by activists from the leftist MAS party after Morales resigned on Nov. 10 under duress.

      The wounded, including some in critical condition, were taken from Senkata to hospitals in El Alto and La Paz, the Ombudsman’s Office said, appealing to the armed forces to return to the barracks “to avoid more deaths.” The military, meanwhile, said that it had received “intelligence” that the people occupying the refinery had high-powered explosives which they planned to use to destroy the installations. The violence occurred after armored vehicles escorted a convoy of oil tankers away from the refinery. Tuesday’s fatalities bring to at least 30 the number of people killed as the security forces repress protests against the self-proclaimed interim government that took power following Morales’ resignation and flight into exile in Mexico. More than 700 others have been wounded.

     Bolivians went to the polls on Oct. 20 to choose their president for the next five years. In a statement issued the day after the election, the Electoral Observation Mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) said that Morales and former head of state Carlos Mesa had appeared to be headed for a runoff before an “inexplicable change” in the trend of the vote count occurred. Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state, maintains that his late surge in the balloting came after votes from remote rural areas were counted. He agreed to an OAS audit of the votes amid pressure from violent, post-election protests. The OAS released its findings Nov. 10, saying that there had been a “clear manipulation” of the process and calling for a new election to be held.


     WASHINGTON, D.C.   --  THERE IS A "SCARY" STORY   that this year 2019, on one of his several trips to Turkey, the former governor of Aragua Tarek El Aissami had a tremendous scare. As we know, it is indicated by the United States to participate in drug trafficking schemes. On Wednesday, August 31, the vice president of the economic area of Nicolás Maduro was included in the list of the most wanted fugitives by United States Immigration for the crime of international drug trafficking. And in August it was learned that the US was studying offering a reward for the capture of El Aissami, according to the Undersecretary of State for Cuban and Venezuelan Affairs, Carrie Filipetti.

      As if that were not enough, at the end of July the US Treasury Department also pointed out the regime's favorite businessman, Alex Saab, of being responsible for working with Tareck El Aissami to create a structure that would allow gold to be sold from Venezuela to Turkey and the Emirates United Arab. Well, the story is that in one of his steps through Turkey, El Aissami had to see how the alarms went on at the airport. The system showed that it is a person wanted with judicial debts and they passed it "pa'l cuartico".

     The man had to call half the world, move heaven and earth both in the country of Pilav, until they managed to speak with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, to be left alone. It is no accident, we are told, that on the occasion of last October 29, the Day of the Republic of Turkey, a national holiday in that country, El Aissami has been on top of a blank -and he likes to wear pepito- at the reception that the ambassador gave in Caracas. A gesture of thanks to be left still. Will you dare to leave the country again?

NOVEMBER 20, 2019


CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --  Backersrs of Juan Guaido staged their biggest protest in Caracas in months as Venezuela’s opposition leader seeks to revive his campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro. A week after Maduro’s ally Evo Morales was toppled in Bolivia, Guaido is seeking to boost thinning crowds that have grown apathetic since a botched uprising in April failed to remove Maduro. “I’m here because we cannot continue living like this,” said hairdresser Maribel Risquez, 51, one of thousands of protesters in the capital on Saturday. “My 25-year-old son died of lung cancer because we couldn’t find the medicines he needed. We have to protest without fear until we change this government.”

        Venezuela has been relatively quiet as Guaido lost momentum while violent protests wracked Latin American countries from Ecuador to Chile. He drew crowds of hundreds of thousands early this year, but many followers now doubt that he can unseat Maduro. Guaido’s approval rating stood at 42% this month, down from more than 60% in February, according to a survey by Caracas pollster Datanalisis. “We will remain in the streets until we have free elections,” Guaido said in a speech to the rally. “We’re going to achieve Venezuela’s freedom.”

     He called on his followers to protest in their neighborhoods on Monday and to join a student march on Thursday. Several miles across town, Maduro called in by phone to a march by his supporters describe events in Bolivia as “a fascist coup.” “In Venezuela there will be no coup, because the people will defend democracy,” he said. On Friday night, masked police broke into the office of Popular Will, Guaido’s party, and detained dozens of members for an hour while they stole from them, party leader Roland Carreno said.


    LA PAZ, BOLIVIA  --      --  Government minister Arturo Morillo said on Monday that Bolivia’s interim president, Jeanine Añez, canceled a trip to the country’s interior on Monday, November 18th for fear of an assassination attempt by “a criminal group” made up of Venezuelans, Cubans, and Colombians. “We have identified a criminal group that wants to carry out an assassination on the president, that is why today we had to cancel her trip to her home region,” said Murillo at a press conference in the Bolivian capital Monday morning. “There are people, obviously Venezuelan, Cuban, Colombian, involved in this, narco-trafficking is behind it all,” the minister claimed.

      According to Morillo, a “criminal organization with links to narco-trafficking” has plans to “make a Venezuela in Bolivia.”Few details were provided at the press conference, but he promised that military and police investigators are “after this criminal group,” whose activities, he maintained, form part of an “insurrection process” that has “links to narco-trafficking.” "There are people, of course, Venezuelan, Cuban, Colombian involved in this, there is drug trafficking behind," said the minister. According to Murillo, a "criminal organization with links to drug trafficking" aims to "make a Venezuela in Bolivia."

