Nicolas Maduro

via Miami Herald

First the chef known as Salt Bae riled Cuban Americans by dressing up in honor of the late dictator Fidel Castro.

Now Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, the man who became a meme by sprinkling salt over manhandled meat, has incensed the internet again, this time by hosting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as that country grapples with widespread food scarcity.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

Over the weekend the New York Times created hemispheric buzz. It reported that U.S. officials talked privately this past year with rebellious Venezuelan military officers. Those officers wanted U.S. help to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro.

Apparently nothing came of the talks; the Trump Administration declined to help the rogue militares. But the Times story was more evidence that President Trump is exploring unusually strong action to topple Maduro. At the White House last summer, he'd already displayed that impulse.

“We have many options for Venezuela," Trump said then, "including a possible military option if necessary…”

Venezuelan Government

Critics joke that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro blames the U.S. – especially his Venezuelan foes living in the U.S. – whenever he stubs his toe. And most of the world ignores his leftist scapegoating.

But this month the world is wondering, cautiously, if Maduro might have a case, at least when it comes to some Venezuelans residing here.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Oil-rich Venezuela has the world’s cheapest gasoline. But it’s also dealing with the world’s worst economic crisis. So desperately cash-strapped Venezuelans are about to pay a lot more at the pump.

Venezolana de Television via AP

COMMENTARY

It’s tempting to call last weekend’s failed drone attack on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro daring.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can ultimately call it is dumb – because assassination attempts are only going to make Maduro dig in, not give in.

When Maduro claimed last Saturday he’d been the target of exploding drones, the world was rightly skeptical. He and his socialist regime are shamelessly notorious for concocting assassination conspiracies to divert attention from their disastrous and dictatorial rule.

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abruptly cut short a televised speech and soldiers present broke ranks and scattered after hearing several explosions Saturday in what the government called an attempted attack on the socialist leader.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a live broadcast that several drone-like devices with explosives detonated near the Maduro.

He said Maduro is safe and unharmed but that seven people were injured. Firefighters near the scene are disputing the government's version of events.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Last week we learned that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro may be under investigation in the U.S. for money-laundering. But it turns out Maduro has more immediate problems – like keeping his country’s lights on.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

When the year started, we were astounded to hear Venezuela’s 2018 inflation rate could top 13,000 percent. That’s pretty bad hyperinflation. But Venezuelans now look at that forecast as the good news.

Anthony Vasquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago this summer, leftist Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on his country to censure another country.

That other country was Honduras. Right-wing politicians there, backed by a right-wing oligarchy and military, had just staged a coup that ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya – who was flown into exile in his pajamas.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

This month the big topic of discussion about Venezuela isn’t focused on its plummeting oil output or food shortages or economic collapse. It’s about invasion.

According to reports, last year President Trump told top aides he wanted to order a military invasion of Venezuela.

Those aides talked him out of it, of course. But the reports have Venezuelans like 19-year-old Camila Duarte feeling confused – and irritated.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

This week a report by the Organization of Americans States said Venezuela was guilty of crimes against humanity. Venezuela’s regime promised today to release at least some of its political prisoners.

Alan Diaz / AP

COMMENTARY

On Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro won another six-year term in an election so laughably rigged – and mostly boycotted by Venezuelans – it made last month’s presidential vote in communist Cuba look Jeffersonian.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

CÚCUTA, COLOMBIA | It’s not easy for Jesús Mendoza to talk about all the things he’s had to sell to buy medicine – life-saving medicine.

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