Venezuela: Resistance or disintegration?


The Living Force
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Venezuela releases opposition lawmaker after four months in custody
Vice President of Venezuela's National Assembly Edgar Zambrano of the Democratic Action party (Accion Democratica), greets a neighbor after being released from prison in Caracas, Venezuela, September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Blanco NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

Venezuelan authorities released opposition lawmaker Edgar Zambrano from custody on Tuesday, four months after his arrest on treason charges, a move his allies said was a result of popular pressure, not a sign of goodwill from President Nicolas Maduro.

Florida banking group pushed for sanctions exemption for ordinary Venezuelans
An industry group representing Florida banks pushed for an exemption to U.S. sanctions on Venezuela that were issued last week, executives said on Tuesday, arguing the measures had affected customers with no ties to President Nicolas Maduro.

Spanish court calls U.S. extradition request for Venezuela ex-spymaster politically motivated
Spain's High Court rejected a U.S. request to extradite Venezuela's former spy chief on drug trafficking charges this week after determining the U.S. action was politically motivated, according to a court document released on Tuesday.

U.S. targets three people, 16 groups in new Venezuela sanctions
The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on three people and 16 groups it says helped Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his government profit from food aid in the economically struggling country, the Treasury Department said.

Venezuelan government mulls sending lawmakers back to opposition assembly
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country's rightful interim ruler, delivers a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
Venezuela's government said on Monday it was evaluating sending some of its lawmakers back to the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which President Nicolas Maduro has called an illegal institution, as part of new talks with one opposition faction.


The Living Force
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Kremlin says Venezuela's Maduro due in Moscow soon for talks
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro takes part in a rally against the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, in Caracas Venezuela, August 10, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo

MOSCOW September 20, 2019 - The Kremlin said on Friday that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was due in Moscow soon for talks.

Russia has been one of Maduro’s biggest backers in the face of what it has described as unacceptable U.S. efforts to undermine him, providing loans and help for Venezuela’s military and oil industry.

Maduro left Norwegian mediators in the dark about side deal: Venezuela opposition negotiator
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela September 12, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela September 12, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not inform Norway's foreign ministry, which is mediating a dialogue between his government and opposition leader Juan Guaido, about a side deal with a smaller sector of the opposition before it was announced earlier this week, a member of Guaido's negotiating team said on Wednesday.

Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, over the weekend declared the Oslo-backed talks dead more than six weeks after Maduro walked away in protest over U.S. sanctions. The opposition said the government had no interest in discussing their main priority: a new election.

The government responded on Monday by announcing a deal with smaller opposition parties to resolve the South American country’s deep political divide by reforming the National Electoral Commission, accused of bias in favor of the ruling socialists. That deal was not backed by Guaido’s allies.

“The Norwegians had no idea what was happening,” Gerardo Blyde, one of Guaido’s representatives to the talks, said in an interview. “There is bad faith on Maduro’s part. He was playing on two fields. When it became difficult for him he secretly created another option.”


The Living Force
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Sep 21 2019 - Drug Cartel Member Captured on Photo with Guaido Detained in Venezuela
Deputy Minister of Communications Jorge Rodriguez stated that Venezuelan security forces have captured Colombian drug cartel Los Rastrojos Ivan Posso Pedrozo in an operation conducted in Zulia state.

Rodriguez showed a video where Ivan Posso Pedrozo, also known as "Nandito", speaks about an operation where he participated in transporting US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido from Venezuela to Colombia, Sputnik reported.

According to the report, Los Rastrojos kept the photos with Guaido "for the future", since they agreed that "when Guaido was president of Venezuela the cartel would have a free corridor".

Prior to this, the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, shared some photographs of Guaido with leaders of the Los Rastrojos drug cartel, apparently taken on 22 February, the day when Guaido arrived in the Colombian border town of Cucuta, where so-called humanitarian aid from the United States and a number of other countries was being collected, in order to help deliver the supplies to Venezuela despite the fact that the legitimate government had refused to accept the aid.