     Not many details were offered at the conference, but Murillo promised that military and police were "behind this criminal group." , whose activity, he said, is part of an "insurrection process" that has "links with drug trafficking." The minister told the press that he had to insist that the president not travel, and put her position available to her if she insisted on the trip. It is a pity that now they realize the work that Cuba has been doing throughout Latin America with a facade of humanitarianism, they wake up or they will get up with the Communist Boot in their heads.


     WASHINGTON, D.C.   --  Hugo "El Pollo" Carvajal, former chief of intelligence of Hugo Chavez, escaped. He did so after the decision of the National Court of Spain to extradite him to the US leaked. It was not a unanimous decision. Four of the 18 magistrates filed objections, while one of them denounced an alleged interference by Washington. "Here the underlying problem is the non-independence of justice," a legal source tells ALnavío newspaper. And he says it for two reasons: Due to the alleged interference of the United States in the process. And by the filtration that allows the escape of "El Pollo" Carvajal.

      The defense of Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal believes that the accusation of the United States is pure story. A kind of excuse for the former Chief of Intelligence and Military Counterintelligence of Hugo Chávez to reveal useful information against the Maduro regime. The US points to Carvajal as one of the leaders of the Cartel de los Soles, an alleged group of drug traffickers composed of Chavez military who traffic drugs and weapons to the US. Specifically, Carvajal is accused of collaborating with the FARC in Colombia to introduce cocaine into the US.

      For the defense of “El Pollo” Carvajal this is a story. And also for the magistrate of the National Court of Spain, José Ricardo de Prada. According to him, the accusation of the United States responds “much more to what would be a kind of narrative or novel story of a conspiracy attack against the United States of America by an enemy of that State, than to a legal description of specific criminal acts "

NOVEMBER 19, 2019


   --  Drug trafficking through Venezuela has increased dramatically and constitutes a threat to the security of the region, said the admiral in charge of the U.S. Southern Command, Craig S. Faller, after opening remarks at a Caribbean Nations Security Conference in Miami on Thursday. “Maduro’s regime has facilitated narcotrafficking,” Faller told the Miami Herald. “There’s over a 50% increase of narcotrafficking in and through Venezuela, and Maduro and his cronies are lining their pockets, in cahoots with the illicit narcotrafficking.”

     The admiral did not say in what period of time the increase has taken place. Maduro’s regime, which the United States does not recognize, has replaced lost income from falling oil production with the proceeds of drug trafficking and other illegal activities, several Trump administration officials have said. Faller, the military chief in charge of U.S. national security interests in Latin America and the Caribbean, also referred to the presence in Venezuela of dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army. Those “terrorist” groups, he said, threaten to destabilize democratic countries such as Colombia.

      Under Maduro, the situation in Venezuela has deteriorated to the point that almost 5 million Venezuelans have left the country, increasing the pressure on already troubled health, education, and social services systems in neighboring countries. “When you have over a million people pour into your country, as Colombia has,” he said, “that stresses those systems, and I applaud the democracies of the region for how well they’ve handled it, but more needs to be done.” From 2017 to date, the U.S. Agency for International Development has allocated more than $600 million to the crisis in Venezuela, of which $400 million was directed to provide humanitarian assistance.


    GENEVA, SWITZERLAND  --      --   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, warned on Saturday that "unnecessary or disproportionate use" of the police or military force can lead the situation in Bolivia to "get out of control" . Bachelet stressed that 14 people have died in the six days after former President Evo Morales went into exile in Mexico, and regretted that the deaths appear to be the result of "unnecessary or disproportionate use of force," said AFP. "I condemn these deaths. It is an extremely dangerous development, because far from appeasing the violence, it is possible that it will make it worse," he added.

      "I am really concerned that the situation in Bolivia can get out of control if the authorities do not handle it carefully, according to international norms and standards that govern the use of force, and with full respect for human rights," said the High Commissioner He added that "the country is divided and people from different sectors of the political spectrum are outraged. In a situation like this, repressive actions on the part of the authorities will simply further stoke that anger, and can endanger any possible dialogue path ".

      The agency's statement indicates that Bachelet's statements occur after the deaths of at least five protesters on Friday in Sacaba (Cochabamba) in Bolivia, allegedly as a result of the use of lethal ammunition by security forces. Bachelet urged the authorities "to ensure that the security forces comply with international norms and standards regarding the use of force, as well as to ensure the right to life and physical integrity of the protesters." "We have information that at least 17 people have died in the context of the protests, including 14 only in the last six days," Bachelet said. Bachelet expressed concern that, in addition to the deaths and hundreds of wounded, there were multiple arrests and detentions, including more than 600 people detained since October 21, many of them during the last days.


