Bureau Chief, Andean Region
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Mar 15, 2015

Venezuela’s Maduro given decree powers for rest of 2015

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s parliament granted President Nicolas Maduro decree powers on Sunday for the rest of 2015 in a move he says is to defend the country from U.S. meddling but opponents decry as evidence of autocracy.

In a noisy National Assembly session, ruling Socialist Party legislators, who have a majority, applauded the “Enabling Law” as a legitimate response to a U.S. declaration that Venezuela is a security threat and sanctions on seven officials.

Mar 13, 2015

Venezuela’s Maduro says may go to U.S. to challenge Obama

CARACAS (Reuters) – Ridiculing the U.S. qualification of Venezuela as a security threat, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he may travel to Washington to challenge American counterpart Barack Obama.

“We demand, via all global diplomatic channels, that President Obama rectify and repeal the immoral decree declaring Venezuela a threat to the United States,” Maduro said.

Mar 13, 2015

Venezuela envoy sorry for joke about bullets striking opponents

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States apologized on Thursday for joking how bullets would sound going through “empty” heads of government opponents.

“I added a bit of black humor at the end that might have been a mistake,” the veteran diplomat and former foreign minister, Roy Chaderton, said of his controversial remarks earlier in the week.

Mar 11, 2015

Mind your manners, Venezuela tells U.S. official Jacobson

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s top diplomat called a senior U.S. official “petulant” and ill-mannered on Wednesday in response to her contention that sanctions were intended to change the government, not topple it.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez was responding to State Department Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson’s comments explaining a U.S. declaration that Venezuela is a security threat and its sanctioning of seven officials earlier this week.

Mar 11, 2015

Venezuela opposition seethes after OAS envoy’s bullet comment

CARACAS (Reuters) – Mocking remarks by Venezuela’s envoy to the Organization of American States suggesting a bullet would pass easily through the “empty” head of an opposition sympathizer have set off a social media firestorm.

Veteran diplomat Roy Chaderton made the controversial comment on state TV earlier this week when discussing how projectiles did not distinguish among political colors.

Mar 10, 2015

Venezuela’s Maduro seeks decree powers to face U.S. ‘imperialism’

CARACAS, March 10 (Reuters) – President Nicolas Maduro was
seeking special decree powers from Venezuela’s parliament on
Tuesday in response to new U.S. sanctions, drawing opposition
protests of a power-grab.

If as expected the government-controlled National Assembly
approves his request for an “Enabling Law”, it would be the
second time the 52-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez has gained
these expanded powers since winning election in 2013.

Mar 4, 2015

Venezuelans fret Maduro measures may slow U.S. visas

CARACAS (Reuters) – Queuing in their hundreds from dawn then often waiting for hours in the sun, Venezuelans seeking U.S. visas fear their government’s order to slash American embassy staff to less than a fifth of current levels may snarl the process far more.

In his latest spat with the United States, socialist President Nicolas Maduro has accused Washington of promoting a coup against him and announced a series of reprisal measures, including the order to downsize the enormous U.S. mission in Caracas from 100 to 17 staff within two weeks.

Feb 24, 2015

Oil companies in Venezuela to use new favorable forex rate: PDVSA

CARACAS (Reuters) – About a dozen foreign energy companies in Venezuela have been authorized to exchange foreign currency at a new, more advantageous rate in bolivars in order to boost cash flow and speed up projects, a high-level PDVSA source said on Tuesday.

The companies, participating in joint ventures in various fields around Venezuela, can now buy local currency at the Simadi rate, currently averaging 172 bolivars per dollar, compared to far more disadvantageous rates used in the past.

Feb 23, 2015

Venezuela’s ruling Socialists target another opposition leader

CARACAS (Reuters) – Socialist Party legislators called on Monday for a probe of another Venezuelan opposition leader accused of conspiring against President Nicolas Maduro, just days after the mayor of Caracas was arrested on similar charges.

The opposition fears an investigation against Julio Borges, a parliamentarian and national coordinator of the Primero Justicia (Justice First) party, could signal a wider crackdown.

Feb 21, 2015

Venezuela indicts opposition mayor on charges of conspiring

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela on Friday indicted a veteran Caracas mayor on charges of plotting violence against President Nicolas Maduro’s government and ordered he be jailed in a military prison pending trial.

Maduro, the socialist leader and successor to Hugo Chavez, cast Antonio Ledezma’s detention as part of efforts to stop a U.S.-backed coup. Opponents scoffed at that as a smokescreen to distract from Venezuela’s economic crisis and staged small protests against what they slammed an authoritarian move.

    • About Andrew

      "Andrew Cawthorne is a British journalist who has worked for Reuters since 1992 on various assignments in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to that, Andrew worked on newspapers for several years."
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