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Two BBC journalists were expelled from Venezuela

Friday, March 24, 2017

Nations urge Venezuela on elections, warn of diplomatic 'last resort'

A group of 14 nations on Thursday urged Venezuela to hold elections and release "political prisoners," in a joint statement that kept open the option of seeking to suspend the South American country from the Organization of American States. The statement, which Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said was aimed at encouraging Venezuela to "re-establish democracy," called for dialogue and negotiation to resolve a crisis in the oil-exporting country, which is suffering severe food and fuel shortages. Suspending Venezuela from the OAS was a last resort, the nations said, and something that should be avoided unless other diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. "We reiterate that inclusive and effective dialogue is the right path to achieve lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the Venezuelan people," the statement said. More…



China’s Bailing Out Venezuela’s Corrupt Regime. That’s Got to Stop.


Socialist solidarity appears to be alive and well; Karl Marx would be oh so proud. China, whose one-party system has managed to successfully open up much of its economy in recent decades, has decided to prop up one of the worst socialist experiments in history: Venezuela. We believe this is dangerous, both for Venezuelans and for the region. China’s ultra-pragmatic actions should surprise no one. And let’s be honest, this actually has nothing to do with socialism. China’s global soft power projection is ubiquitous today, and its frantic search for sources of energy is entirely understandable. So while they may bully their Asian neighbors, its businessmen and state-run companies are all over Africa, and invest very heavily across the Americas. In fact, China today has provided more money to the region in recent years by way of loans than the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank combined. More…

Venezuela In Dire Straits As Oil Production Falls Further


Venezuela’s economic crisis continues to deepen. The South American OPEC member is thought to be sitting on nearly 300 billion barrels of oil, far more than any other country in the world, including Saudi Arabia (estimated at 268 billion barrels). But the economy has been in freefall for several years, with conditions continuing to deteriorate. The economic crisis has morphed into a full-blown humanitarian disaster. Just this week the Wall Street Journal reported on Venezuelan women traveling to neighboring Colombia to give birth because the state of Venezuela’s hospitals are horrific, with shortages of medical supplies and trained staff. Infant mortality is worse than in war-ravaged Syria. Food and other essential items are also painfully scarce, leading to long lines at shops. Tensions run high because there is not enough to go around. More…

Venezuela to Withdraw Troops After Colombia Border Crossing


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will withdraw troops from Colombia's side of the two countries' border, after his soldiers set up camp in the neighboring country, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday. Santos, speaking on television, said the incursion of about 70 Venezuelan soldiers into the Colombian border province of Arauca was "totally unacceptable.""I have just spoken with President Maduro," Santos said. "He has assured me he has ordered the withdrawal of troops from Colombian territory." The neighbors would work together through diplomacy until the situation on the border normalizes, Santos said, adding that he was informed of the incursion on Wednesday Later, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said that the incursion was due to the Arauca River changing its channel, given the rain. More…

Venezuela expresses ‘desire’ to reestablish relations with Israel


Venezuela’s foreign minister expressed to his country’s chief rabbi “the desire to establish full relations with the State of Israel” eight years after the South American nation expelled its Israeli ambassador. “We suggested to start with a period of courtship, which means a beginning through consular relations, so that later it will become a marriage, which would be Israel’s own embassy again in Venezuela, as we have always had here,” Venezuela’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Isaac Cohen, told AJN News. More…