     SANTIAGO, CHILE   --    Last week, Bolivia got rid of many of its Cuban rabble-rousers. This week, it’s Chile’s turn. Bolivia’s riots have turned deadly, with dead reported as of this morning. Chile continues to deal with rioters who want to topple president Sebastián Piñera and his government, but with fewer fatalities. Undoubtedly, Castro, Inc. is behind much or all of this turmoil, as usual. But Castrophiliacs everywhere deny that any such thing is possible. Chile has been engulfed in fearsome riots, and a lot of speculation has rolled around about the influence of foreign agents, pretty much all dismissed by the establishment President Trump has said as much, and naturally been criticized, for it. Chile’s weak president, Sebastian Pinera has said it, too.

      Nothing to see here, move along. But now a story emerges from Rancagua, a mid-sized Chilean city of about 200,000 situated about 54 miles south of Santiago. The Mayor ordered the expulsion of 50 foreigners from the country, 30 are of Cuban nationality, nine Venezuelans, seven Dominicans, three Haitians, one is Colombian and the other Bolivian 50 foreigners must leave the national territory and return to their country of origin, this because they were clandestinely in Chile or irregular, for example, with their visa expired, and formalized for crimes.

     This was stated by the Mayor Juan Manuel Masferrer, who said that he already signed his expulsion, arguing that these offenders at the time were made available to different courts of guarantee of the O’Higgins region, passed to detention control, formalized by the crimes charged and were left with precautionary measures, which empowers this procedure in accordance with the Immigration Regulations of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security. Of the 50 expelled, five were arrested and placed at the disposal of the justice accused of carrying out looting, and on the other, for being involved in disorders, threatening authority and lifting barricades, all crimes, which according to the Mayor Juan Manuel Masferrer, are sufficient reasons to decree his expulsion.Apparently the mayors in Chile have that kind of power.

NOVEMBER 18, 2019


   -- “The time has come for the citizens, for the Venezuelans willing to do everything for Venezuela (…) Here the fight is until the usurpation ceases and there are free elections,” Guaidó told those present in Chacaíto and added that “the dictatorship through Fear pretended to underestimate us. They were wrong, today Venezuela sings victory in the street, we are not alone in this ”. “The dictatorship makes us panic, they didn't let us ride the sound, but we have the sound of people in the street. Maduro's dictatorship has pretended that they could stop us. Today in Venezuela sings victory in all the streets of Venezuela. The teachers, students, are not alone, we are together in this fight for the country. They have not been able to, nor can they with the brave people of Venezuela. Enough of intimidation of manipulation, of hunger, ”he said.

     “We have to return singing victory because we are going to remain in the streets until we achieve it. Here the fight is until the usurpation ceases, ”he said. “The Maduro regime has no people, they were left without people's support. We have always been giving face to our people. They can't face anyone. I am a public servant. I am a dedicated man until this changes. It is not enough with diplomatic victories, it is not enough to recognize us, the only thing that will be enough is when our families return to the country, ”he said. “The teachers have a replica of their 72-hour protests, this is not a single issue. Talk to the interim president of Bolivia, we send you a hug from Venezuela. She told me about the process that they have had to live these days. This is not a struggle for power, here there is no polarized country, here there is only one country struggling to regain its freedom, and that struggle is conquered in the streets. ”

     “If we stay in the house we will have lost. All Venezuela protesting in every corner of the country. It will not be enough to achieve it. It has been years of effort. The only option is to fight (…) Today I did not come to ask for confidence in me, but in yourself, every university, every church, every school, has a duty to raise the flag of the fight, demand their rights, ”he insisted. “We must stay in the protest, we have to continue until we achieve it. Today we are all united. Enough of suffering, of pain, it is time to achieve the love of our citizens. On Tuesday we go to the street with the teachers, on November 21 with the students. I do not know if it is several days, what I assure you is that we will continue until we achieve it, ”he concluded.


    WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro’s cronies are looking for a “golden ticket” out of the regime, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “I think we see leaders inside of Maduro's inner circle now trying to figure out what the golden ticket looks like,” Pompeo told the Hill’s Newsmaker Series Monday morning. “'What does it look like if I leave?' When they start asking those questions, surely some of them will decide that there are better times ahead not supporting that thug.”

      U.S. officials have struggled to fracture the regime since January, when President Trump recognized top opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó as the interim president of the country. Maduro refuses to relinquish power and the military remains resolute behind him, buttressed by Cuban security services and roving gangs of "colectivos" that have cracked down on protesters. “They will be in a far better place if they chose a different path,” Pompeo said of Maduro’s Cuban backers. “We are making the same case to all the parties that are supporting Maduro. Certainly the people inside his own military, his own army. The Cubans, the next ring out. The Russians.”

     Trump’s team has been intensifying sanctions on Cuba, partly because of the Communist regime’s key role in providing security assistance to Maduro. But as the regime’s top military commanders remain unified, U.S. officials are trying to undermine Maduro's remaining civilian support by assuring the PSUV political party that it has a future after Maduro. “We believe the Maduro regime must come to an end for Venezuela to recover democracy and prosperity, but like all of the country’s citizens, PSUV is entitled to a role in rebuilding Venezuela,” special representative Elliott Abrams, the top U.S. diplomat for the crisis, said last week. “You in the PSUV are entitled to run in free elections and try to convince your fellow citizens of the value of your policy.” “There are many efforts in the State Department to restore democracy to the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said. “It is an imperative. It’s in our space, it’s here in the Western Hemisphere.”


      WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    The former governor of the state Aragua and now vice president of Economy of the regime, Tareck El Aissami, is among the most wanted fugitives by the United States for the crime of international drug trafficking, after the United States Customs Immigration and Control Service, agency of the Department of National Security of the United States (ICE) will publish a poster with detailed information.

     ICE indicates that “in February 2017, the Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury designated Tareck Zaidan El Aissami, a Venezuelan citizen, as a specially designated narcotics trafficker (SDNT) in accordance with The Kingpin Act for playing an important role in international narcotics deals El Aissami was appointed Executive Vice President of Venezuela in January 2017.

     He previously served as Governor of the Venezuelan state of Aragua from 2012 to 2017, and as Minister of Interior and Justice of Venezuela from 2008. He facilitated narcotics shipments from Venezuela, to include control over aircraft that departed from a Venezuelan air base and drug routes through the ports in Venezuela. In his previous positions, he supervised or partially owned narcotics shipments of more than 1,000 kilograms from Venezuela on multiple occasions, including those with the final destinations of Mexico and the United States. ”

NOVEMBER 8, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C.   -- The Acting Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US Department of State, Michael Kozak, said Thursday that the Cuban Army facilitates atrocities in Venezuela. “The Cuban Army controls 50% of the economy and the majority of tourism. The same army facilitates atrocities in Venezuela today. US sanctions prevent the regime from personally benefiting from this twisted economic model.

      The root of the problem: the Castro regime is corrupt, ”he posted on his Twitter account. In his consideration, the Castro regime exploits Cuban medical professionals to “fill their pockets,” renting their best and brightest medical staff out of Cuba, while leaving Cubans with poor service and empty pharmacies.

     “The Castro regime built an economy that is hopelessly dependent on sponsors (first the Soviets, now Maduro) and pays stolen oil from VZ with intelligence and repression tactics. Sanctions prevent US dollars from supporting the Castro dictatorship #Cubazuela, ”he continued.


    BRASILIA, BRAZIL    --    Ministers and representatives of the countries of the Lima Group will meet TODAY in Brasilia to re-analyze the situation in Venezuela and the stagnation of a crisis that has led millions of people to leave that country The meeting will be the first one held by the Lima Group since the election as the new president of Argentina of the Peronist Alberto Fernández, who has implied that once he takes office, on December 10, his country will leave this platform, created in 2017 to seek a democratic alternative in Venezuela.

     Even so, official sources told Efe that Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie will represent the Government of Mauricio Macri at the meeting, which may be the last of the Lima Group with the presence of that country.The president-elect of Argentina has already hinted that his future Government could join the Montevideo Mechanism, formed by Uruguay, Mexico, Bolivia and the Caribbean Community and that seeks to promote political dialogue in the country, but without ignoring the Government of Nicolás Maduro .

     The Lima Group, which maintains a much more critical position, is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. All are among the dozens of countries that recognize the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as "legitimate and interim" president of Venezuela, and demand the holding of "free and democratic" elections to seek an alternative to Maduro. On behalf of Guaidó, the presidential commissioner for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Julio Borges, and the former mayor of the Caracas municipality of El Hatillo David Smolansky, in his capacity as coordinator of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the crisis will be at the meeting of Venezuelan migrants and refugees.


      WASHINGTON, D.C.    --    In just nine months 554 victims of tORTURE were reported. The majority are young and poor men. These are the majority of the injuries inflicted: blows, butts, electric shocks, crucifixion, kicks and insults. In the first 9 months of the year, 34 cases of torture were reported that included 554 individualized victims of this human rights crime, the human rights organization Provea reported. These data are the result of a press monitoring and compilation of complaints received by Provea between the months of January and September 2019.

      This figure represents an increase of 508.25% in the number of victims counted compared to the 12 months of the year 2018, when 109 people tortured were reported. In addition, it is the highest record documented by Provea in 31 years of monitoring the right to personal integrity in the country, surpassing the 185 victims registered in 2014. The majority of tortured persons (98.55%) were men, young people and the poor. The ages of the victims vary between 18 and 50 years. Most of the injuries inflicted are blows, butts, electric shocks, crucifixion, kicks and insults.

      Of the total number of victims counted by Provea between the months of January and September, 408 (73.64%) were persons deprived of liberty linked by the commission of common crimes; 124 (22.38%) military detained when accused of being part of conspiratorial acts against Nicolás Maduro, and another 22 people (3.97%) were civilians detained for political reasons or in the exercise of the right to peaceful demonstration. 21 people died between the months of January and September 2019 as a result of torture received by law enforcement officials. 19 of the recorded deaths occurred in Preventive Detention Centers (CDP) under the control of the Bolivarian National Police, Corps of Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigations (CICPC) and regional police.