Sep 22 2019 - 13 Million Venezuelans Sign Petition to Protect Sovereignty
13 Million Venezuelans Sign Petition to Protect Sovereignty

More than 13 million Venezuelans signed the petition to protect national sovereignty against US economic sanctions, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Saturday.

"I extend my congratulations to the great anti-imperialistic march of our people that filled the streets of Caracas with a beautiful act of love and patriotism to deliver 13,287,742 signatures for peace and national sovereignty," the Venezuelan leader stated, according to TASS.

It is noted that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will receive all the signatures.
The petition was opened for signing on August 10 after US imposed a new package of economic sanctions on Venezuela, where approximately 28 million people reside.

Venezuela has been enduring a severe social and economic crisis in the last few years, accompanied with a sharp devaluation of national currency - Bolivar. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that inflation on Venezuela can reach 10 million percent by the end of the year. The UN estimates that around 4 million people have already left the country.


The Living Force
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Sep 25 2019 - Putin: Russia Backs Venezuela's Legitimate Authorities, Welcomes Dialogue with Opposition
Putin: Russia Backs Venezuela's Legitimate Authorities, Welcomes Dialogue with Opposition

Moscow supports Venezuela's legitimate authorities, including the institution of the president, as well as the dialogue of the country's leader Nicolas Maduro with the opposition forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Maduro on Wednesday.

Putin backs Venezuela talks rejected by opposition leader
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia September 25, 2019.  Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin backed negotiations between Venezuela's government and opposition groups that have been rejected by the leader of the main opposition to President Nicolas Maduro.

On Tuesday, Maduro arrived in the Russian capital of Moscow, accompanied by Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo. Both Venezuelan officials are likely to visit the office of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, opened in Moscow earlier in September, according to a source.

Sep 25 2019 - Venezuela Delegate Reads Book to Snub Trump during UN Speech
Venezuela Delegate Reads Book to Snub Trump during UN Speech

A member of the Venezuelan delegation attending the United Nations General Assembly has apparently snubbed US President Donald Trump while he was addressing the international body.

Sep 25 2019 - US Triples Regime-Change Aid to Guaido, Doling out $52mln to Restore ‘Democratic Governance’ in Venezuela
US Triples Regime-Change Aid to Guaido, Doling out $52mln to Restore ‘Democratic Governance’ in Venezuela

The US announced it’s giving another hefty allowance to the Venezuela opposition in addition “to hundreds of millions of dollars” it already provided, pledging “full support” to self-declared ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) earmarked $52 million “in development assistance” to help Guaido and his supporters “restore citizen-responsive, democratic governance to their country”, Administrator Mark Green announced Tuesday, according to RT.

The funds would go towards supporting the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared illegitimate by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 2017, as well as to prop up “independent media, civil society, and restoration of the health sector”.

Sep 24 2019 - Venezuela to Prosecute Politicians Who Smuggled Guaido into Colombia
Venezuela to Prosecute Politicians Who Smuggled Guaido into Colombia

Venezuelan state prosecutor Tarek William Saab issued arrest warrants on Monday for officials thought to have helped opposition leader Juan Guaido sneak into Colombia despite a travel ban.

A member of the criminal gang, identified as Ivan Posso, testified on camera that several senior Venezuelan officials had contacted Colombian paramilitary to smuggle Guaido to the concert.

"Arrest warrants were issued for Tachira deputy governor Loryis Silva, Boca de Grita prefect Luz Marina Pernia, La Fria prefect Camilo Roso Suarez and driver Jonathan Zambrano Garcia, known as Poor Patron,"
the attorney general’s office tweeted.

Saab stated that the four-faced treason charges for helping Guaido cross the state border illegally.

Sep 24 2019 - Maduro: US Plans to Disrupt Venezuela’s Parliamentary Polls in 2020
Maduro: US Plans to Disrupt Venezuela’s Parliamentary Polls in 2020

The United States seeks to disrupt the 2020 parliamentary polls in Venezuela, the Latin American country’s President Nicolas Maduro said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast on Monday.

