U.S.-Venezuela relations

ARIANA CUBILLOS / AP via the Miami Herald

The United States on Sunday accused Venezuelan authorities of torturing a Venezuelan Navy officer to death, saying the act of “barbarism must stir us into action.”

In a statement, the State Department said Navy Officer Rafael Acosta Arévalo died while in the custody of Nicolás Maduro’s “thugs and their Cuban advisers.”

The Trump administration is slapping economic sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's son in its latest effort to unseat the South American country's socialist regime.

Nicolás Maduro Guerra heads the Corps of the Special Inspectors of the Presidency and is a member of the pro-government National Constituent Assembly.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

Maria Diaz was confident that Saturday would mark a major step toward the collapse of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

As she walked out of a community forum in Weston on Venezuela’s political turmoil early in the afternoon, Diaz—who’s Venezuelan—learned the opposition had successfully sent some humanitarian aid shipments into the country. Carlos Vecchio, the opposition’s ambassador to the U.S., was also at the event and cheered with hundreds of attendees upon hearing the news. He said pressure on Maduro would only intensify.

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.

Tim Padgett / WLRN News

Venezuelan protesters gathered across South Florida Wednesday demanding the resignation of the current leader Nicolas Maduro - and hailing National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó's declaration that he is the country's legitimate president. They were joining protests in Venezuela and around the world demanding that Maduro stepsdown on the 61st anniversary of an uprising that overthrew dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958. 

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president amid nationwide protests Wednesday, in a bid to seize power from sitting leader Nicolás Maduro.

The U.S. swiftly proclaimed its support for Guaidó. Maduro responded by announcing a break in diplomatic relations with Washington.

Getty Images via Miami Herald

Raising his right hand before a cheering crowd of supporters, Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of the country, called for new elections and put himself on a collision course with Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s embattled but still powerful leader.

Guaidó, the 35-year-old president of the National Assembly, said it was his constitutional duty to take the reins of the troubled country and said he knew his act of defiance “would have consequences.”

Sam Turken / WLRN

South Florida Democrats said Monday the U.S. must increase pressure on the Venezuelan government to end a devastating humanitarian crisis that has forced millions of people to flee the country.

Rampant inflation and corruption has left Venezuela with dire shortages of food, water, medical supplies and electricity. During a roundtable discussion with Venezuelan community activists in Sunrise, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the U.S. has given the crisis limited attention.

Joshua Holt, a Utah native held in Venezuelan jail for nearly two years, returned to U.S. soil on Saturday, and was welcomed by President Trump.

In 2016, the 26-year-old set out for Venezuela to marry his fiancée Thamara Candelo, but ended up in the El Helicoide prison without trial, after police claimed to have found weapons in the couple's apartment.

As NPR reported last year:

Associated Press

President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday expelled the top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela and his deputy for allegedly conspiring against his government and trying to sabotage the country's recent presidential election.

"The empire doesn't dominate us here," Maduro said in a televised address, giving charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy Brian Naranjo 48 hours to leave the country. "We've had enough of your conspiring."

Venezuelan leftist President Nicolás Maduro has easily won a second term, but his main rivals have refused to accept the results, calling the polling fraudulent — a view shared by the United States and many independent observers.

Venezuela's National Election Council, run by Maduro loyalists, said that with nearly 93 percent of polling stations reporting by Sunday, Maduro had won almost 68 percent of the vote, beating his nearest challenger, Henri Falcon, by almost 40 points.

Danny Hwang

South Florida’s Venezuelan community honored Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday, April 13 - recognized in Miami-Dade County and other South Florida municipalities as the Day of the Venezuelan Exile -  by awarding him with the “Rómulo Betancourt Proclamation.”

The award is named after a former Venezuelan president considered “the father of Venezuelan democracy” and is given by the Venezuelan Organization of Politically Persecuted in Exile (VEPPEX).   

Sen. Nelson condemned Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for making Venezuelans suffer.

State Department

For the first time in more than 18 months, Venezuelans trying to go to the United States for business or pleasure can apply for a visa in Venezuela.

In a statement on its website, the U.S. embassy in Caracas said it will begin accepting applications for B-1 and B-2 visas — used for temporary business and tourism travel — starting Jan. 17.

This Venezuelan Mogul Met Pence. Is He Trying To Broker An Exit Strategy For Maduro?

Dec 21, 2017
Courtesy

A Venezuelan millionaire declared persona non grata by the City of Miami for his alleged ties to the Maduro regime is trying to broker an exit strategy with the Trump administration for his beleaguered government, according to various Washington sources.

Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press

“The year 2015 has seen more firsts than in 50 years,” says Tom Hudson, WLRN’s Florida Roundup host.

 

He spoke with WLRN’s Tim Padgett and Fusion’s Latin America editor Tim Rogers to discuss the pathway to normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, the migrant crisis in Central America and Venezuela’s crumbling economy.

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