NOVEMBER 7, 2019


CARACAS, VENEZUELA   -- Venezuela’s internationally-recognized Juan Guaido government believes there is still reason to be hopeful when it comes to dislodging President Nicolas Maduro from power. “Things are advancing. There is a strategy that is advancing,” Vanessa Neumann, the chief diplomat in London for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, told CNBC in an exclusive interview. She did not go into specific details about the National Assembly leader’s plans over the coming months. The South American country is in the midst of one of the Western Hemisphere’s worst humanitarian crises in recent memory, with some 4 million people having fled the country since 2015 amid an economic meltdown.

      A protracted political stand-off has thrust the oil-rich, but cash-poor, country into uncharted territory — whereby it now has an internationally-recognized government, with no control over state functions, running parallel to Maduro’s regime. Our country is dying, our people are dying, and the international community is increasingly alarmed with what they are seeing. Guaido assumed a rival interim presidency in January, citing Venezuela’s constitution, and denounced Maduro’s government as illegitimate after he secured re-election last year in a vote widely criticized as rigged. Guaido has since been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the U.S. and most Latin American and European countries.

     However, Maduro has refused to cede power. And, crucially, he still has the broad support of the military. “Maduro has not accepted the situation, but other countries have,” Neumann said, before adding that there was a growing sense that the “international community is coalescing at least around a diagnosis of the problem.” On April 30, Guaido appeared outside one of the most important military installations in the capital city of Caracas flanked by defecting soldiers and said “the time is now” for Venezuela’s armed forces to turn on their embattled commander-in-chief. The dramatic pre-dawn declaration appeared to symbolize an extraordinary watershed moment in the country’s political history. “I remember saying to my friend at the time … It’s happened, we are free,” Neumann said, as she tearfully recalled what many believed would come to mark Maduro’s downfall. As it turned out, most of the military top brass remained loyal to their socialist president and Guaido’s attempt to trigger a nationwide uprising failed.


    SAMTOAGO, CHILE   --    TWO Police officers in Chile’s capital were set on fire after demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails in their direction. Unrest in Chile began 19 days ago over a hike to subway fares and has grown into a massive movement demanding broad changes. Two female police officers trying to drive off protesters in Chile’s capital were set on fire after demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails in direction of the officers. A riot police officer on fire is assisted by colleagues during a protest against Chile's government in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 4, 2019.

     Chile has been facing weeks of unrest, triggered by an increase in subway fares. The protests have shaken a nation noted for economic stability over the past decades, which has seen steadily declining poverty despite persistent high rates of inequality. Jorge Silva, the Reuters chief photographer in South East Asia who is in Chile covering the protests, said he was standing close to the Baquedano metro station when he saw a flare out of the corner of his eye. “I realized a police officer had been set on fire by a Molotov and her team were trying to extinguish the fire,” he said.

     The incident sparked an immediate response from police, Henry Romero, another Reuters reporter, said. “From that moment things intensified, the police began to use a lot of gas and rubber bullets, the noise of the repeated fire was loud,” he said. The country’s interior minister visited the two police officers in the hospital and denounced the attack as “pure violence … nothing to do with the legitimate demands of citizens.” “It was a violent, cowardly aggression against two police officers who were working to protect the safety of our compatriots,” he said, according to Reuters.



      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA    --    Colombian Defense Minister Guillermo Botero presented on Wednesday his resignation after the day before it became known that he hid from the public the military bombardment of a camp set up by dissidents from the now-demobilized FARC guerrillas in which at least eight children died. “Today, in a meeting with the president of the republic to analyze the current political situation, it was agreed that the most appropriate thing was to present my resignation from the post of national defense minister,” Botero said in an official statement issued by his office.

     Botero’s resignation comes a day after a Senate debate was held regarding a censure motion presented against him for failings in his security and defense policy. During the parliamentary debate, Sen. Roy Barreras, with the Party of the U, which provided key support for former President Juan Manuel Santos, revealed the military’s bombardment in early September of a camp of dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in Caqueta province in which seven children died, including a 12-year-old girl. The Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday raised the death toll to eight minors killed in the operation, a figure that authorities had not divulged despite the fact that after the operation they had reported that deaths had occurred in the attack.

      After the firestorm sparked by the release of that information, Botero met with President Ivan Duque, to whom he presented his letter of resignation in consideration of the fact that it is his “duty as minister of defense to have an appropriate read on the political climate.” “More coca means less peace, more coca means less life, more coca means less forest, more coca means less youth, more coca means less work, more coca means less business, more coca means less democracy,” said the minister in his letter, which was made public and in which he makes no mention of the controversial bombardment. Just a few minutes after Botero made public his resignation, Duque announced on his Twitter account that he had named Gen. Luis Fernando Navarro, the current commander of Colombia’s military forces, to serve as defense minister on an interim basis.

NOVEMBER 6, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C.   -- While from all parts of the country the members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) continue to demand the release of the Cubn oposition leader José Daniel Ferrer, his relatives and suportes in the United States have called for a demonstration in front of the Embassy of the Cuban regime in Washington, D.C. "We demand proof of life and the immediate release of Roilan Zárraga, Fernando González, José Pupo and José Daniel Ferrer," Rosa María Payá wrote on Twitter. "Anti-communist protest for the release of all Cuban political prisoners."

