Juan Guaido

Susan Walsh / AP

COMMENTARY

When he was Undersecretary of State in the early 2000s, John Bolton insisted communist Cuba had an “offensive biological warfare research and development” program.

Cuba did have an advanced genetic engineering, biotech and vaccine complex. And Cuba was still ruled by Fidel Castro, a despot capable of such nefarious doings. Still, there was no evidence, and none ever surfaced, that cash-strapped Cuba was exporting anthrax instead of vastly more profitable meningitis vaccines.

But that sort of hawkish illusion, or delusion, is what the world came to expect of Bolton – whom President Trump fired this week as his national security advisor.

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COMMENTARY

There’s a video Venezuelan expats are sharing on WhatsApp like a bottle of Cacique rum at a beach party.

It’s got a guy dressed as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, shackled in a small cage, being paraded around a plaza in Spain by an effigy of Donald Trump. “Maduro” is dressed in one of his garish Venezuelan-flag track suits, making vulgar gestures to the crowd, as a smiling “Trump” takes the captured despot on a perp walk.

It’s funny.

It’s also fantasy.

Leonardo Fernandez / AP

Over the weekend, Venezuelan opposition leaders warned the country's regime was poised to shut down the National Assembly. That hasn't happened — but something just as distressing to pro-democracy advocates is taking place.

Fernando Llano / AP

The interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, warned Sunday night that the Nicolás Maduro regime plans to dissolve the National Assembly in the next few hours in reaction to the sanctions imposed by Washington on the Venezuelan economy.

Guaidó, whose presidency is recognized by the United States and more than fifty other nations, said the country is at the gates of a new stage of repression that could lead to the massive arrest of the assembly’s deputies. Guaidó is the leader of the assembly.

PEDRO PORTAL / MIAMI HERALD

The city of Miami and members of Venezuela's opposition will host a 5k run this Sunday to support humanitarian efforts led by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Mayor Francis Suarez announced the "Running for Freedom" race yesterday.

They will raise funds to send medical supplies and medicine to Venezuela, which has already been dealing with food and medical shortages.

Jesús Parra spent four years as a police officer in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. He patrolled the streets, provided security at events and even guarded political prisoners. Now, he parks cars at a funeral home for spare change in the Colombian city of Cúcuta.

This is not what Parra, 27, had in mind when he deserted the police force and sneaked across the Colombian border in March.

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Media reports said a third round of talks between Venezuela’s socialist regime and its political opposition was supposed to start Tuesday in Barbados. But an alleged human rights atrocity forced the meeting to be cancelled.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Every few months now, Vice President Mike Pence drops into Miami-Dade County to remind voters the Trump Administration is putting the squeeze on Venezuela’s dictatorial dimwit president, Nicolás Maduro.

Juan Guaidó's war room is a kind of no man's land.

The opposition leader, who is recognized by dozens of countries as Venezuela's rightful head of state, works out of a mostly vacant office in a Caracas high-rise with a couple of sofas, broken swivel chairs and carpet that could use a cleaning.

Guaidó has spent the past five months moving among safe houses and borrowed office space to keep government security agents, who have arrested dozens of opposition leaders, off balance. No one bothers to fix things up because his team may be moving on soon.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime is still in power. But that hasn’t stopped the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó from conducting a parallel government.

Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate president this year, and the U.S. and more than 50 other countries recognize him.

Tuesday night his ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Vecchio, visited Doral to talk with Venezuelan expats about a new website where they can register for consular services Guaidó hopes to offer them, such as new Venezuelan passports.

Jose A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

When we talk about security in the Americas these days, Venezuela dominates the conversation. That was the case Wednesday at Florida International University – where the top U.S. military official here addressed the debate over U.S. intervention in the Venezuela crisis.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Last week representatives of Venezuela's socialist regime and its political opposition met for talks in Oslo, Norway. Norway had offered earlier this year to mediate between the two sides – but news of the meetings was a surprise, because less than a month ago opposition leader Juan Guaidó called (unsuccessfully) for an outright military overthrow of authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro.

Boris Vergara / AP

It’s been a week since Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for the overthrow of authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro. That effort failed when top military leaders balked at joining him. But it sparked renewed anti-government unrest and showed cracks in the military's loyalty to the socialist regime – which is widely blamed for dismantling Venezuela’s democracy and destroying its economy.

Fernando Llano / AP

COMMENTARY

So Juan Guaidó is now 0-for-3 in his attempts to incite a regime-changing military uprising in Venezuela.

The opposition leader had hoped to get the armed forces to back him in January when he declared himself (rightfully so) Venezuela’s constitutionally legitimate president. And again in February when he tried to push humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

After Tuesday's unrest in Venezuela, expats here gathered at a Doral church to ponder the ongoing crisis in their native country. WLRN spoke with many of those Venezuelans last night and found a surprising degree of optimism.

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