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Archive for Venezuela

Newsline: Case Against Venezuela Embassy Protectors Ends in Mistrial in Washington

The case against activists who were arrested last April while they were staging a weeks-long protest at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C., ended in a mistrial after a hung jury. (https://www.democracynow.org/2020/2/17/headlines/case_against_venezuela_embassy_protectors_ends_in_mistrial) The four activists were staying at the embassy at the behest of the Venezuelan government to prevent its takeover by U.S.-backed supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Margaret Flowers, one of the embassy protectors, after the mistrial was declared, said: “We’re very happy with this verdict. Of course, we would have been happier with an acquittal. But, for today, we remain innocent, as we are. And we appreciate the tremendous amount of support that we’ve received from people here coming to the trial, as well as people around the world sending us messages of solidarity. La lucha continua.”

Newsline: Colombia rejects Venezuelan proposal to resume diplomatic relations

Colombia rejected a proposal to resume diplomatic relations with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government on Thursday, amid a dispute over a fugitive former Colombian congresswoman who was captured in Venezuela. Maduro abruptly cut diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia last February after Colombian President Ivan Duque helped Venezuelan opposition politicians deliver humanitarian aid to their crisis-stricken country. Colombia, like the majority of Western democracies, recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president. “We see little possibility to provide consular and other services in Venezuela, plainly and simply because of the constant aggressions doled out by the dictatorship against many countries that have rejected it,” Duque told journalists Thursday. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-venezuela/colombia-rejects-venezuelan-proposal-to-resume-diplomatic-relations-idUSKBN1ZT30R) Maduro proposed the resumption of consular relations between the countries on Wednesday, as Colombia seeks the extradition of former Colombian congresswoman Aida Merlano. Merlano was detained in January in Venezuela’s Zulia state, which borders Colombia, four months after she escaped custody in Venezuela.

Newsline: Guatemala’s new president cuts diplomatic ties with Venezuela

Guatemala’s new President Alejandro Giammattei cut diplomatic ties with the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday and ordered the closure of its embassy in Caracas. “We have instructed the foreign minister that the only person left in the embassy in Venezuela should return, and that we definitively end relations with the government of Venezuela,” Giammattei said. “We are going to close the embassy.” (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-guatemala-politics-venezuela/guatemalas-new-president-cuts-ties-with-venezuela-as-promised-idUSKBN1ZF2SB) The conservative Giammattei, who took office on Tuesday, had already indicated he would cut ties upon assuming power. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Rodriguez, in a response on Twitter, accused Giammattei of bowing down to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. “His government will surely become another bad joke,” Rodriguez wrote. “Our respect and affection for the people of Guatemala.”

Newsline: At 88, Venezuela’s would-be ambassador to Israel can’t wait to get to work

Rabbi Pynchas Brener’s business card says he’s the “Ambassador” of Venezuela to Israel, although Jerusalem and Caracas do not have diplomatic relations. In the upper left corner of his card one can see the official seal of Venezuela’s embassy in Israel — which doesn’t exist. How is that possible? It’s simple: Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido in August appointed Brener, a great-grandfather who served as the Latin American country’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi for nearly half a century, as his official envoy to Israel. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/at-88-venezuelas-would-be-ambassador-to-israel-cant-wait-to-get-to-work/) The US, Canada, Argentina and more than 50 other countries have recognized Guaido’s envoys as ambassadors. But Israel has opted to go after a European model because many of the countries in Europe have economic interests in Venezuela so they’re afraid to take a position until Guaido really takes power in Venezuela.

Newsline: Guaido Allies Leave Venezuela Embassy in Brazil After Stand-Off

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido left the country’s embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday evening, ending a nearly 13-hour stand-off with diplomats loyal to President Nicolas Maduro. Freddy Meregote, the embassy’s charge d’affaires representing Maduro’s government, said the “attack” from the “enemies of the revolution” in Venezuela was repelled.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-13/guaido-backers-enter-venezuela-embassy-in-brazil-in-bold-move) Guaido’s top representative in Brazil, Maria Teresa Alexandrian, said in a statement that the decision to stand down was taken for safety reasons. She added that talks with Brazil‘s government were under way with the aim of ensuring access the embassy as soon as possible. A representative from Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spent hours on site, speaking with both sides. It was not clear what was agreed that allowed Maduro diplomats to regain full control of the embassy.

Newsline: Brazil’s Bolsonaro vows order after Guaido backers enter Venezuelan embassy

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his government was working to avoid violence after supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido gained access to the country’s embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday. The move led to a standoff with backers of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and scuffles outside the embassy, creating a diplomatic embarrassment as the BRICS summit of major emerging economies kicked off in the Brazilian capital. Tensions at the embassy highlight the stark differences between Bolsonaro, who has recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, and Maduro’s Chinese and Russian allies, who are joining presidents from India and South Africa in Brasilia this week. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the embassy in Brasilia had been “invaded by force at dawn” and said on Twitter that Brazil should respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-brazil/guaido-backers-enter-venezuela-embassy-in-brasilia-sparking-standoff-idUSKBN1XN1SJ) Guaido’s envoy in Brazil, María Teresa Belandria Expósito, said in a statement that her personnel had gained access when a group of embassy workers opened the doors voluntarily. Bolsonaro repudiated “the interference of external actors” in a Twitter post about the incident, without specifying to whom he was referring. He gave assurances that public order would be maintained in accordance with the Vienna Convention. The right-wing Brazilian president’s security advisors said in a statement he had not “incentivized the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy.”

Newsline: Armed protesters force their way into Venezuela’s Embassy in Bolivia, diplomats flee

A group of masked men reportedly broke into Venezuela’s Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, forcing its staff to run for their lives. Venezuela’s ambassador in Bolivia claimed the attackers wanted to butcher those inside. “We are fine, but the embassy was taken. They want to massacre us,” Venezuela’s ambassador to Bolivia, Crisbeylee González, said in an audio message obtained by RT Spanish. “Please, I need you to report,” she added. (https://www.rt.com/news/473107-bolivia-embassy-venezuela-attack/0 The diplomat said the thugs who forced their way into the diplomatic compound were wearing hoodies and were armed with dynamite and shields, as cited by Agencia Boliviana de Información (ABI), Bolivia’s state news agency. The reported attack took place shortly after former Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation on Sunday. The socialist leader said he decided to step down so the protesters would stop the violent attacks on his allies among government officials and indigenous population, his core supporters.