      On Monday, in turn, the US Embassy in Havana recalled that 34 days have passed since the opposition leader's arrest. "We strongly condemn that injustice," the US diplomatic headquarters wrote in its Twitter account. "We ask that he be treated with humanity, that his location be immediately known and that he be released without conditions." In Cuba, UNPACU activists continue to disseminate videos on social networks that demand Ferrer's release and condemn the regime for not complying with its own laws, as it does not attest to the life of the activist or the other three UNPACU members arrested with him : Fernando González Vaillant, José Pupo Chaveco and Roilán Zárraga Ferrer.

     “We are here in the Cuba Libre cell, in Centro Habana, demanding a proof of life from our UNPACU leader, disappeared by the Castro-Canel tyranny, and three other activists,” says a woman who wears a video on YouTube T-shirt with the word NO and appears next to five other people. Ferrer's family and activists in Texas and Miami summoned all the people who want to participate on Friday in the protest in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. In Miami, those interested must call two telephone numbers to register, and in Austin they must send an email to know where the buses will depart to the federal capital.


    HAVANA, CUBA   --    A figure has become familiar in the most recent trips of the Cuban ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel abroad: that of General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja. The enigmatic military was the third to greet President Vladimir Putin at a meeting last week, behind Vice President of the Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas, who renegotiated the Cuban debt to Russia, and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez. Díaz-Canel introduced López-Calleja as an "economic advisor." López-Calleja also sat near Díaz-Canel in a meeting with Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico in mid-October this year, and accompanied him to his debut at the United Nations in September 2018.

      Although the official Cuban press has been ambivalent, showing it in photos but without publicly naming it as part of the official delegations, its growing international profile could suggest that Raul Castro's former son-in-law could be among the favorites to occupy the position of prime minister. The new Cuban constitution approved in February established changes of nomenclature in the government and the creation of new positions, including that of the prime minister. Díaz-Canel went from presiding over the Council of State and Ministers to receiving the title of President of the Republic at the beginning of October. The ruler has three months to propose a prime minister, who will be in charge of administering the country.

      The general is the true czar of the Cuban economy, at the head of the Group of Administration Empresarial S.A. (GAESA), a conglomerate of military companies estimated to control at least half of the Cuban economy. GAESA manages key areas such as the remittance business, most of the tourism industry, the Special Development Zone of Puerto del Mariel, as well as the main stores and supermarkets, gas stations, import and export companies, shipping companies, companies of construction, warehouses and an airline.



      MEXICO CITY, MEXICO    --   Drug cartel gunmen ambushed three SUVs along a dirt road, slaughtering at least six children and three women — all of them U.S. citizens living in northern Mexico — in a grisly attack that left one of their vehicles a burned-out, bullet-riddled hulk, authorities said Tuesday. The dead included 8-month-old twins. At least five other youngsters were wounded by gunfire. Mexican Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo said the attackers may have mistaken the group's large SUVs for those of rival gangs.

      But all of the victims were believed to be members of the extended LeBaron family, who live in a decades-old settlement founded by an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have run afoul of the drug traffickers over the years. A LeBaron was killed a decade ago after denouncing the cartels. Mexican authorities say drug cartel gunmen ambushed multiple vehicles, including this one, slaughtering several women and children.

     In a tweet, President Donald Trump immediately offered to help Mexico "wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth." "The United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively," Trump tweeted. "The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army! But Mexico's president said: "The worst thing you can have is war." It was the second failure in recent weeks for López Obrador's "hugs not bullets" anti-crime strategy. Two weeks ago, Mexican forces seized a son of the imprisoned drug lord known as El Chapo but had to release him after cartel henchmen launched a furious counterattack in Culiacan, Sinaloa.

NOVEMBER 5, 2019


- Witnesses declared that the aircraft hit a metal structure when it took off from an Andean village under heavy rain. The president was not injured. The Bolivian Air Force (FAB) said Monday that a helicopter that was transporting President Evo Morales from Colquiri to the city of Oruro suffered a mechanical failure and had to make an emergency landing. The president was unharmed from the incident.

      “The FAB, in accordance with the regulations, will proceed to activate the Accident Investigation Board. More details regarding the event will be given in accordance with the progress of the investigation, ”said the institution's statement, which states that the accident was due to problems recorded in the tail rotor during takeoff.

      Videos circulating in social networks show the aircraft with registration FAB-007 on the ground, cordoned off by a group of people. According to witness reports collected by the newspaper El Debe, the helicopter hit a metal structure when it took off and then fell at least 15 meters high. Evo Morales had shortly opened a road to link the Andean towns of Caracollo with Colquiri, south of La Paz, when heavy rain broke out in the region.


    SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, --    The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, on Sunday asked the dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, to respect him after he was called “traitor and fighter of imperialism”, after the decision of the Central American president to expel the diplomatic corps from the nation South American The president added that "in El Salvador, without being on seas of oil, a roll of toilet paper does not cost us a month's salary." The dictator Maduro described this Sunday as "traitor and fighter of imperialism" Bukele, who on Saturday ordered the expulsion of Venezuelan diplomats accredited in his country.

