Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Venezuela opposition slams raid of NGO that supports humanitarian aid

The corporate logos of the state oil company PDVSA and Citgo Petroleum Corp Venezuelan Supreme Court Annuls Opposition's PDVSA Citgo Board Appointments REUTERS Marco Bello
Leonard Rios | 19 February, 2019, 02:55

Foreign Minister Arreaza, who traveled to NY on February 13, said he had met twice with Abrams - at the request of the State Department.

US officials have not denied Maduro's claim of talks.

Trump noted that people who try to help Maduro stay in power "will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, and no way out".

The dynamic toward a transition under Juan Guaido, the US -backed leader of Venezuela's National Assembly, should accelerate as Venezuela's cash dwindles with India the only remaining buyer for its oil, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump said the U.S.is "profoundly grateful" to dissidents and exiles who have protested and raised alarms about the actions of the Maduro government.

A second wave of USA aid arrived Saturday at the Colombian-Venezuelan border in the midst of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.

Rubio, who has been an influential voice in advocating US measures against Maduro, noted that about 50 nations have declared Guaido the constitutional president of Venezuela, based on arguments that Maduro's re-election a year ago was fraudulent, and consider other government- stacked institutions such as the supreme court to have no legal authority. Maduro is inviting a US special envoy to come to Venezuela after revealing during the interview that his foreign minister recently held secret meetings with the USA official in NY. The aid shipments have been meant in part to dramatize the hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine that are gripping Venezuela.

"We will not make of the honorable Venezuela a Venezuela of beggars", he said in televised comments on Monday. Democrats in US Congress, however, denounced the threat of intervention as unacceptable. He also played a leading role in managing the U.S.'s tepid response to a brief coup that toppled Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002.

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China would likely respond by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S goods that it announced previous year in retaliation. These include ending China's alleged violations of intellectual-property rights and forced transfers of American technologies.

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"Socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn" throughout the hemisphere, Trump said, expressing hope that soon, "This will become the first free hemisphere in all of human history".

"If they (Venezuelan troops) stop the aid coming through and there are pictures of hundreds of thousands of people wanting to come through from both sides, that will send out a potent message, a very powerful message to Venezuela, to everybody, that there is aid that is trying to get across, but the army is stopping it", Branson said.

A second wave of USA aid landed at the Colombian-Venezuelan border in an effort to deliver supplies to Caracas amid the country's ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Maduro reportedly extended an invitation to meet with the U.S. special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.

Jorge Rodriguez, Venezuela's communication minister, said several artists will participate in a concert themed "Hands off Venezuela" to be held on Friday and Sunday, Telesur reported. The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the agency's leader, Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, and its first commissioner, Hildemaro Jose Rodriguez Mucura.

Earlier this week, Trump and visiting Colombian President Ivan Duque said they would cooperate on the Venezuela issue closely.

The sanctions effectively ban all oil purchases by the US, which had been Venezuela's biggest oil buyer until now.

Pompeo's spoke with reporters Friday in Reykjavik, Iceland following an exclusive AP interview with Maduro, who said he's willing to meet President Donald Trump - any time or place.

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