Juan Guaido

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelan art dealer Romy Moreno was in South Florida last month when she got an urgent call from her husband, Roberto Marrero, in Caracas.

Agents of Venezuela's authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro were ransacking their apartment and arresting Marrero – who is the chief of staff to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The U.S. and 50 other countries recognize Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president.

Marrero is now in prison awaiting trial. His wife is with relatives in Doral, and cannot return to Venezuela for fear she too will be arrested. Moreno spoke with WLRN’s Tim Padgett about what she calls her husband's kidnapping by the Maduro government – and the ongoing movement to topple that regime.

Fernando Llano / AP

The political turmoil in Venezuela continues to intensify.

On Tuesday, officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro stripped opposition leader Juan Guaidó of immunity – which means he could face prosecution and arrest.

In January, Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president. More than 50 countries, including the United States, have recognized him as president.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime may be one step closer to arresting Juan Guaidó. Until Wednesday, it let the opposition leader keep the same immunity as any other legislator. But Guaidó has now lost that – and mass anti-government protests he's called for this weekend may put him in deeper danger.

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

The Red Cross says Venezuela’s authoritarian regime will finally let international aid in to help ease a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. WLRN spoke with the wife of interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó on Sunday during her visit to South Florida to rally support.

Susan Walsh / AP

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime may have finally acknowledged on Friday that the country is suffering a humanitarian crisis. The news comes as the wife of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó visits South Florida this weekend to collect humanitarian aid.

Fernando Llanos / Associated Press

Vice President Mike Pence will meet Wednesday with the wife of Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan leader whom the White House has embraced as the interim president.

White House officials said Fabiana Rosales de Guaidó will join Pence for a bilateral meeting at the White House in which Pence will express the United States’ continued support for democracy in Venezuela.

“In the meeting, Vice President Pence will reiterate once again the United States’ unwavering commitment to stand for a free Venezuela,” a White House official said.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Most of the news from Venezuela in recent days is not encouraging for the restoration of democracy there. Late last week President Nicolás Maduro's regime arrested Roberto Marrero, the top aide to opposition leader Juan Guaidó - whom the U.S. and 50 other countries recognize as Venezuela's legitimate president. Then on Sunday, Russia flew a military advisor and 100 troops into Venezuela to support Maduro.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett on Sundial about the latest developments.

Clad in a dazzling white shirt, Nicolás Maduro is standing at a podium, grinning through his mustache and waving his hands at his supporters.

"Hands off Venezuela, Mr. Imperator Donald Trump!" he shouts, waving his hands still more, to emphasize his point. "Get out of Venezuela, imperial Yankee!"

Cameras from state-run TV pan across the crowd, carefully picking out people who are applauding and flourishing flags.

Doral Charter School Mural Shows Support For Venezuela

Mar 21, 2019
Jamie Doolittle / WLRN News

Students at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School are completing a mural to show solidarity with Venezuela. 

The mural features the red, blue and yellow colors of Venezuela's flag, and features a large fist that the artists say symbolizes the strength of the Venezuelan people trying to break free from oppression. It is named “Juntos Por Venezuela,” or "Together for Venezuela."

The mural is painted on the ground in front of the entrance to the school and is about the size of a large SUV. 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

On Friday, President Trump will meet with leaders from five Caribbean island nations at his Mar-a-Lago resort here in Florida. A big question is: what will Trump do for them in return for what they’ve recently done for him?

Teresa Frontado / WLRN News

Two weeks after violent clashes on the border between Venezuela and Colombia left more than 400 people wounded, the U.S. government and its Colombian counterpart made a public gesture Thursday to indicate ongoing support for efforts led by Venezuela's interim president Juan Guaidó to bring humanitarian aid into the troubled South American country. The timeline for the aid delivery is still not clear.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Russia is using propaganda to exploit American divisions on the turmoil in Venezuela in the same way it has on issues like race relations and gun control, according to foreign policy experts and Florida International University professors.

Jamie Fly, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan public policy think tank the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said the efforts align with Russia’s support for the Maduro regime and ongoing strategy to manipulate American opinion.

Venezuela's Guaidó Urges Supporters To Protest On Monday

Mar 3, 2019
Associated Press

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó urged supporters to stage huge demonstrations Monday coinciding with his planned return to Venezuela, in a challenge expected to escalate his power struggle with President Nicolas Maduro.

"See you tomorrow," Guaidó said in a live video address on social media Sunday night. He delivered a defiant warning to Venezuelan authorities, saying any attempt to detain him "would be without doubt one of the last mistakes" that the government commits.

Fernando Llano / AP

After the deadly clashes along Venezuela's borders this past weekend, authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro still looks firmly entrenched in power. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as Venezuela's legitimate president. And now he says "all options" - even U.S. military intervention - should be considered to topple Maduro's socialist regime.

WLRN's Christine DiMattei and Tim Padgett talked about where the Venezuela crisis stands now - and where it's probably headed.

AP

After the violent showdown on the Colombian border this past weekend, little has changed in Venezuela. But opposition leaders who were on the border insist what happened Saturday now means all options are possible to topple Venezuela’s regime - even the option President Trump likes to hint about.

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