Juan Guaido

Andrea Hernandez Briceno / AP

Things haven’t gone so well lately for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. And last weekend it looked like the country’s socialist regime had left him powerless. But Guaidó made a comeback on Tuesday that heartened Venezuelan expats here in South Florida.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Venezuela is starting the year with a dramatic new twist to its political crisis.

On Sunday, allies of President Nicolás Maduro hijacked a session of the country's National Assembly while security forces locked out the body's president, Juan Guaidó, and his supporters. Meanwhile, inside the chamber, lawmakers allied to Maduro's government quickly selected a new head of the chamber.

Venezuelan security forces on Sunday blocked opposition leader Juan Guaidó from a special session of the National Assembly, where he was expected to be reelected as the legislature's leader — an apparent bid by President Nicolás Maduro to outmaneuver the man who has staked a rival claim to the presidency.

In Guaidó's absence, supporters of Maduro elected one of their own to head the body. Hours later, however, a majority of National Assembly lawmakers met in emergency session elsewhere, reelecting Guaidó and accusing Maduro of attempting a "parliamentary coup."

Rodrigo Abd / AP

It's hard to wrap your arms around everything that happened 2019 in Latin America and the Caribbean. It's even harder to find any good news — from the violent political unrest that rocked capitals from La Paz to Port-au-Prince, to a record number of fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest.

JUAN BARRETO / AFP/Getty Images

A newly negotiated government funding compromise on Capitol Hill includes nearly a half-billion dollars in humanitarian aid to support Venezuelan refugees and codifies sanctions against the regime of embattled Venezuelan ruler Nicolás Maduro.

Beto Barata / AP

This story was updated at 8:30 pm November 13, 2019. 

A group of Venezuelan opposition supporters took over the Venezuelan embassy in Brazil on Wednesday. By the evening, the Brazilian government said it had intervened to usher them out and return the mission to Venezuelan government control. At the same time Miami’s congressional delegation in Washington announced a new caucus to represent the interests of Venezuelan expats.

AP

Washington on Tuesday pledged an additional $98 million in aid to Venezuela, saying the funds will be used to support civil society, human rights organizations and independent media.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed what it called a “historic bilateral agreement” with representatives of Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó administration.

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.

YouTube

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.

Twitter

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.

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