Venezuela

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump said his administration is considering granting Temporary Protected Status to thousands of Venezuelans who have fled to the United States amid ongoing unrest.

The once-wealthy oil nation is now facing severe shortages of basic goods and hyperinflation. Trump said the situation in Venezuela is a horrible thing that’s “been brewing for a long time.”

Temporary Protected Status is granted to people from countries ravaged by natural disasters or war and lets them remain in the U.S. until the situation improves back home.

At a soup kitchen in the western Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, hungry and bedraggled men, women and children line up for free lunch. But it's meager fare: They each get a bottle of milk and a few scoops of rice mixed with eggs and vegetables.

Just a few years ago, the lunch program, which is run by the Catholic Church, provided full meals with meat and chicken, as well as fruit juice and even dessert. But amid a deep economic depression and an outbreak of looting in the city, dozens of Maracaibo businesses that used to donate food have closed down.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

Last week President Trump dealt another blow to the U.S. policy of engagement with communist Cuba. He banned U.S. people-to-people travel to Cuba – and also cruise line travel, which last year carried an estimated 800,000 passengers to the island. It was just the latest rollback of the normalization of relations that Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, began five years ago. And it raises the question: Does U.S. engagement with Cuba have a future anymore?

DIEU NALIO CHERY / Associated Press

Thousands of angry Haitians marched in protest in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, decrying corruption and stepping up calls for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse, who has been implicated in two government audits on the misuse of billions of dollars in Venezuelan aid meant to help the country’s poor.

Crowds of Venezuelans lined up at two international bridges leading to Colombia on Saturday, as the border between the countries opened for the first time in four months.

Thousands of people crossed over, seeking food, medicine and basic supplies. For months, Venezuelans have been dealing with power outages, hyperinflation and increased violence due to the deepening political and economic crises in the country.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

The desperate exodus from Venezuela hit another startling milestone on Friday. But that’s not the only disturbing news from the crisis-wracked South American country.

John Pardo / Courtesy

For Coconut Grove resident John Pardo, "cooking is the ultimate expression of love." That's been true his entire life -- even when he was shot in the back in his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela, causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down.

HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP/GETTY IMAGES via Miami Herald

Months prior to Haiti’s deeply flawed October 2016 presidential vote, the man who would become president, Jovenel Moïse, received millions of dollars for questionable road rehabilitation projects that a panel of Haitian government auditors say were part of embezzlement schemes that defrauded the country’s poor out of billions of dollars in Venezuelan aid meant to improve their lives.

Gerard Albert / WLRN News

In the 38th minute of Saturday night’s friendly match, Venezuela’s Roberto Rosales sailed the ball to the left and past Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.

The stadium erupted.

Fans with Venezuelan flags draped across their backs and wearing la Vinotinto -as the national team is known- jerseys outnumbered the yellow Ecuadorian shirts. They stood and cheered, hugged one another and started a wave. And for a few hours, some Venezuelans in South Florida were able to get their minds off the economic and political turmoil back home.

Juan Guaidó's war room is a kind of no man's land.

The opposition leader, who is recognized by dozens of countries as Venezuela's rightful head of state, works out of a mostly vacant office in a Caracas high-rise with a couple of sofas, broken swivel chairs and carpet that could use a cleaning.

Guaidó has spent the past five months moving among safe houses and borrowed office space to keep government security agents, who have arrested dozens of opposition leaders, off balance. No one bothers to fix things up because his team may be moving on soon.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime is still in power. But that hasn’t stopped the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó from conducting a parallel government.

Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate president this year, and the U.S. and more than 50 other countries recognize him.

Tuesday night his ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Vecchio, visited Doral to talk with Venezuelan expats about a new website where they can register for consular services Guaidó hopes to offer them, such as new Venezuelan passports.

Ana Maria Otero / AP

Earlier this year the U.S. all but cut off oil imports from Venezuela to put more pressure on the country’s authoritarian regime. Now another major importer looks like it’s turning its back on Venezuela.

Jose A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

When we talk about security in the Americas these days, Venezuela dominates the conversation. That was the case Wednesday at Florida International University – where the top U.S. military official here addressed the debate over U.S. intervention in the Venezuela crisis.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Last week representatives of Venezuela's socialist regime and its political opposition met for talks in Oslo, Norway. Norway had offered earlier this year to mediate between the two sides – but news of the meetings was a surprise, because less than a month ago opposition leader Juan Guaidó called (unsuccessfully) for an outright military overthrow of authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro.

Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving Venezuela’s crisis accelerated on Thursday as the government and opposition sent envoys to negotiate in Norway, though the two sides’ mutual mistrust and differences on key issues could prevent any quick solution.

The envoys’ trip appeared to be primarily a mediation attempt by Norway aimed at reducing tensions that exploded into street violence when the opposition called in vain for a military uprising on April 30.

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