Ex-Miami US Rep. David Rivera arrested in Venezuela probe
A former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government was arrested Monday on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registering. David Rivera, a Republican who served from 2011 to 2013, was arrested at Atlanta’s airport, said Marlene Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami. The eight-count indictment alleges he was part of a conspiracy to lobby on behalf of Venezuela to improve U.S.-Venezuela relations, resolve an oil company legal dispute and end U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation — without registering as a foreign agent.news.yahoo.com
Bribery trial tests US cases against Venezuela kleptocrats
A former Venezuelan treasurer and nurse to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is contesting criminal charges in the U.S. Claudia Diaz is charged with money laundering, accused of taking at least $4.2 million in bribes and gifts in exchange for green lighting lucrative currency transactions.
Venezuela rejects UN report detailing torture, rights abuses
The government of Venezuela has rejected a report by an independent experts working with the United Nations’ top human rights body who allege that President Nicolas Maduro personally ordered the detention of government opponentswashingtonpost.com
'Fat Leonard' may be Venezuela bargaining chip, experts say
A fugitive defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who claims to have incriminating sex photos of top U.S. Navy brass could become the latest bargaining chip in Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to win official recognition from the Biden administration.
UN experts: Rights abuses continue in Maduro's Venezuela
Independent experts working with the U.N.‘s human rights body say Venezuelan authorities have failed to hold to account state-backed perpetrators of violations including arbitrary executions, sexual violence and torture of civilianswashingtonpost.com
US court awards $73 million for Venezuelan opponent's death
A federal judge in Miami has awarded $73 million in damages to the family of a prominent opponent of Venezuela’s socialist government who died while in custody in what he described as a “murder for hire” carried out by a criminal enterprise led by President Nicolás Maduro.
Asylum seekers caught in political battle in NYC, Washington
Thousands of asylum seekers from across Latin America and the Caribbean are getting caught in the political battle over U.S. immigration policy after two Republican governors started sending busloads of migrants to New York City and Washington.
Gov. Greg Abbott pledges to continue bussing migrants to sanctuary cities
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already bussed more than 8,000 migrants from the southern border to New York City, Washington, D.C., and other sanctuary cities outside Texas. New York City Mayor Eric Adams says Abbott is playing politics with people's lives. Michael George has the details.news.yahoo.com
New claims against ex-Miami congressman hired by Venezuela
New filings in a civil suit allege that a former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government not only did no apparent work, but also channeled a large chunk of the money to a yacht company on behalf of a fugitive billionaire.
New claims against ex-Miami congressman hired by Venezuela
A former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela's socialist government not only did no apparent work, but also channeled a large chunk of the money to a yacht company on behalf of a fugitive billionaire, according to new allegations in a civil suit. The accusations against former Congressman David Rivera come in a new filing Friday in New York federal court by opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who now control the U.S.-based affiliates of the South American nation's state oil company. Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting was sued in 2020 by PDV USA — a Delaware-based affiliate of Venezuelan-owned Citgo.news.yahoo.com
Caribbean storm likely to gain force, hit Central America
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says a storm that has hurled rain on the southern Caribbean and the northern shoulder of South America is expected to hit Central America as a tropical storm over the weekend and eventually develop into a hurricane over the Pacific.
US officials back in Venezuela in a bid to rebuild ties
Senior Biden administration officials have quietly traveled to Caracas in the latest bid to rebuild relations with the South American oil giant as the war in Ukraine drags on, driving higher gas prices and forcing the U.S. to recalibrate other foreign policy objectives.
Venezuelan leader, barred from US summit, arrives in Turkey
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was welcomed in the Turkish capital on Wednesday just as the foreign minister of Russia, a key ally of the ostracized Latin American regime, was also visiting the city. Maduro is on a Eurasian tour after being rebuffed by Washington, which decided not to invite him to the Summit of the Americas. Turkey is one of a handful of places around the world – Russia and Iran are other friendly states – where Maduro is welcome amid U.S. sanctions on his country.news.yahoo.com
Maduro foe accused of evading lawsuit by ex Green Beret
A Venezuelan political strategist allegedly threatened to shoot a gun through the door of his luxury Miami condo to avoid being served a lawsuit by a former U.S. Green Beret he hired as part of a plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro, according to a court hearing Monday. Jordan Goudreau in October 2020 sued JJ Rendón for $1.4 million, alleging breach of contract, after Rendon walked away from a plan he briefly pushed on behalf of the Venezuelan opposition to depose Maduro with the help of the three-time Bronze Star recipient and Iraq war veteran. Goudreau nonetheless plowed ahead, traveling to Colombia to help train a ragtag army of volunteers at secret camps set up by deserters from Venezuela's military.news.yahoo.com
Possible Russia oil embargo drives US outreach to Venezuela
Senior U.S. officials secretly traveled to Venezuela over the weekend in a risky bid to unfreeze hostile relations with Vladimir Putin’s top ally in Latin America, a top oil exporter whose re-entry into U.S. energy markets could mitigate the fallout at the pump from a possible oil embargo on Russia.
