CARACAS (Reuters) – Choking traffic, causing pileups and even ambushing drivers, Venezuela’s hordes of motorcyclists are an increasingly high-profile problem for the new government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Denounced in the media as a “plague,” they provide essential, cheap transport but are often held responsible for anarchy on the roads and the terrifying number of homicides, kidnappings and armed robberies that beset the South American country.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Prosecutors in Venezuela are investigating members of its national motorsports teams for possible currency violations, officials said on Thursday, and the sports minister said tens of millions of dollars were claimed by people forging her signature.
A decade of currency controls has led to a shortage of dollars at the official rate of 6.3 bolivars, and huge profits for those who can access greenbacks and then resell them on the black market for about seven times that price.
CARACAS, Oct 13 (Reuters) – State security agents have
arrested the mayor of Venezuela’s third-largest city for alleged
corruption after President Nicolas Maduro asked lawmakers to
grant him decree powers he says he needs to fight graft.
Valencia mayor Edgardo Parra, a member of the ruling
Socialist Party, was picked up at his home late on Saturday by
the national intelligence agency Sebin, the attorney general’s
office said. It was the most high profile arrest so far in the
president’s anti-corruption campaign.
CARACAS, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Venezuela will auction $100
million at weekly central bank auctions through a complementary
foreign exchange system aimed at easing access to hard currency
for local businesses, a top government official said on Friday.
The economy is a challenge for the government of President
Nicolas Maduro, with importers complaining they are starved of
greenbacks, while the annual inflation rate hit almost 50
percent last month.
CARACAS/HOUSTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The exit of Malaysian
and Russian partners from key oil projects in Venezuela points
to long-running disputes that could force out other companies,
even as the government talks up its efforts to develop the huge
Orinoco extra heavy crude belt.
For years, state oil company PDVSA has made it the
responsibility of its partners in about 40 joint ventures to
boost stagnant national production of around 3 million barrels
per day, at times threatening to take away their licenses or
stop them repatriating dividend payments.
CARACAS, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Venezuela raised the amount of
dollars to be auctioned by the central bank to local businesses
via a complementary foreign exchange system, and the president
said on Thursday that such sales could now be held every week.
The economy has become a major challenge for President
Nicolas Maduro, who faces dollars trading on the black market
for seven times the official rate and annual inflation that hit
almost 50 percent last month.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro went to parliament on Tuesday to seek decree powers that he says are essential to tackle corruption and fix the economy but opponents view as proof he wants to rule as an autocrat.
The National Assembly, where Maduro’s socialist government has a nearly two-thirds majority, will schedule a vote on the request next week and is widely expected to grant him the fast-track legislative powers in a revival of a measure used several times by his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela said on Thursday the United States had banned President Nicolas Maduro’s jet from flying through U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico en route to a state visit to China.
Maduro is due in Beijing this weekend for bilateral talks. China has become a major lender to his government, and Chinese firms are heavily involved in the OPEC nation’s oil industry.
CARACAS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – China’s CNPC will
work with Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA to
develop the Junin 10 block in the South American country’s
Orinoco extra heavy crude belt, the Venezuelan petroleum
minister said on Wednesday.
The Orinoco region holds one of largest oil reserves in the
world, and PDVSA is working on projects there with foreign
partners including Italy’s ENI, Spain’s Repsol
and Russia’s Rosneft.
CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela has rejected U.S. criticism over its fight against international drug trafficking after Washington said the South American country had “failed demonstrably” for a fifth year running.
The White House said in an annual report on Friday that Venezuela, along with Bolivia and Myanmar, had not made substantial efforts during the last 12 months to meet its obligations under global counternarcotics agreements.