       "It is shameful to see how a person who came to the Presidency with some hope for the Salvadoran people melts in front of imperialism," Maduro said at the closing of the "Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Meeting, for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism" held in Havana. Maduro, whose presence in this forum had not been announced, said that "no mequetrefe will separate the peoples of El Salvador and Venezuela" and warned that "he who messes with us dries up, and Bukele will dry up." The Venezuelan regime applied this Sunday the principle of reciprocity and ordered the expulsion of diplomats from El Salvador accredited in Caracas, according to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

     Maduro's foreign minister also attacked Bukele, who, he said, "officially assumes the sad pawn role of US foreign policy, by giving oxygen to its strategy of aggression against the Venezuelan people." According to a statement published by the Salvadoran ruler in his social networks, the expulsion of the Venezuelan diplomatic corps accredited in El Salvador responds to the ignorance of “the legitimacy of the government (of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás) Maduro”, and the recognition as president in charge of the country of the head of Parliament, Juan Guaidó. Repeatedly, Bukele, of the right-wing Grand Alliance for National Unity (WINS), has ruled against “the Maduro regime”, to the point that he decided not to invite him to take office, on June 1 .



      TEHRAN, IRAN     --   Iran said Monday that it has a production rate of five kilos of enriched uranium per day, multiplying by more than 10 times the production of two months ago, in advances that mark a greater distance with respect to the commitments assumed in the nuclear agreement of 2015. The announcement, which also included a mention of a prototype centrifuge that works 50 times faster than those allowed under the agreement, coincided with the 40th anniversary of the US embassy taking in 1979 and the beginning of a hostage crisis.

      By using these advanced devices, Iran further reduces the one-year term that Tehran would need to have enough material to build a nuclear bomb, if it wanted to. The international agreement limited Iran to using only 5,060 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges to enrich uranium by spinning uranium hexafluoride gas at high speed.

Centrifuges used by Iran in uranium enrichment
In a theatrical staging at the Natanz nuclear facility, where the interview was shot, Ali Akbar Salehi, vice president of the Islamic Republic and head of the Iranian Organization of Atomic Energy, pressed a button to activate a set of 30 IR centrifuges -6, raising to 60 the number of machines running.Salehi said in statements to official television that in the last two months Iran has developed two new models of centrifuges, one of which has already begun the testing period. One of these prototypes, which he called IR-9, would be about 50 times faster than IR-1.

     The measures respond to Iran's decision to abandon the restrictions imposed by the agreement on its nuclear program signed in July 2015, from which the United States withdrew unilaterally. According to the agreement, signed in Vienna by the 5 + 1 group (China, the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Germany), Iran agreed to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for lifting part of the sanctions that suffocate its economy. But when in May 2018 the United States decided to unilaterally abandon the agreement and reinstate harsh economic sanctions, Iran began breaching some of its commitments.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019

usa confirms presence of eln and farc dissidents in venezuela

      WASHINTON, D.C.   
 The ties between the National Liberation Army (ELN), the dissidence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Venezuela are strengthened by the lack of border control and corruption in the country, according to a report on terrorism by the Department of United States state. "The porous borders [of Venezuela] offered a permissive environment" for groups that the US called "terrorists," the report said, based on information collected by the US government last year.

     The financial ties between the FARC dissidents, the ELN and other paramilitary groups "facilitated public corruption and bribery schemes for Venezuelan government officials and members of the armed forces," the State Department wrote in the report published Friday. According to the US government, there have been reports of cooperation between FARC and ELN dissidents in "areas of roadblocks, distribution of subsidized food, recruitment of indigenous communities" and illegal narcotics and gold trafficking. The report also states that both people linked to guerrilla groups, as "supporters" and supporters of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, named as a terrorist by the US, have a presence in Venezuela.

     Regarding the latter, the report also specified that the group "continued its long history of activity" in the region, including its use of financiers operating in the border area between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. On Colombia, the report highlighted that the country experienced a "modest increase in terrorist activity", mainly due to security challenges in areas that were left by the FARC as part of the 2016 peace agreement. According to the report, between 1000 and 1700 individuals who "never demobilized or left the peace agreement" continue to carry out "criminal activities" or terrorists "particularly in border regions and areas previously controlled by the FARC."


    CARACAS, VENEZUELA, --    Hundreds of millions of dollars in cash has been shipped from Russia to Venezuela, providing a lifeline to the South American country as U.S. sanctions limit its access to the global financial system. A total of $315 million of U.S. dollar and euro notes were sent in six separate shipments from Moscow to Caracas from May 2018 to April 2019, according to data reviewed by Bloomberg from ImportGenius, which compiled Russian customs records it obtains through private sources. The cash came from lenders run by the countries’ governments and went to Venezuela’s development bank, the records show.

     While the money could be for any number of things -- like Venezuela repatriating cash held overseas or dividends from a stake in a Moscow-based bank or revenue from sales of crude or gold -- the complex logistical feat shows one of the ways President Nicolas Maduro’s administration has sought to skirt aggressive U.S. financial sanctions. As a consequence of the scrutiny, the central bank is conducting more transactions in cash, sometimes offering local clients access to euro bills. ImportGenius’s data goes through April this year. That month, about $97 million in notes were sent in two loads from Moscow-based bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank to Venezuela’s Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, or Bandes.