Venezuela's leader pledges military cooperation with Russia
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged a “powerful military cooperation” with Russia following high-level discussions between officials Wednesday, a day after diplomats from the U.S. and several other nations gathered to discuss steps toward a negotiated solution to the South American country’s protracted crisis. “We have reviewed the powerful military cooperation, and we have ratified the path of a powerful military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela for the defense of peace, of sovereignty, the defense of territorial integrity,” Maduro said during a news conference.news.yahoo.com
How a previous “48 Hours” story could help prosecutors in a recent murder case
We’re learning how a murder shown in a “48 Hours” episode from 2015 could help police in the death of Amie Harwick, a therapist who at one time was engaged to Drew Carey, host of “The Price Is Right” on CBS. Vlad Duthiers spoke with “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty about this development.news.yahoo.com
Businessman close to Maduro was DEA informant, records show
Newly unsealed court records show that a Colombian businessman linked to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was secretly signed up by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a cooperating source in 2018 and gave agents information about bribes he paid to Venezuelan officials.
Alleged Maduro co-conspirator says CIA knew about coup plans
A retired Venezuelan army general says U.S. officials at the highest levels of the CIA and other federal agencies were aware of his efforts to oust Nicolás Maduro — a role he says should immediately debunk criminal charges that he worked alongside the socialist leader to flood the U.S. with cocaine.
Venezuela's cradle of Chavismo picking new gov in vote re-do
Voters in the home state of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez are casting ballots again Sunday in a special gubernatorial election called after the opposition contender in November’s regular contest was retroactively disqualified as he was ahead in the vote countwashingtonpost.com
Opposition candidate wins in Venezuela's cradle of Chavismo
Voters in the home state of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez have picked an opposition candidate for governor in a closely watched special election called after the contender representing that faction in November’s regular contest was retroactively disqualified as he was ahead in the vote count.
US targets graft in Venezuela's flagship food box program
Federal prosecutors have unveiled criminal charges against an alleged corruption ring accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to a top ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to profit from lucrative contracts to import food and medicine at a time of widespread hardship in the South American country.
Maduro ally appears in court to face corruption charges
A businessman who prosecutors say was a major conduit for corruption by Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle has appeared for the first time in Miami federal court after an extradition that has further strained relations between the U.S. and Venezuela’s socialist government.
Venezuelan security forces ‘threaten’ opposition leader Juan Guaido and arrest ally
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says that the county’s security forces threatend to arrest him at his home and took a close ally into custody. Mr Guaido said that security forces had entered his apartment building in Caracas in an attempt to take him into custody, but left without carrying that out. “The harassment and the threats will not stop us,” said Mr Guaido, according to Reuters.news.yahoo.com
US begins to ease Venezuela sanctions allowing propane deals
The U.S. government on Monday began to ease the crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on Venezuela by allowing companies to export propane to the troubled South American country, a step that could mitigate a shortage that has pushed people to cook on charcoal or wood grills. The long-awaited first policy reversal of the Biden administration toward Venezuela comes as the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro has begun to allow foreign aid into the country and taken other steps to signal it is willing to engage with Washington. The regulation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury authorizes non-U.S. companies to export liquefied petroleum gas to Venezuela without risking sanctions.news.yahoo.com
Report: Venezuela security forces continue killings, torture
Venezuelan security forces carried out fewer extra-judicial killings in the 12 months through April, a U.N. report said Monday, but it accuses them of a continued pattern of torture or cruel treatment of individuals as well as enforced disappearances and incommunicado detentions. The report from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to cease the use of excessive force during demonstrations, dismantle pro-government armed civilian groups and ensure effective and independent investigations of all killings by security forces. “Accountability remains key to preventing and remedying human rights violations and strengthening the rule of law,” said the report, which covers June 1, 2020, through April 30.news.yahoo.com
UN food shipments for school children arrive in Venezuela