"I can personally warn the international community that the US government with its extremist policy and non-traditional war against Venezuela is already considering plans of disrupting the parliamentary elections," Maduro stated, noting that Venezuela has data confirming these plans. (Guess - that's what the (USAID) is earmarked for?)


The Living Force
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Sep 27 2019 - Maduro: Caracas Has Moscow's 'Full Support' on Defense Industry Cooperation
Maduro: Caracas Has Moscow's 'Full Support' on Defense Industry Cooperation

Venezuela has Russia's full support on bilateral defense industry cooperation, the Latin American country's President, Nicolas Maduro, said after returning from his trip to Moscow.

"We have received the full support of Russia and President Vladimir Putin in all areas of defense industry cooperation [...] Venezuela has one of the most advanced armament systems in the world," Maduro stated after arriving in Caracas from Moscow, Sputnik reported.

"I discussed this issue with President Putin and he reaffirmed Russia's full support to allow Venezuela to strengthen its combat readiness and armament systems for protecting the sovereignty and national peace," Maduro added.

Moreover, a Venezuelan delegation also discussed investment in the Latin American country's mining and food products industries with Russia's leadership.

"We discussed all the issues concerning investment to unlock opportunities for the involvement of the Russian capital and technologies in projects to develop Venezuela in various areas - gold, aluminum, coal, nickel and food products industry," Maduro said.

Maduro added that during his recent visit to Russia, Caracas and Moscow had agreed upon a new road map of cooperation in economic and industry, as well as the transfer of technologies and new investments in the Latin American country, which would help it grow and recover.

"A part of our delegation stayed in Moscow — a group of ministers, deputy ministers, heads of organizations — to discuss the details [of cooperation] with Russian ministers," Maduro continued.

The president also noted that the sides had agreed upon a cooperation plan for various industries which "guarantees a fruitful end of the year".

Maduro visited Moscow for talks with Putin, which were held on Wednesday. During the negations, the two presidents agreed upon a plan of economic and industrial cooperation, according to Maduro.

The Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has noted that Maduro and Putin had also discussed the "continued" defense industry cooperation.

Venezuela opposition leaves U.N. with 'gestures of support' but no breakthrough
During their week representing Venezuelan congress chief Juan Guaido at the U.N. General Assembly, an opposition delegation received words of support from U.S. President Donald Trump, funding from the United States, and pledges of stronger action from Latin American and European countries.

U.N. launches investigations into killings, torture in Venezuela
The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed on Friday to set up an international fact-finding mission to document violations in Venezuela, including torture and thousands of summary executions.

Leader of Colombia's Los Pelusos crime gang killed, president says
Colombia's President Ivan Duque announces the death of Luis Antonio Quintero, leader of the crime gang Los Pelusos, during statements to journalists in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2019. Courtesy of Colombian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

The top leader and founder of Colombia's Los Pelusos crime gang has been killed in an operation led by the national police, President Ivan Duque said on Friday.


The Living Force
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Venezuela's Maduro says Trump merits 'a thousand impeachments'
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, under fire all year to quit from the United States and its allies, exulted on Monday in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, though he did not expect the White House to let up against him.

Amid criticism, Colombia defends assertions that Venezuela's Maduro supports rebels
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Colombia on Monday publicly defended a dossier it says proves Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro supports guerrilla groups and drug traffickers but removed the armed forces' head of intelligence after widespread criticism of the report.

Venezuela chides Peru for 'xenophobia' against migrants
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza speaks as he attends a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government accused Peruvian authorities on Sunday of fomenting "xenophobia" against the large Venezuelan exile population after a series of incidents of apparent mistreatment of migrants.


Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Talking about the xenophobia unleashed against Venezuelans in Colombia, Ecuador and especially Peru, I found this article . The discrimination and bullying have increased enormously in Peru in response to a crime of murder of two people and subsequent dismembering of the corpse by 5 venezuelans in Lima, peru. It is true that many delinquents left the country and they are damaging the reputation of good citizens and workers, as is often the case. I hope they catch all the criminals who in Venezuela do what they want at will. We are tired of so much criminality and impunity.

The Making of a Public Enemy: Venezuelans in Peru
In 1857, in a context of extreme poverty, disease and ethnic tensions, the papers of New York City created the “Dead Rabbits” moniker for an Irish gang that was active at the Five Points slum, an episode made famous by a book and a Scorsese movie. This labeling of fear and violence survived the gang’s disbanding and stuck to the Irish community, as a prejudice that went on for, at least, decades.

The Irish immigration of that time was driven by famine; they were leaving their country en masse during an era later called “the Great Hunger,” to find the media-brewed hostility that other migrant communities have met: Tamils in British Columbia, Jews in Quebec, Zimbabweans in South Africa, Moroccans in France, Somalis in Italy, Gypsies everywhere. We’ve seen, more recently, how the fact that refugees and immigrants are portrayed in traditional and social media as enemies at the gates, has spread hate crimes, defensive legislation and the rise of nativist populism, especially Muslims in Europe and Canada, and Latinos in the U.S.

Now we’re witnessing more and more episodes of xenophobia against Venezuelans in the Andean region, especially in Ecuador and Peru, where a certain type of media has chosen to connect with a growing unease about the Venezuelan immigration, associating it to theft, kidnapping and brutal murder.

The Perfect Storm

We’ve been posting a lot about the explosive Venezuelan migration: there are around 4,3 million Venezuelans abroad, according to UN agencies. That’s more than 10% of the country’s 32 million population, as was established by the not very reliable national census of 2011.

What is less known is that a good deal of this Venezuelan migration, made of people with no history as migrants, is moving into countries way more used to sending people abroad than they’d like to admit.

So, on one hand, we have a nation (Venezuela) with decades of experience on how to live with newcomers—Spanish, Italian, Lebanese and Portuguese from the 30s to the 70s; Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Chileans, Argentinians, Chinese and many others from the 70s until a few years ago— with the institutional and social tools to integrate those immigrants into our society, especially if they were white and European. Those coming from places like Guyana, Haiti or the Dominican Republic had to endure racism and exploitation, in some cases. As for Colombians, Peruvians, and Ecuadorians, in that order, they were frequently accused of introducing crime and prostitution among us, but they could live and raise their kids peacefully, until crisis under chavismo made them think of going back. Venezuelans used to see ourselves as a sort of superior South American: we’re so prosperous that these people come to live here by bus or crossing rivers illegally.

On the other hand, we have nations with long experience in migration, used to receiving remittances, issuing laws for the nationals who come back, weaving networks of Peruvians in Miami, Ecuadorians in Madrid, Colombians in New York City, etcetera. Terrorism, economic crisis and centuries-long poverty forced these non-oil-blessed countries to send millions of folks to North America and Europe since the 70s. They looked at Venezuela as the rich, vain kid in the neighborhood.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans (many of them with no experience traveling abroad, with no professional skills, some of them sick, some of them criminals) are entering these countries, which are in better shape than Venezuela but far from capable of offering employment or social protection with the same strength that American, Canadian or European institutions can provide. These receiving countries have had to improvise new legislation and have required international assistance to handle this influx with their very limited resources of health services, schools, shelters and border security. The social and political pressure on the authorities is huge, as well as the temptation to use this crisis for the political advantage of local leaders and adversaries of their current administrations.


This is the context where a xenophobic wave against Venezuelans has been gaining speed in Peru, during these final weeks of September. In 2019, the speech about Venezuelan immigration has been turning sour, as the influx keeps growing and the scenes of Venezuelans begging or camping on the streets (which is more intense and dangerous in the border towns) get more common.

