Newscast Media CARACAS—It’s a new time in Venezuela. On Sunday, the clocks in the South American country were brought forward to save electricity. The switch to daylight saving time could be a harbinger of political change.
Over the past several days, more than 1.5 million Venezuelans have signed a petition for a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro. Thanks to his mother – who smuggled the petition into the prison where he has been held since 2014 – opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was also able to sign it.
“I’m full of hope,” Lopez has written about the petition. “The signs suggest that change is on the way.”
The response to the petition has emboldened the opposition, which also won parliamentary elections in December 2015. This week, the lists of signatures are scheduled to be put before the national electoral council for inspection. If the council decides that they are sufficient, a referendum can be held to vote Maduro out of office.
The clock is ticking for the Bolivarian Revolution announced by Maduro’s more charismatic presidential predecessor, the now-deceased Hugo Chavez, after his election in 1998. Seventeen and a half years on, Venezuela – the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world – is economically and politically on the brink.
Both Chavez and Maduro believe outside influences are behind the sabotage of Venezuela’s financial system, in an effort to hijack the country’s oil, just like what happened in the Middle East.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media CARACAS—The US has expelled Venezuela’s charge d’affaires and two other diplomats. The move comes in reprisal for the expulsion of Kelly Keiderling, the top US diplomat in Venezuela, from Caracas.
Venezuelan officials called the move unjustified, saying the diplomats in Washington had not met with people opposed to President Barack Obama in order to undermine their host country, as it accused the US officials of having done.
According to Venezuela, the US diplomats, including Charge d’Affaires Kelly Keiderling, met with the country’s “far right” – the government’s term for the opposition – to finance President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents and encourage actions to sabotage the power system and the economy.
Venezuelan President Maduro began his term in April, after winning an election following the death of his mentor Hugo Chavez, and has continued the anti-US populism that had served the revolutionary-cum-head of state so well during his 14 years in power before succumbing to cancer.
Relations appeared to have eased in June, when the two countries agreed to begin discussions aimed at returning ambassadors to Caracas and Washington after talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Elias Jaua. However, Venezuela broke off the rapprochement in July after the diplomat Samantha Power, now the US ambassador to the United Nations, lumped the country in with other
“While the government of the United States does not understand that it has to respect our country’s sovereignty there will be simply be no cordial relations nor cordial communication,” Maduro said Tuesday in Caracas. “The day that the government of President Obama rectifies the situation, we will establish new points of contact to discuss common issues,” Maduro added.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media CARACAS—Venezuela has stepped up security and closed its borders ahead of Sunday’s presidential election after acting President Nicolas Maduro said a murder plot against him had been foiled. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said “strict control” of movements is in effect along land border with Colombia and Brazil, and that the restriction would last until Monday night, one day after the election has been held.
The measures were imposed after intelligence services found “elements that generate violence who hope to use our territory’s border to create a climate of destabilization,” said Reverol. This comes as Maduro revealed last week that Salvadoran hitmen had entered Venezuela as part of an assassination plot against him backed by two former US officials and El Salvador’s right-wing group.
After the announcement, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes ordered an inquiry into whether right-wing lawmaker Roberto D’Aubuisson had partaken in the failed assassination plot. In addition, Reverol reported that on the Election Day some 125,000 security forces would operate under a “special security and patrol plan” at more than 13,600 polling stations.
Maduro said on April 5 that authorities had arrested 17 people, including the employees of the state-run National Electricity Corporation, while in the process of sabotaging the power system to create blackouts. He continued by saying that the opposition has planned to shut down the national power in order to disrupt the election
Maduro and Capriles began their presidential election campaigns on April 2 to replace deceased Hugo Chavez. Maduro, 50, became Venezuela’s acting president on March 8, following the death of socialist leader Chavez, who passed away three days earlier after battling with cancer for two years.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, a darling of the US corporate media, lost the presidential election to Chavez in October 2012.
Newscast Media TEHRAN— President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will take off to Caracas on Thursday for the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Iranian state television reported.
Ahmadinejad “will shortly leave Tehran for Venezuela to attend the funeral” of Chavez, the broadcaster announced in the early afternoon.
Friday’s funeral of the leftist Latin American president will be attended by several heads of state from Latin America and around the world.
On Thursday, mourners filed past his open casket as he lay in state in the capital. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday paid tribute to his close ally for “serving the people of Venezuela and defending human and revolutionary values.”
“Venezuela lost its brave, strong son and the world lost a wise and revolutionary leader,” he added.
Tehran also decreed a day of national mourning on Wednesday.
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While some could not wait for the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to occur, Chavez’s family, friends and countrymen have been grieving his untimely death since the announcement was made. According to Russian media outlet Ria Novosti, Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the many world leaders who praised the legacy of Chavez.
