Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro has been sworn in as president of Venezuela, taking power for six more years amid an economic crisis that has caused an outpouring of migrants from the country.

The socialist successor to Hugo Chavez won re-election to a second term last May, in a contest that was denounced as a sham by the United States, Canada and a dozen Latin American nations.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

On Thursday Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will be sworn in after his unconstitutional re-election. Much of the world considers his socialist regime a dictatorship – and a disastrous one: Venezuela is suffering the worst economic collapse in the world right now.

But is it also a dangerous one? Lately the U.S. and much of Latin America are calling Venezuela an erratic security threat. It's escalating tensions with its neighbors – and last month welcomed Russian bomber planes into the country.

To understand what's going on with Venezuela, WLRN’s Tim Padgett spoke with Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami international studies professor and an expert on South American security issues.

Martin Mejia / AP

Next week Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will be sworn in after a re-election much of the international community considered a sham. But a group of Latin American countries on Friday told Maduro they won’t recognize his new term in office.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

There is no end in sight to Venezuela’s humanitarian or political emergencies. One of the top Latin American diplomats trying to solve the crises is in Miami this week - and he sees no easy solutions on the horizon.

Five South American countries and Canada have asked the International Criminal Court, a Netherlands-based tribunal, to place Venezuela under investigation for crimes against humanity. This is the first time a country has been referred to the ICC for investigation by an outside state. Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Paraguay and Canada submitted their request on Wednesday to the court.

Under pressure at home and abroad, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday used one of the world’s most prominent podiums to accuse the United States and its allies of trying to assassinate him to end his “socialist revolution” and seize Venezuela’s vast oil and mineral wealth.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Maduro said Washington was scared of Venezuela’s autonomy and independence and determined to stop it all costs.

Ariana Cubillos / File AP Photo

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: Cilia Flores, the wife of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, was sanctioned Tuesday by the U.S. Treasury Department, in what it called a crack-down on Maduro’s “inner circle” of corruption.

Also named were Minister of Defense Padrino Lopez, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez.

via Miami Herald

First the chef known as Salt Bae riled Cuban Americans by dressing up in honor of the late dictator Fidel Castro.

Now Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, the man who became a meme by sprinkling salt over manhandled meat, has incensed the internet again, this time by hosting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as that country grapples with widespread food scarcity.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

Over the weekend the New York Times created hemispheric buzz. It reported that U.S. officials talked privately this past year with rebellious Venezuelan military officers. Those officers wanted U.S. help to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro.

Apparently nothing came of the talks; the Trump Administration declined to help the rogue militares. But the Times story was more evidence that President Trump is exploring unusually strong action to topple Maduro. At the White House last summer, he'd already displayed that impulse.

“We have many options for Venezuela," Trump said then, "including a possible military option if necessary…”

Venezuelan Government

Critics joke that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro blames the U.S. – especially his Venezuelan foes living in the U.S. – whenever he stubs his toe. And most of the world ignores his leftist scapegoating.

But this month the world is wondering, cautiously, if Maduro might have a case, at least when it comes to some Venezuelans residing here.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Oil-rich Venezuela has the world’s cheapest gasoline. But it’s also dealing with the world’s worst economic crisis. So desperately cash-strapped Venezuelans are about to pay a lot more at the pump.

Venezolana de Television via AP

COMMENTARY

It’s tempting to call last weekend’s failed drone attack on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro daring.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can ultimately call it is dumb – because assassination attempts are only going to make Maduro dig in, not give in.

When Maduro claimed last Saturday he’d been the target of exploding drones, the world was rightly skeptical. He and his socialist regime are shamelessly notorious for concocting assassination conspiracies to divert attention from their disastrous and dictatorial rule.

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abruptly cut short a televised speech and soldiers present broke ranks and scattered after hearing several explosions Saturday in what the government called an attempted attack on the socialist leader.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said in a live broadcast that several drone-like devices with explosives detonated near the Maduro.

He said Maduro is safe and unharmed but that seven people were injured. Firefighters near the scene are disputing the government's version of events.

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