BUENOS AIRES, June 16 -- A massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left Argentina and Uruguay without power, according to reports by local media.
According to Infobae, an Argentinian website, the country has been in the dark for more than an hour, and all trains are suspended. Electricity supplier company Edesur Argentina said in a tweet: "A massive failure in the electrical interconnection system left Argentina and Uruguay without power." "Never has anything like this happened before," Alejandra Martinez, a spokeperson for the company told Infobae. Local media in Argentina said the blackout ocurred at around 12:00 GMT (07:00 local time). Social media reports on the blackout were widespread. "Huge blackout in Argentina: the City, the Province of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe were left in the dark," a news agency posted on Twitter.
ST.PETERSBURG, June 7 -- Russia may increase the number of its military specialists in Venezuela if it sends such a request, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department, Alexander Shchetinin, told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"We have got contracts on maintenance works for what has been supplied to Venezuela. Any works demand a certain involvement of people," the diplomat said, noting: "If more [specialists] are needed, we will send them." "This is an absolutely technical issue related to implementing certain contracts on a particular volume of work," the diplomat said, noting that more specialists could arrive if needed. "Some of them will leave and the others will come." In late March, two planes with Russian servicemen arrived in Venezuela. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said that the military specialists, who are currently in Venezuela, are repairing the equipment under an agreement on military and technical cooperation between Moscow and Caracas.
CARACAS, June 5 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that people want to hold parliamentary election to renew the composition of the National Assembly, the country's unicameral parliament currently controlled by the opposition.
"We are ready to hold parliamentary elections. The country wants the composition of the National Assembly to be renewed," Maduro said at the session of Venezuela's defense council. He also called on supporters and all people of the Bolivarian Republic to "strengthen political stability in the country." "US imperialism tries to harm Venezuela from the inside and from the outside every day," Maduro said. On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28 the US imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.
Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salavador, Syria and Turkey.
WASHINGTON, May 26 -- The only thing that can be negotiated with the Venezuelan government is the departure of incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the US State Department said in a statement published on Saturday.
The US expressed hope that the upcoming talks between members of the Venezuelan opposition and government officials in Oslo will focus on this issue. "The United States supports the desire of the Venezuelan people to recover their democracy and bring the illegitimate Maduro regime to an end. Previous efforts to negotiate an end to the regime and free elections have failed because the regime has used them to divide the opposition and gain time," the statement says. "Free elections cannot be overseen by a tyrant. As we have repeatedly stated, we believe the only thing to negotiate with Nicolas Maduro is the conditions of his departure. We hope the talks in Oslo will focus on that objective, and if they do, we hope progress will be possible," the US State Department continued. The US also demanded to release "800 political prisoners the Maduro regime held as of May 20". "We join supporters of democracy in Venezuela throughout the world in condemning their illegal imprisonment by the Maduro regime and in demanding their immediate release," the statement concluded.
Situation in Venezuela
Juan Guaido Venezuelan opposition leader and speaker of the National Assembly, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital, Caracas, on January 23. On the same day, the United States recognized him as an interim president, and the countries of the Lima Group (excluding Mexico) and the Organization of American States followed suit. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted the move as an attempted coup and announced cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.
Most European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.
On April 30, a group of military representatives expressed support for Guaido, which started a wave of massive anti-government protests in the country. Five people died and hundreds were injured in clashed with law enforcement. Non-governmental organizations reported that nearly 340 protesters were detained.
warned on a tour of the region in April that “predatory” lending practices and other “malign or nefarious” behaviour by Beijing had injected “corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, giving life to corruption and eroding good governance”. As the Americans see it, Chinese companies are harming Latin America by investing mostly in the extraction and transportation of its precious raw materials. This, they say, has led to a greater dependence on commodities as opposed to US companies which focus on manufacturing and services. Many in Latin America share these concerns, but for others the difference between the long-standing American influence and the growing Chinese role is not so black and white. The Middle Kingdom may be seen as a 21st century coloniser, but it has also presented alternative investment options. The main problem, some argue, is that local governments across the continent have not been able to take full advantage. Latin America has for centuries grappled with different forms of foreign influence. The grievances and wounds created by hundreds of years of Spanish and Portuguese rule are today still present in the collective psyche, despite formal foreign control ending more than a century ago. The US then quickly became the hegemonic power, but its strategic control has been hard to sustain over the past two decades, partly because of China, whose growing economy has driven up demand for commodities. Trade between China and Latin America has surged, from US$12 billion in 2000 to almost US$306 billion last year, and China has become a major investor. The value of its loans – mostly for energy and infrastructure projects – has surpassed financing from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank. But America and international financial institutions say transparency is lacking and the recipients of these loans face growing debt traps. Others bristle at what they see as attempts by China to leverage its newfound economic power for geopolitical gain. In recent years several nations, including Panama and the Dominican Republic, have severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which Beijing views as a renegade province.