Then came the news of a frustrated bank robbery in a Lima mall by Venezuelan criminals, members of the Tren de Aragua gang, one of the most dangerous in Venezuela but with no proof of being properly organized in Peru, besides the group captured on that particular event. Since then, the media has been labeling Venezuelans as criminals, using the pejorative veneco to tag newsworthy killers, kidnappers, rapists or robbers, whether they are indeed Venezuelans or not.

This is happening especially in the so-called prensa chicha, the abundant tabloids still quite influential in Peru. The prensa chicha is so important that Alberto Fujimori used it successfully to attack and blackmail the opposition during his authoritarian regime. Cheap, with one or two daily editions, these colorful publications full of nude models, gore and fake news have connected with the real worries among common Peruvians on the effects of this massive immigration, and they have modeled the veneco as the common enemy, one who not only kills but mutilates and is capable of making ceviche—the flagship dish of coastal Peruvian cuisine, raw seafood cooked with lime and pepper—with the meat of his victims.

According to this narrative, Venezuela is a country completely taken over by pillage and murder, and the migrants are a source of contagion not only for that violence but for disease, moral disintegration and even chavista socialism. The centennial newspaper El Comercio published an infographic describing the Venezuelan criminal as extremely violent, causing uproar in the Venezuelan public opinion, and also a UN report where 62% of the Venezuelans living in Peru say they have suffered discrimination.

The chicha papers—some of them owned by El Comercio
—are selling more issues while making the distrust spiral turn into widespread hate against Venezuelans. Of course, they’re not alone. In the fringe of Peruvian politics, there’s a nativist movement, etnocaserismo and its leaders have spent years calling for an armed insurrection against all politicians, favoring a regime inspired in the alleged purity of the Inca race. Now, the etnocaseristas are part of the agitators calling for the expulsion of venecos, as it’s shouted out loud in demonstrations. Carlos Scull, representative of the National Assembly in Peru, and the Peruvian government say they’re handling the situation, but it’s not looking good.

There have been episodes of police harassing Venezuelans on the streets. Some Venezuelan women are being abused, under the suspicion of prostitution or their mere vulnerability: “Men are always harassing us for being venecas,” says Estefanía, from Merida. “Some girl I know was almost raped in the place where she lives. You won’t see that in the news, of course.” Andrés, from Cabudare, says that people in Peru used to be helpful, but now “they all see us as if we’re criminals.” And Andrea, also from Venezuela, says that all murderers in the media seem to be venecos: “I’m really thinking about leaving this country


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Talking about the xenophobia unleashed against Venezuelans in Colombia, Ecuador and especially Peru, I found this article . The discrimination and bullying have increased enormously in Peru in response to a crime of murder of two people and subsequent dismembering of the corpse by 5 venezuelans in Lima, peru. It is true that many delinquents left the country and they are damaging the reputation of good citizens and workers, as is often the case. I hope they catch all the criminals who in Venezuela do what they want at will. We are tired of so much criminality and impunity.
All three of those Countries, (Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) are experiencing inner turmoil. Outside immigration is only one problem.

Explainer: Rebellion in Congress - How Peru tipped into political crisis
FILE PHOTO: Peru's President Martin Vizcarra Cornejo addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Oct. 2, 2019 - Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra's drive to clean up the ruling class after a series of graft scandals has left the South American country with an open rebellion in a dissolved Congress as its political crisis takes a dramatic turn into the unknown.

Peru military, police back Vizcarra as rebel lawmakers vow loyalty to VP
Police keep watch outside Congress after President Martin Vizcarra shut down Congress in Lima, Peru, October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

Oct. 2, 2019 - Peru's armed forces and police reaffirmed allegiance to President Martin Vizcarra late on Monday after his move to close Congress prompted dozens of dismissed lawmakers to pledge loyalty to vice president in a deepening political standoff.