The food assistance agency of the United Nations announced Thursday that its first shipments of supplies for vulnerable Venezuelan school children have arrived in the troubled South American country. The World Food Program will begin operations in Venezuela by providing children take-home packages that include rice, lentils, salt and vegetable oil. The agency earlier this year reached an agreement with the government of President Nicolas Maduro that allows it to provide school meals, though classrooms are currently closed.news.yahoo.com
Venezuelan tycoon sues US to lift narcotics sanctions
A top Venezuelan businessman close to President Nicolas Maduro's government has sued the U.S. Department of Treasury, alleging he's the victim of a false campaign identifying him as a international narcotics kingpin. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Samark López in Washington federal court said sanctions in 2017 designating him a “drug kingpin” had devastated his wealth, reputation and economic livelihood. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, in 2017 accused López of serving as a “frontman” for his friend and then Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who was sanctioned the same day.news.yahoo.com
Fears over Iranian gunboats 'delivering missiles' to Venezuela
Concern is mounting over two ships from the Iranian Navy thought to be carrying a cargo of missiles and speeding across the Atlantic Ocean toward Venezuela. The ships were mid-ocean on Saturday, after reportedly departing from the port of Bandar Abbas in early May. It marks the first time that the Iranian military has sent vessels to round the Cape of Good Hope and enter the Atlantic. Satellite images show the larger of the two ships, the Makran, a forward supply vessel, carrying small, fast attnews.yahoo.com
CDC: Heart inflammation in young men higher than expected after Pfizer, Moderna vaccines
A higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to data from two vaccine safety monitoring systems, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday.news.yahoo.com
Leftists scored big victory in Chile, but Venezuela’s Maduro is celebrating too soon | Opinion
Chile, Latin America’s most successful economy in recent decades, made a sharp turn to the left in the May 16 elections for members of an assembly that will draft a new Constitution. Independent leftists and the Communist Party were among the largest minorities elected to the 155-seat body and will have a veto power in drafting the country’s new charter.news.yahoo.com
US weighs policy on Venezuela as Maduro signals flexibility
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is intensifying efforts to court the Biden administration as the new U.S. president weighs whether to risk a political backlash in Florida and ease up on sanctions seeking to isolate the socialist leader.
US lets Venezuelans stay temporarily, will review sanctions
AdA senior Biden administration official portrayed that as a failed strategy. “The United States is in no rush to lift sanctions," the official said, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss the policy. Any easing of sanctions would likely face opposition in Congress, but the granting of temporary protected status for Venezuelans has bipartisan support. Temporary protected status is a more formal status that cannot be as easily reversed. Citizens of 10 countries, totaling about 400,000 people, are in the United States now with temporary protected status.
Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million
(AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)MIAMI – Newly filed lobbying records show Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same time it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation. Federal prosecutors in Miami are also investigating whether the Republican broke foreign lobbying rules. Payments came from a little-known, Delaware-registered subsidiary, PDV USA, which provided shareholder services to PDVSA independent of Citgo's oil operations. “Wiss was engaged to provide PDV USA and its affiliates with legal services only,” she wrote in an e-mailed response to questions. PDV USA said Wiss provided updates on disputes involving PDVSA and advice on immigration, insurance, and cryptocurrency.
Maduro's 'miracle' treatment for COVID-19 draws skeptics
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. “Ten drops under the tongue every four hours and the miracle is done,” Maduro said in a televised appearance on Sunday. Other leaders too have embraced solutions dismissed by scientific studies. Maduro said the treatment, which he called carvativir, has been under testing for nine months among Venezuelans ill with the coronavirus. She said colleagues at a local health center and some neighbors have died from COVID-19.
Trump blocks Venezuelans' deportation in last political gift
Trump signed an executive order deferring for 18 months the removal of more than 145,000 Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their crisis-wracked homeland. He cited the “deteriorative condition” within Venezuela that constitutes a national security threat as the basis for his decision. The Trump administration was the first of now more than 50 countries in the world to recognize Guaidó as Venezuela’s president shortly after the young lawmaker rose up to challenge Maduro’s rule two years ago. More than 700 Venezuelans have been removed from the U.S. since 2018, while 11,000 more are under deportation proceedings, according to the TRAC immigration data base of Syracuse University. All are accused of helping the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA evade earlier U.S. sanctions designed to stop the president from profiting from crude sales.