“He was an unorthodox and strong person, who looked to the future and always set himself the highest standards,” Putin said in a Kremlin message of condolence after Chavez’s death on Tuesday following a prolonged battle with cancer.
Putin added he was confident the Venezuelan people would be able to overcome what he called the “test” presented by Chavez’s death and continue to build a “strong, independent and prosperous” nation.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Chavez had devoted his life to the battle for “justice and equality.”
“We share the pain of your loss—we will always remember this wonderful person, patriot and citizen,” he said in a message of condolence to the Venezulean people. In the former Soviet republic of Belarus, strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko declared a three-day mourning period in connection with Chavez’s death.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Venezuela had lost a “brave, wise and revolutionary leader.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said simply he was “conveying condolences” to Chavez’s “family and the people of Venezuela.”
In Cuba, the government said in a statement that Chavez had “stood by Fidel [Castro] like a true son.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said: “This death should fill all Latin and Central Americans with sadness,” adding “Hugo Chavez was without doubt a leader committed to his country and to the development of the people of Latin America.”
She described Chavez as “a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all a friend of Brazil,” Ria Novosti reported.
Newscast Media CARACAS—The Venezuela Supreme Court has ruled that Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez doesn’t have to attend the inauguration ceremony and can suspend it indefinitely, as he recovers from cancer.
Chavismo opponents argued that the president had lost legitimacy because of his inability to govern the country. However, the seven-member court rejected the argument in a ruling that said, “The oath-taking of the re-elected president can be carried out at a time after January 10 before the Supreme Court, if it is not done on the said day before the National Assembly,” the ruling said.
On Tuesday, Chavez’s deputy and appointed successor told parliament that the president would not be sworn in for a fourth term as planned Thursday, but would take the oath at a later date in the Supreme Court.
Court president Louisa Estella Morales said while reading the ruling that “we know and accept that the swearing-in of the head of state is necessary and will be carried out, but for the moment we do not know when, or where, or how it will be done.”
Morales also rejected opposition calls for a medical team to assess Chavez’s health, saying “there were no merits to convening a medical board at this time.”
Meanwhile, the government is planning a rally outside the presidential Miraflores Palace in Caracas in support of Chavez.
So far, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Uruagayan President Jose Mujica, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and the Foreign Ministers Hector Timerman of Argentina and Ricardo Patino of Ecuador have confirmed that they will attend the rally.
Newscast Media CARACAS, Venezuela — Following his return from Cuba where he underwent surgery for cancer, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez addressed thousands of supporters on a Monday. Venezuelans celebrated independence from Spanish rule Tuesday, but Chavez did not attend the celebrations because his
doctors advise him against exposing himself to three hours of the hot sun.
An emotional crowd turned out to the presidential palace in Caracas, singing their national anthem throughout, expressing joy and relief that the president was back home.
Chavez, 56, addressed the large crowd waving the Venezuelan flag saying, “To my beloved people, to my beloved soldiers, to my beloved country: Here I am recuperated, but still in recovery,” he said in the brief statement.
“We are no longer a colony of any empire and we never will be again, thanks to God, the people, and our soldiers,” Chavez said.
“Long live Venezuela! Long live the Venezuelan people! Long live life! And of Latin America! Long live Fidel [Castro]! Long live Cuba! Long live life! And long live Chavez!”
The President had been in Cuba since 8 July where he underwent emergency surgery for the removal of a cancerous growth, although his government at first tried to play down the seriousness of his illness.
Chavez’s sudden unexpected arrival Monday appeared to be his attempt to put any speculation to rest.
Chavez has been elected three times since 1999 and survived an aborted coup by the military in 2002. He has already announced his intention to run for another term in 2012.
Newscast Media — The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has said he will not allow the newly-nominated US envoy to take up his post in Caracas, following comments over Venezuela’s alleged links with Columbia rebels. He said Barack Obama, the US president, should “look for another candidate” to replace Larry Palmer, whose nomination as ambassador to Venezuela is pending confirmation by the senate.
On Sunday, in his weekly Alo Presidente radio and television show, Chavez said, “How can you think I’d accept this gentleman coming here? You’d best withdraw him, Obama. Don’t insist, I’m asking you.”
Palmer last month voiced concern about Cuba’s growing influence in the Venezuelan military, which, according to him was “considerably low” in morale and professionalism. In written answers during a confirmation hearing, Palmer also said there were “clear ties” between leftist Colombian rebels and Chavez’s government.
“Palmer disqualified himself by breaking all the rules of diplomacy. He messed with all of us. He can’t come here as ambassador,” Chavez said. “The best thing the United States government can do is to look for another candidate for ambassador to Venezuela.” http://newscastmedia.com/hugo-chavez.htm