Peru's VP gives up claim to the presidency in blow to opposition
FILE PHOTO: Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Araoz  speaks to Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (not pictured) during their meeting at Zhongnanhai in Beijing, China September 2, 2019. Andrea Verdelli/Pool via REUTERS

Oct. 1, 2019 - Peru's vice president renounced her claim to the presidency on Tuesday in a surprise twist to a constitutional crisis, dealing a fresh blow to a rebel band of former lawmakers resisting President Martin Vizcarra's dissolution of Congress.

Peru's Vizcarra unveils new Cabinet as leadership challenge fizzles out
Peru's President Martin Vizcarra and newly appointed ministers pose for a picture during their swearing-in ceremony at the government palace in Lima, Peru October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo

Oct. 3, 2019 - Peru's centrist President Martin Vizcarra swore in a new Cabinet on Thursday as a challenge to his leadership by dismissed lawmakers fizzled out, potentially ushering in a rare period of political calm in the South American nation.

Ecuador declares state of emergency amid protests
Ecuadoreans scuffle with riot police officers during a protest against President Lenin Moreno government's measure to end the subsidies on fuel prices, in Quito, Ecuador October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Tapia

Oct. 3, 2019 - Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency on Thursday as massive nationwide protests broke out against the elimination of four-decade-old fuel subsidies.

Violent protests in Ecuador caused by fuel price rise are ending: President
Oct. 3, 2019 - Protests caused by the elimination of fuel subsidies are ending, Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno said on Thursday, after their removal sparked the Andean oil producer's worst civil unrest in years.

Ecuador declares state of emergency as fuel protesters battle police
Riot police officers remove a fence used by demonstrators during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies, in Quito, Ecuador October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Tapia

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency on Thursday as protesters hurled stones and erected burning barricades after the end of decades-old fuel subsidies as part of a $2 billion government fiscal reform package.

Ecuador president refuses to scrap fuel measure causing protests
FILE PHOTO: Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno Garces addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Oct.4, 2019 - Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno said on Friday he was open to talks with protesters but would not withdraw his decision to cut fuel subsidies that have triggered the worst unrest in years.

Ecuador transport unions suspend protests against cuts to fuel-subsidy
Ecuadorean transport unions agreed on Friday to suspend protests against President Lenin Moreno's scrapping of fuel-subsidies, a union spokesman said, after two days of unrest that halted transport nation-wide and resulted in almost 370 arrests.

Ecuador unions call off anti-austerity protests after 370 arrests in two days
Members of the riot police aim their weapons as they clash with demonstrators during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies, in Quito, Ecuador October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Oct. 4, 2019 - Ecuador's transport unions on Friday called off protests against the scrapping of fuel subsidies by President Lenin Moreno after two days of unrest that halted transport nationwide and resulted in almost 370 arrests.

Ecuador indigenous groups, workers keep pressure on Moreno
People block a road during protests after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's government ended four-decade-old fuel subsidies, in Cayambe, Ecuador, October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Oct. 5, 2019 - Ecuadorean indigenous and union organizations kept protests going on Saturday and promised no let-up in their push to overturn austerity measures by President Lenin Moreno's government that have convulsed the nation for three days.

Colombia’s Trasandino pipeline damaged in bombing
Oct. 5, 2019 - Colombia's Trasandino pipeline was damaged in a bomb attack, state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Saturday, spilling crude into a nearby river.

Russian deputy prime minister in Venezuela to support Maduro
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov speaks during a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Oct. 5, 2019 - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov met Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday to underline Moscow's support for the leftist leader that has helped him stay in power despite intense Western pressure to quit.

Toothpick and two generals helped Venezuela opposition leader survive jail
Edgar Zambrano, Vice President of Venezuela's National Assembly, poses for a picture after an interview with Reuters in Caracas, Venezuela October 2, 2019. Picture taken October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

During four months in a small military jail cell, Venezuela's Congress vice president scratched the days on a wall with a toothpick, held a hunger-strike, and made unlikely friends with two generals who have fallen foul of the socialist government.