     Evrofinance is a joint venture between Bandes and Russia’s state property management agency, In January, $113 million worth of 100-euro bills were sent from state-controlled lender Gazprombank, which at the time had a stake in Evrofinance. The same entity shipped $50 million in U.S. dollar bills just two days earlier, and two separate shipments of unspecified currency totaling $55 million were made in May and July of last year. A Venezuelan government official, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, confirmed the country had received cash shipments tied to Evrofinance but declined further comment.



      CARACAS, VENEZUELA     --   In a meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples from various countries, the Venezuelan dictator asked to promote "global solidarity" for the Bolivian ruler, Nicolás Maduro called on Thursday the indigenous and "popular" movements to support his counterpart and Bolivian ally, Evo Morales, who, he said, faces an "oligarchic coup d'etat" over the protests unleashed after the presidential elections in which he was re-elected. “I want to ratify and ask all indigenous movements and popular movements in Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Africa, Asia, to raise our flag to support our brother Evo Morales Ayma who is facing a coup of Oligarchic, imperialist state, ”he said.

     In a meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples from various countries and broadcast on radio and television, Maduro asked to promote "global solidarity and support" to Morales. "Long live Evo Morales! Long live the people of Bolivia! Long live the original peoples!" He said the "oligarchies" want to destabilize Bolivia by the reelection of Morales. "They are applying a good part of the formula of violence that they applied against Venezuela several times," he said while saying he was sure that his counterpart will, like him, make "peace" triumph in Bolivia. "We demand that the electoral results of Bolivia be respected," he said.

     Bolivia is experiencing a scenario of demonstrations after the electoral results of last October 20 in which Morales was given the winner for a fourth term. The opposition and civic movements denounced a fraud in the counting of votes in favor of the president of that country. The protests were violent in recent days in several cities of the country, with clashes between supporters and detractors of Evo Morales, in addition to clashes with the police. So far, in the demonstrations there are two deaths due to bullet impacts, as reported by the State Attorney General, Juan Lanchipa.

NOVEMBER 1st., 2019


   LA PAZ, BOLIVIA    --   
The Organization of American States is sending a team to launch a "binding" audit of Bolivia's presidential election. The opposition accuses officials of manipulating the count to ensure the reelection of Evo Morales. The Organization of American States will audit Bolivia's election following fraud allegations. However, the opposition has already raised doubts about the US-based OAS's intervention. The "integrating and binding" audit — with compliance by all political parties obliged — will focus on the October 20 vote and the aftermath, Bolivian Foreign Minister Diego Pary said.

     The tally gave incumbent Evo Morales a big enough margin to win in the first round without the need for a runoff against former President Carlos Mesa and a possibly united center-to-right opposition. Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, won a fourth term with 47% over Mesa's 36.5%, according to the official results. However, for a period of about 20 hours, officials stopped announcing results as they came in — raising alarms from the OAS, the European Union, the US and other international actors and fueling protests across Bolivia.

      OAS Chief of Staff Gonzalo Koncke said the 30-member team would begin work Thursday and release the results in 10-12 days, focusing on verifying calculations, certificates, ballots and the informatics process and examining statistical components and the safeguarding of ballot boxes. Mesa said officials fudged the count, giving Morales the 10-point lead needed to win outright, after it had been predicted that the election would go to a runoff. The opposition "does not accept the audit in the current terms, which were agreed on unilaterally," and wants an inquiry into the pre-election process, when critics said the federal tribunal favored Morales, who rose to prominence as the leader of the coca farmers union.


    miami, FLORIDA --    José María Aznar, former head of the Spanish Government, referred on Wednesday to the situation of Venezuela with the regime of Nicolás Maduro. Missed opportunities, the need to intervene, the role of Cuba and the challenges of liberal democracies were among the issues addressed during an interview with NTN24 during the IV presidential dialogue and the Mezerhane chair that takes place in Miami. In Venezuela, Cuba has intervened, Russia has intervened. China has intervened. But those who must intervene do not intervene.

     When I have the opportunity to talk about this issue of Venezuela or what is happening in the region, many analysts, former presidents, always put Cuba behind, as an engine. Not only behind what happens in Venezuela, but also behind what happens in Bolivia, behind what has happened in Ecuador ... Cuba always there. How to explain the opening, the support, the approach of Spain at this time with Cuba? - I have not changed position in relation to Cuba. In 1996, I raised a common position for the European Union that has lasted until very recently, and that unfortunately has been modified, and that was very clear: cooperation is not possible if there is no respect for human rights, and the Cuban dissent clearly a very manifest respect.

     That position has been abandoned, and even the opposite has been reached, that is, that the United States has re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba, without conditions. And other countries too. So doing what he does is consolidate the situation in Cuba. And Cuba has a great history, the Castro regime, of interventionism in other Latin American countries. He is responsible for many deaths, many wars, many violence in many Latin American countries. Maintain that situation, it is what is happening. The influence of Cuba in Venezuela is evident, everyone knows it, in the Armed Forces, in intelligence services, in information services. And that penetration in other countries is a reality that we also know.