Nicolas Maduro

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."

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.

Fernando Llano / Associated Press

The Venezuelan-Colombian border erupted in clashes Saturday between anti-regime protesters and pro-regime security forces, as Venezuelan opposition leader and widely recognized interim president Juan Guaidó hoped to help push tons of humanitarian aid from Colombia into Venezuela past military blockades.

Associated Press

On Tuesday, Venezuela’s self-declared Interim President Juan Guaidó has called for nationwide protests against the parallel government of President Nicolas Maduro, as part of an escalating standoff that has pitted both governments against each other and led the Trump Administration to lay its cards on the table.

Fernando Llano / AP

Tensions continued mounting in Venezuela. The issue even came up at President Trump’s State of the Union speech.

“We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime,” he said on Tuesday.

 

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelans in South Florida woke up on Saturday to the first crack in the Venezuelan military’s loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro.

It was a video of Air Force General Francisco Yanez renouncing Maduro – the authoritarian leader widely condemned for trashing their homeland’s economy and democracy. Yanez insisted that “90 percent of the armed forces oppose Maduro,” and he called on other high-ranking officers to recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president – as the U.S. and many other countries have.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

South Florida’s Venezuelan expats welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to Miami on Friday to hear him rally them behind the Trump Administration’s campaign to dislodge socialist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power. Most were left feeling unusually hopeful.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Protesters filled streets across Venezuela on Wednesday in a show of strength for Juan Guaidó, the U.S.-backed opposition leader who has declared himself interim president and called for Nicolás Maduro to step down.

Guaidó made a surprise appearance in front of a cheering crowd at the Central University of Venezuela in the nation's capital, The Associated Press reported.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

A top official at the Venezuelan consulate in Miami on Monday recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as the rightful president of Venezuela. First Consul Scarlet Salazar was just the latest diplomat to abandon Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The authoritarian socialist leader is facing an ever-growing chorus inside and outside his country demanding that he leave office.

WLRN's Christine DiMattei spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett about the rapid developments in this crisis – and about whether or not Maduro can survive it.

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