Bureau Chief, Andean Region
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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.

Feb 21, 2015

Venezuela opposition urges release of mayor accused of conspiring

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leaders and protesters on Friday demanded the release of a veteran Caracas mayor arrested on accusations of plotting violence against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

The socialist leader and successor to Hugo Chavez cast Antonio Ledezma’s detention on Thursday night as part of efforts to stop a U.S.-backed coup, but opponents scoffed at that as a smokescreen to distract from Venezuela’s economic crisis.

Feb 20, 2015

Venezuela opposition urges release of mayor accused of coup plot

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leaders on Friday demanded the release of a Caracas mayor arrested after what they called false accusations that he was involved in a U.S.-backed coup plot against President Nicolas Maduro.

Intelligence agents took Caracas metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma from his office on Thursday and were holding the veteran politician at their Helicoide headquarters while a judge decides if he will be formally charged, supporters said.

Feb 13, 2015

Violence flares in Venezuela on anniversary of 2014 fatalities

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL (Reuters) – Venezuelan security forces faced off with stone-wielding protesters on Thursday as supporters of President Nicolas Maduro also rallied on the anniversary of last year’s fatal unrest.

The flare-ups, in the volatile western city of San Cristobal and the capital Caracas, recalled four months of protests and violence in 2014 killing 43 people and underlined just how tense the South American OPEC nation remains.

Feb 12, 2015

Venezuelan soldiers, students face off at anti-Maduro rallies

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan troops blocked students during marches against President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday as pro-government supporters also rallied on the anniversary of 2014 protests that led to 43 deaths.

National Guard soldiers and police used teargas in the volatile western city of San Cristobal against student demonstrators who tossed rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Feb 6, 2015

Venezuela angry at UK over ‘spy glasses’ smuggled into Lopez trial

CARACAS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s top prosecutor is
seeking an explanation from Britain about a diplomat’s role in
an attempt to film the trial of opposition protest leader
Leopoldo Lopez using video glasses.

The incident occurred in a Caracas courtroom last week when
Lopez’s father, also called Leopoldo, sought to find a
surreptitious way of documenting his son’s appearance by
sneaking in a pair of recording glasses.

    • 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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