US veteran behind failed Venezuela plot says two American mercenaries detained
A U.S. military veteran who has claimed responsibility for a failed armed incursion into Venezuela to oust President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that two U.S. citizens working with him have been detained by Venezuelan authorities. Venezuelan authorities said 10 people involved in a "mercenary incursion" were detained on Monday along the Caribbean coast, saying the 10 were part of the U.S.-backed plot. Venezuelan state television said two U.S. citizens were among those detained but did not provide their identities. But the American military veteran, Jordan Goudreau, who leads a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA, on Monday told Reuters that two Americans working with him, Aaron Berry and Luke Denman, had been captured. Washington has imposed tough economic sanctions against Venezuela in an effort to oust Maduro, whom it accuses of having rigged elections in 2018.cnbc.com
Iran, Venezuela and other U.S. foes fight coronavirus amid American sanctions
Now as virtually every country in the world grapples with the health crisis, the American pressure campaign against its foes is drawing attention. The Trump administration last week tightened its sanctions, adding more Venezuelan officials to its blacklist, which bars them from doing business with U.S. citizens and companies. Iran, similarly, has lashed out at Washington, blaming sanctions for tying its hands in fighting the disease. AdvertisementThe Trump administration has refused, noting that U.S. sanctions do not apply to medicines or most other humanitarian aid. Gen. William Barr said the move during a health crisis was well-timed because it might persuade Venezuelans to finally rise up against their leaders.latimes.com
News Analysis: The new U.S. hope for replacing the president of Venezuela: Coronavirus
If there were anything that could force the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro and his opposition to work together, it might have been the coronavirus. But this past week, the United States torpedoed that possibility by indicting Maduro and 14 of his top associates on drug-trafficking and related charges. The U.S. indictments come as coronavirus panic is growing in Venezuela. Theres a clear message to the opposition, Shifter, who is in contact with Venezuelan opposition figures, said. The United States is not comfortable with a possible truce.latimes.com
U.S. indicts Venezuelan President Maduro on drug trafficking charges
The Trump administration announced sweeping indictments Thursday of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and some of his associates on federal drug-trafficking and related charges, in a major escalation of the U.S.-led campaign to topple Maduro and his socialist government. Maduro and his allies pocketed profits, and the rebels received weapons, prosecutors allege all while Venezuela descended into poverty and social collapse. It has betrayed the Venezuelan people and corrupted Venezuelan institutions. While the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and proceeds of the corruption. This has to come to an end.The indictment naming Maduro means he would be subject to arrest if he leaves Venezuela.latimes.com
Venezuela expands quarantine as number of coronavirus cases climbs to 33
CARACAS/MARACAIBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela will implement a nationwide quarantine after detecting 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro said, adding that the total number of cases in the South American country had risen to 33. In a state television address on Monday evening, Maduro said that the quarantine had been successful so far, but that more drastic measures were necessary. BANKS CLOSE, OIL PRICES FALLAuthorities on Monday set up military checkpoints on the main roads entering Caracas and were turning away some drivers, according to Reuters witnesses. Maduro said that at current oil prices, the value of a barrel of Venezuelan oil was below the cost of production. We need to guarantee the functioning of the economy during the quarantine, Maduro said.feeds.reuters.com
Many Venezuelans can't afford to stay indoors as Caracas enters quarantine
A crowded bus with people using protective masks passes through a checkpoint after the start of quarantine in response to the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Caracas, Venezuela, March 16, 2020. Many Venezuelans say they fear contracting the virus as they know there are few healthcare resources to treat them if they need treatment. Maduros government is encouraging all Venezuelans to buy masks, or fashion their own, for protection. But Jose Luis Nieves, a 32-year-old foraging for food in a rubbish dump by Caracas Plaza Venezuela, said he could not afford to stay indoors. I dont think its coronavirus, she said, while praising the quarantine to limit its spread.feeds.reuters.com
State of the Union highlights: Trump honors Limbaugh, and Pelosi rips up speech
Trump doesn't shake Pelosi's hand, she rips up his speechThe night began and ended with dramatic acts of partisanship. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to shake the president's hand after Trump handed her what appeared to be a copy of his remarks. At the end of the speech, Pelosi ripped up the papers and cast them aside. Pelosi and Trump have tangled over politics and matters of temperament, with tensions rising particularly high during the impeachment process. In May, even as she resisted calls for impeachment, Pelosi suggested that Trump's staff should stage "an intervention."cnbc.com