The importance of the region was acknowledged last year when Beijing invited Latin American and Caribbean countries to join its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative – a global trade strategy that aims to expand economic links through ports, roads, airports, pipelines and other infrastructure projects. China’s foothold can also be seen on the streets of cities across the region. In Ecuador, a country of more than 16 million which some say has been a laboratory for Sino-Latin American investment, Chinese characters can be found sewn into the white covers on seat headrests inside new long-distance buses. In the capital, Quito, Chinese-made CCTV cameras are perched on street corners and inside buildings. The devices have been installed across the country since 2011, when Ecuador introduced a monitoring system to public spaces that includes facial recognition technology. According to the local authorities, the system has proved a powerful tool in combating crime, but experts suggest the images captured have also been used for surveillance and intelligence gathering. The adoption of Chinese technology elsewhere on the continent has given rise to similar human rights concerns:
Despite many of these projects having been met with opposition from locals, Chinese interest in the region shows no sign of slowing. “We have found most projects in Latin America have faced a local backlash because of environmental concerns about pollution and harm to residents and livelihoods,” Argentinian scholar Ariel Armony and Mexico-based researcher Enrique Dussel Peters wrote in an essay published last year. The pair, along with Shoujun Cui – director of the Research Centre for Latin American Studies at Beijing’s Renmin University – produced the book Building Development for a New Era: China’s Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“For example, there have been concerns about the environmental impact of Sinopec’s oil refineries in Moín, Costa Rica. The national secretary of the environment objected to the first evaluation for serious omissions,” Armony and Peters wrote, referring to China’s state-owned oil and gas enterprise. “The beginning of construction for the Condor Cliff and La Barrancosa hydroelectric dams in Santa Cruz, Argentina, without an environmental impact assessment, led to the Argentine Supreme Court ordering the suspension of the projects.”
CARACAS, May 24 -- The Venezuelan opposition did not hold direct talks with representatives of the President Nicolas Maduro's government in Norway, opposition leader Juan Guaido.
"The regime used the word 'dialogue' to sow confusion, to win some time," Guaido told VPItv. "I have already said that we will not take part in fake dialogues," he added. The opposition leader expressed concern over "the humanitarian crisis" in Venezuela and noted that the opposition will organize the work of "committees of assistance and freedom." Venezuelan National Assembly member Stalin Gonzalez earlier said that there were no direct contacts between representatives of the government and the opposition at talks in Oslo. Gonzalez noted that Norwegians held separate meetings with representatives of the Venezuelan government and the country's opposition, and no agreements were reached at the talks.
On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28 the US imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company. Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey. Belarus and China called for resolving all issues by peaceful means and spoke against any interference from the outside. The UN secretary general called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
CARACAS, May 21 -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has proposed to the opposition controlling the country's National Assembly to hold snap parliamentary elections in order to resolve the political crisis in the Bolivarian Republic.
"Today I am making a proposal to the opposition — let's try to compete in elections," Maduro said at a demonstration broadcast by Venezolana de Television. "Let's hold an early election to the National Assembly, in order to see whom the people support," he added. Snap elections would represent "a democratic, peaceful and constitutional solution" to the difficult political situation in the country, Maduro noted. Next scheduled parliamentary elections will be held in Venezuela in 2020. On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28 the US imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.
Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey. Belarus and China called for resolving all issues by peaceful means and spoke against any interference from the outside. The UN secretary general called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
BRUSSELS, MAY 18 -- European Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday dropped Aruba, Barbados and Bermuda from its tax-haven blacklist.
The list, now down to 12 countries and territories, was established in December 2017 following a series of scandals, including Panama Papers and LuxLeaks, that prompted the EU to step up its action against tax fraud by multinationals and wealthy individuals. It aims to prevent tax evasion and promote fiscal transparency, fiscal equity and international standards against tax-base erosion and profit transfers.The Finance Ministers noted that Barbados had committed to address the EU’s concerns by replacing its “harmful” preferential regimes with a measure of like effect, while Aruba and Bermuda had now fulfilled their commitments, the finance ministers noted.
Barbados and Bermuda have been shifted to the grey list of countries that have made enough commitments, while Aruba has been completely removed from both black and grey lists. The remaining 12 names on the blacklist are: American Samoa, Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, U.S. Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.
CARACAS, May 7 -- The Venezuelan authorities are investigating the deaths of five people in anti-government demonstrations on April 30, Prosecutor General Tarek Willian Saab said on Tuesday.
"A total of 233 people were detained, five people died. All these cases are being investigated by the prosecutor's office," Saab told Venevision TV channel. The prosecutor's office has already requested orders for arresting 18 "military and civilians who conspired" to overthrow the government, he said adding that 17 searches have been carried out as well. On April 30 a military group sided with the Venezuelan opposition, which led to massive anti-government protests in the country. Dozens of people were injured in clashes with security forces.
CARACAS, May 6 -- The current situation in Venezuela reflects a new round of struggle for control over that country’s resources and wealth, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told reporters at a news conference in Moscow on Monday.
"We are witnessing the historic struggle for control over our country’s wealth, control over incomes from the oil industry, for potential incomes from natural resources and energy resources, which Venezuela has," he stressed, commenting on US-backed pressure exerted on his country. Venezuela’s top diplomat noted that "the Venezuelan people came to power as a result of the Bolivarian Revolution (a social and political movement founded after Hugo Chavez was elected the President of Venezuela). "What we have seen over the past twenty years are various chapters of the fight for control over Venezuela’s oil potential," he stressed.