Aruba says it will require Venezuelans to obtain visa to visit
The Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba will require Venezuelans to obtain a visa to visit, its government said on Wednesday, adding to the nations that have tightened entry restrictions on the crisis-hit country because of mass emigration.

Venezuela detains local head of oil joint venture with China: sources
Venezuelan authorities have arrested the president and two other officials in a corruption investigation at state oil company PDVSA's Sinovensa joint venture with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), oil sector and intelligence sources said on Saturday.


The Living Force
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"We are ready": Venezuela issues its first credit card without Mastercard backup

A month ago, the international operator announced that it was ceasing to provide services to two Venezuelan state banks in order to avoid being sanctioned by the U.S. State Department.

The state bank of Venezuela's Bolivarian National Armed Force (Banfanb) issued its first credit cards without the Mastercard code after the operator suspended its services a month ago.

"We're ready! The new plastic Banfanb cards are ready for our clients", the institution published in its Twitter account.

In the social networks, the financial institution of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) stated that the interbank connection is fully restored.

What happened?
A month ago, the payment operator Mastercard suspended its services to Banfanb and Banco Agrícola, also a state-owned bank.

Mastercard based its decision on the executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, which froze all assets of the Venezuelan government in his country and prohibits transactions with him.

The OFAC has sanctioned some one hundred Venezuelan officials - among heads of public powers, ministers, governors, military, directors of state and private companies, including the Venezuelan president himself - whom it accuses of supporting the "authoritarian regime" of Nicolás Maduro or of being related to the trafficking of illicit substances.
Other sanctions

This decision, which includes the Venezuelan state-owned universal bank within the same South American country, has already been implemented to freeze international operations, mainly.

On March 22, Washington sanctioned the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) and its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.
Translated with


Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Adobe Deactivates All Creative Cloud Accounts and Software in Venezuela Due to Trump Order

Due to Executive Order 13884, issued by President Trump on August 5, Adobe has deactivated all Creative Cloud accounts in Venezuela (and consequently, all associated software) and will not be issuing refunds to any customers.

The executive order, titled "Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela," was issued as a response to the continuing crisis involving the disputed Venezuelan presidential election of May 2018. As a result, the U.S. government has blocked almost all financial transactions and services between the U.S. and Venezuela. Consequently, Adobe has deactivated all Creative Cloud accounts in the country.
Adobe has emphasized that these actions are being taken solely to comply with the executive order. In addition, because of the order forbidding financial transactions, they are unable to issue refunds. Due to a lack of an expiration date on the order, Adobe's actions will continue indefinitely, with accounts of Venezuelan users scheduled to lose all access on October 28. As such, if you live in Venezuela, be sure to download any data you have on your account as soon as possible, as you will not be able to access it after the aforementioned date.

You can read more on Adobe's page regarding the executive order.


The Living Force
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Venezuela designers turn to piracy after Adobe announces it will cut service
Giampiero Posa, director of Posa Studio school, uses his computer after an interview for Reuters in Caracas, Venezuela October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Venezuelans desperately explored piracy workarounds on Tuesday to continue using Adobe programs after the software developer said it will cut access to its products for the country's users, citing U.S. sanctions.

Critics said the move demonstrated the unintended consequences of the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

San Jose, California-based Adobe Inc, whose products like Photoshop and InDesign are widely used by designers, illustrators and digital marketers, said on Monday it was “deactivating all accounts in Venezuela” to comply with the sanctions, which are part of Washington’s effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

A slew of Venezuelan creative professionals took to social media to argue that Adobe’s move would have a devastating impact on freelance designers and marketers, who are already struggling with a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Gremiana Gonzalez, a graphic design student at the University of the Andes in western Merida state, offered instructions on Twitter on how to “crack any app in the Creative Cloud,” referring to Adobe’s collection of programs.

“In a way it goes against my principles because I am not completely in agreement with piracy, but in these circumstances either you use pirated software or you don’t eat,” Gonzalez said in a text message. “I know that just like me, many Venezuelans depend completely on freelancing, and Adobe’s suite is the most widely-used, best-acclaimed and easiest to access.”