Venezuela crisis is 'comparative to Syria': Opposition leader Juan Guaido pleads for international support in Davos
DAVOS, Switzerland Venezuela's Juan Guaido pleaded for international support at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, saying the deepening crisis in Caracas was "comparative to Syria." His arrival in Davos comes exactly one year after the National Assembly leader took to the streets to declare himself the South American country's rightful interim president. At the time, it marked the boldest challenge to President Nicolas Maduro's leadership in years. But Maduro with the broad support of the military has refused to cede power. In an emotional address to world leaders at the forum, Guaido said the oil-rich but cash-poor country is facing an "international criminal conglomerate, and we need your help."cnbc.com
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido takes new oath amid chaos
In the name of those who have no voice, the mothers who weep, the political prisoners; in the name of Venezuela, I swear to fulfill the duties of acting president, opposition leader Juan Guaido said Tuesday as he took the oath of office. Guaido and dozens of fellow legislators who oppose President Nicolas Maduro succeeded where on Sunday they had failed in spectacular fashion. Opposition leader and reelected president of the National Assembly Juan Guaido attempts to get through a blockade to the National Assembly entrance on Jan. 5. This is a show of what can happen when we are united, Guaido said Tuesday at the National Assembly. AdvertisementMaduro refuses to recognize the National Assembly and created a parallel constituent assembly made up of loyalists.latimes.com
Giuliani reportedly made a back-channel call with Venezuelan President Maduro
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, called Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro late last year in an attempt to oust him from the presidency, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the endeavor. In September 2018, Giuliani and former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, called Maduro as part of a back-channel effort to broker a negotiated exit for the embattled Venezuelan leader, according to the Post. Several months later a conference call was held with several participants, including Congressman Sessions and Mayor Giuliani," he said. People familiar with the State Department told the Post that officials there did not organize or participate in Sessions' communications with Maduro. In August 2018, Parnas met with Giuliani and two American executives with business investments in Venezuela to talk about the back channel to Maduro, the Post reported.cnbc.com
U.S. senators call for probe of Brazilian meatpacker JBS
This meat-processing conglomerate has engaged in illicit financial activities and has business ties with the Maduro regime, the Twitter post said. In a statement, JBS said it had always cooperated transparently with U.S. authorities regarding passed events in Brazil. It had improved the management of the companies it acquired in the United States, delivering solid results that contributed to farm sector growth, JBS added, and continues to provide opportunities to farming and cattle-raising families. In August, Washington froze all Venezuelan state assets in the United States and threatened sanctions on any company continuing to do business with the government. We ask CFIUS conduct a review of JBS SAs acquisition of U.S. companies to assess the implications for security and safety of Americas food supply and, in turn, our national security, the senators said in their letter.feeds.reuters.com
Venezuela's Maduro says Trump merits 'a thousand impeachments'
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, September 30, 2019. Donald Trump should have a thousand impeachments against him for the thousand calls and thousand acts of extortion he has carried out against governments to harm Venezuela, Maduro added at a news conference in Caracas. Some analysts believe the impeachment inquiry may distract Trump from foreign policy priorities, including leading international efforts against Maduro. But the Venezuelan leader did not share that view. We laugh at the European Union sanctions, scoffed Maduro, casting the bloc as a failed group following U.S. orders.feeds.reuters.com
Trump administration diverts Central America aid to U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela
The Trump administration plans to divert more than $40 million in humanitarian aid from Central America to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela, according to an internal memo and interviews. President Trump late last year said he was cutting all aid to Central America until the countries stopped the flow of migrants across Mexico and toward the U.S. southern border. AdvertisementCutting aid to Central America is one of numerous punitive steps Trump has taken as part of his stated goal of curbing legal and illegal immigration to the United States, especially by people from Latin American and Muslim-majority countries. Its a terrible idea not to spend that money in Central America, said Geoff Thale, programs vice president at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights research group. AdvertisementThe administration has made great strides in mustering international support for Guaido, joining with about 50 other governments in declaring Maduros rule illegitimate.latimes.com