August 26, 2019
Latest News

Venezuelan opposition lawmakers brave security gauntlet to hold session

Caracas, May 15 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly reconvened Wednesday after being kept out of the Federal Legislative Palace the previous day amid a security lockdown in response to a purported bomb threat.

EFE watched lawmakers endure lengthy delays to enter the palace as National Guard troops subjected their credentials to painstaking review.

A quorum of 87 members was eventually achieved and the session got under way.

But security forces barred the media from the chamber, including a crew from online channel Capitolio TV, which usually provides a live feed of legislative proceedings.

Assembly members decided to use social media to disseminate cell-phone video of the session.

Authorities have offered no further information on the bomb threat that disrupted Tuesday's session and the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) - a rival legislative body dominated by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro - was able to meet in the Federal Palace without incident later the same day.

National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself interim president of oil-rich Venezuela, said Wednesday that authorities have yet to provide any evidence that the bomb threat was real and he accused the security forces of having commandeered the chamber.

Guaido said the government has persecuted 96 of the National Assembly's 112 opposition members.

Since the start of May, 14 National Assembly members have had their immunity from prosecution revoked by the ANC after the Supreme Court said the lawmakers should face charges for their part in Guaido's April 30 attempt to rally the armed forces behind a bid to oust Maduro.

The Supreme Court effectively sidelined the National Assembly in 2016 after the body defied the judges by seating three members who authorities said won their seats through electoral fraud.

Created in 2017 with a mandate to draft a new constitution, the ANC has claimed for itself the powers previously exercised by the National Assembly.

Jose Prat rose during Wednesday's National Assembly session to criticize the Maduro government for holding two other members, including deputy speaker Edgar Zambrano, incommunicado.

"Nothing is known of their condition, nor where they are, nor what kind of treatment they have been subjected to," Prat said of his colleagues, who are among the 14 legislators accused of sedition.

Guaido, who proclaimed himself acting president on Jan. 23, denouncing Maduro's May 2018 re-election as illegitimate, went on April 30 to an airbase in Caracas to issue a call for the military to abandon the current government.

The United States is one of the upwards of 50 nations who have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim head of state. More than 120 other countries - including Russia, China, India and Japan - continue to acknowledge Maduro as president.

In a related development on Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security announced the "immediate suspension" of commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela.

"Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan determined that conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew," the department said in a statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assented to the suspension of flights based on McAleenan's finding, while implementation of the measure is in the hands of the Department of Transportation.

"This determination is based on the ongoing political instability and increased tensions in Venezuela and associated inadvertent risk to flight operations," according to the statement from Homeland Security.

The suspension will remain in effect until US officials deem that conditions in Venezuela have changed sufficiently to accommodate the resumption of flights, Homeland Security said.

American Airlines, the last major US carrier providing scheduled service to and from Venezuela, suspended flights indefinitely on March 28.

Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with the US in January, after Washington recognized Guaido.

The US imposed sanctions on Venezuela in 2015, when Barack Obama was president, but Donald Trump sharply escalated the measures after taking office in January 2017.

Guaido, who has repeatedly called on the Venezuelan armed forces to rise up against Maduro, said last weekend that he had instructed his envoy in Washington to formally ask the US military for "cooperation" in toppling the incumbent president.

The Trump administration says that "all options are on the table" in the standoff with the Maduro government.

EFE

rgc/dr

News history
Hong Kong police officer fires warning shot amid demonstrations

Hong Kong, Aug 26 (efe-epa).- Six Hong Kong police officers drew firearms and one fired a warning shot for the first time since the demonstrations began 12...

Morales invites G7 to Bolivia to fulfill Amazon fire aid promises

La Paz, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The president of Bolivia invited G7 leaders on Sunday to visit his country to implement their commitment to fight the fires...

Pope calls for commitment to save Amazon

Sao Paulo, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- Amazonas on Sunday became the seventh state in Brazil to request assistance from the armed forces in fighting the fires...

US, Japan finalize talks on new trade pact

Biarritz, France, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The United States and Japan finalized negotiations on a new trade agreement that will enable Washington to increase its...

Morales accepts int'l help to put out wildfires in Bolivia

La Paz, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- Bolivian President Evo Morales said Sunday that any international help to put out the wildfires in the country's eastern...

Hezbollah threatens to down Israeli drones in Lebanon's airspace

Beirut, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The leader of Hezbollah on Sunday warned that the Lebanese Shiite group will not allow Israel to fly drones in the Lebanese...

Macao elects Beijing-backed politician as new leader

Macao, China, Aug. 25 (efe-epa).- The Chinese territory of Macao on Sunday elected Ho Iat Seng, the lone approved candidate, as its new leader for the next...

Two years since exodus, Rohingyas embrace hardships for safety in Bangladesh

By Azad Majumder

Hong Kong police deploy water cannons at protests

By Shirley Lau

Brazil mobilizes military to fight Amazon fires as global criticism mounts

Brasilia, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- Brazil on Saturday began deploying thousands of army personnel to battle widespread fires that have been raging in the Amazon...

North Korea says Kim supervised ‘super-large multiple rocket launcher' test

Seoul, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- North Korea on Sunday said its leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test of a “super-large multiple rocket launcher” a day earlier.

Sudan’s al-Bashir re-appears in court over corruption charges

Khartoum, Aug 24 (efe-epa).-Sudanese former president Omar al-Bashir appeared once again on Saturday in court facing corruption and illegal possession of...

By Nacho Temiño

Trump adopts conciliatory tone at G7 after escalating trade war with China

By Rafael Cañas

China accuses US of sponsoring Honk Kong protests

Hong Kong, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- Tensions surged in Hong Kong on Saturday afternoon as a sea of tens of thousands of pro-democracy activists took to the...

Rohingyas should not return to Myanmar as of now, says expert

By Carlos Sardiña Galache

Lives and limbs shattered, Rohingya amputees get new lease of life

By Azad Majumder,

China releases detained Hong Kong British consulate worker

Shanghai, China, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- The employee of the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, who was arrested in mainland China a fortnight ago, was...

North Korea fires missiles in its 7th weapons test in a month

Seoul, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- North Korea on Saturday launched two projectiles off its east coast that appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles in its...

Brazilian protesters: "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon"

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The chant "Burn Bolsonaro, Not the Amazon," rang out Friday in at least a dozen Brazilian cities as thousands poured into...

G7 summit throws wet blanket on tourist season in Biarritz

Enrique Rubio

Ex-Democratic lawmaker predicts young Latinos will unseat Trump

Chicago, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- Former Democratic lawmaker Luis Gutierrez predicts that a peaceful revolution of young Hispanic voters, supported by other...

Brazil must abide by EU-Mercosur deal's climate commitments, ambassador says

By Isadora Camargo

Restrictions upped in Indian Kashmir as separatist call for protests

By Shah Abbas,

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.