Adobe said its software will stop working in Venezuela on Oct 28.

Francisco Rodriguez, a prominent Venezuelan economist who has launched a nonprofit to help alleviate the OPEC nation’s humanitarian crisis, circulated a petition requesting the U.S. Treasury Department to issue a license exempting software service providers from the sanctions.

“Adobe’s decision to suspend services in Venezuela has revived the debate over the impact of sanctions,” Rodriguez wrote on Twitter. “But maybe we are leaving aside the most relevant question: what can we due to mitigate the impact of these measures on Venezuelans?”

Exclusive: As Trump grows frustrated on Venezuela, U.S. to 'squeeze' Cuba, scrutinize Russia
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a multilateral meeting with Western Hemisphere leaders about Venezuela during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Trump administration is preparing new sanctions on Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and is taking a "closer look" at Russia's role in helping him remain in power, the U.S. special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told Reuters.

Lender CAF proposes $400-million Venezuela credit: Guaido
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country's rightful interim ruler, speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Latin American development bank CAF has proposed a $400-million credit line to Venezuela, but it will not be administered by President Nicolas Maduro's government, the opposition leader said on Tuesday.


Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Oracle suspends contracts with its partners in Venezuela

The U.S. software company Oracle suspended its contracts with partners in Venezuela, claiming that it complies with the restrictions imposed by Executive Order 13884 of the administration of Donald Trump, which on August 5 imposed new sanctions on the Venezuelan government Nicolás Maduro and prohibited any negotiation with the ruling chavismo, either individuals or companies.

According to the specialized computer site Bleeping Computer, the decision was taken by Oracle and Venezuelan companies, even since September 26th, almost two weeks before a similar measure from another U.S. company was known.

This is the second U.S. company that in less than a week takes measures of this nature, after learning that Adobe will cancel the accounts of Venezuelan users from next October 28, claiming that maintaining relations with the country is to breach the sanctions of Trump against Venezuela.

Oracle is one of the largest data management companies in the world, providing services to banks, insurance companies, universities, among other sectors.

Bleeping Computer assures that Oracle's senior vice president, Marcia Solveria, began to send letters to her Venezuelan partners, to whom they indicate that they can no longer work in the country or offer their licenses.

However, there has not been an official pronouncement by the software giant, as Adobe did on Oct. 7 when it sent e-mails to its Venezuelan customers.

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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
With John Bolton out, it appears Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are trying to fill the void? Both are trouble makers and support the Hawks in Congress and Israeli Policy. Cruz even flew to Hong Kong, where there's heavy protesting in the streets, no doubt instigated by the U.S. and was denied a meeting with the Leader.

Rubio, Cruz ask Trump to keep Citgo in Venezuela opposition's hands
FILE PHOTO: Citgo Corpus Christi Refinery is seen in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S., January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Erwin Seba
U.S. lawmakers including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz wrote a letter to President Donald Trump this week requesting that he take executive action to prevent holders of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's bonds from seizing U.S. refiner Citgo.

HK leader ditches meeting Ted Cruz, says the U.S. senator

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz attends to reporters at the U.S. Consul General's House in Hong Kong, China October 12, 2019. Cruz said he wore black to show support with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.  REUTERS/John Ruwitch
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped a meeting with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz the highest profile U.S. politician to visit the city since anti-government protests broke out more than four months ago, the senator said on Saturday.

Venezuela denies entry to Guatemalan president-elect, scuppering meeting with opposition leader
FILE PHOTO: The winner of Guatemala's presidential election, Alejandro Giammattei, talks during an interview with Reuters in Guatemala City, Guatemala, August 11, 2019. Picture taken August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Venezuelan authorities on Saturday denied Guatemala's president-elect Alejandro Giammattei entry into Venezuela, where he was scheduled to meet with opposition leader Juan Guaido.
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