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Aug 30, 2013

Venezuelan man who shot U.S. attaches sentenced to prison

CARACAS (Reuters) – A Venezuelan man has been sentenced to 5-1/2 years in prison for shooting and wounding two U.S. military attaches at a strip club in the capital, the attorney general’s office said on Friday.

Carlos Mejias, 32, admitted he shot the U.S. Embassy employees in the early hours of May 28.

Aug 18, 2013

Showdown looms in Venezuela over decree powers plan

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan politicians traded insults at the weekend with a showdown looming in the National Assembly over President Nicolas Maduro’s plans to ask for fast-track decree powers he says he needs to combat corruption.

Maduro, who narrowly won an April election to replace his late mentor Hugo Chavez, says he is ready to change “all the laws” if necessary to stamp out widespread graft that is denting his popularity with some core supporters.

Aug 15, 2013

Venezuela politics soiled by sordid claims, gay slurs

CARACAS (Reuters) – From allegations of gay and transvestite prostitution rings to homophobic slurs flying in the National Assembly, Venezuela’s polarized politics has taken a distasteful turn.

With tempers fraying as President Nicolas Maduro vows to crack down on corruption, pro-government lawmakers demanded this week that their opposition rivals be investigated for, among other things, money laundering and cocaine trafficking.

Aug 14, 2013

Analysis: Under fire, Venezuela’s Maduro vows new graft crackdown

CARACAS (Reuters) – When even Venezuela’s most famous topless model complains on Twitter that the government is too soft on corruption, it could be time for President Nicolas Maduro to sit up and take action.

Already facing big economic challenges while trying to fill the shoes of his charismatic mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, Maduro is on the receiving end of a new wave of criticism that he lets graft close to home go unpunished.

Aug 13, 2013

Venezuela’s Maduro to seek decree powers in graft fight

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday he will ask for decree powers last used by his predecessor Hugo Chavez to ramp up a fight against corruption that has begun to cost him politically with supporters.

Maduro, who served as Chavez’s foreign minister and vice president, narrowly won an election four months ago after his socialist mentor died of cancer.

Aug 12, 2013

Fire crews extinguish blaze at Venezuela oil refinery

CARACAS (Reuters) – Firefighters in Venezuela put out a blaze in a storage tank at an oil refinery that was caused by lightning on Sunday and led to the evacuation of people living nearby, a top official at state oil company PDVSA said.

Thunderstorms this weekend have drenched much of the South American OPEC nation, which has suffered repeated accidents at its oil refineries in recent years. Lightning bolts ignited two storage tanks at a different refinery just last year.

Jul 20, 2013

Venezuela says it ends efforts for better U.S. ties

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela said it was ending efforts to improve ties with Washington after the Obama administration’s nominee for envoy to the United Nations vowed to oppose what she called a crackdown on civil society in the “repressive” OPEC nation.

In an echo of the many bust-ups between the two countries during the late Hugo Chavez’s 14-year rule, President Nicolas Maduro has demanded an apology and said the United States had no moral right to criticize his government.

Jul 19, 2013

Venezuela slams U.S. over ‘repressive regimes’ remarks

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demanded the United States apologize on Thursday after the Obama administration’s nominee for envoy to the United Nations said there was a crackdown on civil society in the South American country.

Maduro has often clashed with Washington since winning an April election following the death of his mentor, socialist leader Hugo Chavez. He said Samantha Power’s comments to a Senate confirmation hearing had been aggressive and unfair.

Jul 6, 2013

Three Latin American leftist leaders offer asylum to Snowden

LA PAZ/CARACAS (Reuters) – Bolivia offered asylum on Saturday to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, joining leftist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of secret U.S. surveillance programs.

Snowden, 30, is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport and has been trying to find a country that would take him since he landed from Hong Kong on June 23.

Jul 6, 2013

Venezuela offers asylum to U.S. fugitive Snowden

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Friday in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of secret U.S. spy programs.

“In the name of America’s dignity … I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden,” Maduro told a military parade marking Venezuela’s independence day.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel used to work for The Times newspaper and PA News agency in London before joining Reuters in 2003. Since then he has reported on political, general and economic news from across east Africa, Iraq and Latin America."
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