Nicolas Maduro

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The plane was on the tarmac. Nicolás Maduro, the disputed president of Venezuela, was ready to head to Havana amid widespread international condemnation and the threat of being ousted. But the Russian government talked him out of leaving.

Sherrilyn Cabrera

Large crowds of Venezuelans gathered in Doral Tuesday to watch news of an attempted military uprising unfold in their country. Many said it was the moment they'd long been waiting for.

Crowds began to form in the early morning at El Arepazo Original, a Venezuelan restaurant and community gathering place, as news filtered out of Venezuela that interim President Juan Guaidó was waging an attempt to oust President Nicolás Maduro. By midday hundreds gathered. 

  

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Three years ago, Venezuelan doctor Marco Salmeron seemed to have a good case for asylum in the U.S. Salmeron had fled Venezuela because prosecutors there accused him of human organ trafficking – but they’d provided little if any evidence to back it up. Salmeron called the charge political persecution.

Still, on a September morning in 2016, U.S. agents from the international police organization Interpol showed up at Salmeron’s home  in Pembroke Pines. As his wife and two kids looked on, they handcuffed Salmeron and took him to the federal immigration detention center in Miramar.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

The Reuters news agency reports this week that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s regime is secretly spiriting tons of gold out of the country. It’s one of the few sources of hard currency left there. But experts here say it may keep Maduro propped up for a while.

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.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

Univision says journalist Jorge Ramos and a TV crew have been released after being "arbitrarily detained" in Caracas, Venezuela. The TV network says they were interviewing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, but he didn't like their questions.

The U.S. State Department had tweeted, "We insist on their immediate release; the world is watching."

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