15 Stories

Cops Haul Off Anti-Government Caracas Mayor

Venezuela tensions soar after Ledezma arrest

(Newser) - Police broke into Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma's office yesterday and carted off the longtime critic of Venezuela's socialist government, adding to tensions on the anniversary of the outbreak of protests that paralyzed the nation a year ago. President Nicolas Maduro took to television and radio to say that... More »

'World's Tallest Slum' Evicted

45-story Venezuelan tower housed thousands of squatters

(Newser) - The beginning of the end came for the world's tallest slum yesterday as officials began evicting thousands of squatters from a haphazard community inside a half-built skyscraper in Caracas known as the Tower of David. Soldiers and riot police stood by as dozens of residents boarded buses for their... More »

Maduro Cries Coup as Venezuela Toll Hits 13

Maduro accuses opposition of plotting with US to oust him

(Newser) - Protesters trying to force out Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have blocked main roads in Caracas with burning barricades to try and ban access to the capital, reports the BBC . At least 13 people have now been killed in the wave of opposition protests, and hardline demonstrators in the capital and... More »

US Embassy Worker Shot at Strip Club Didn't Realize It

Discovered injury after arriving home; 2nd worker also shot in Caracas

(Newser) - Two US embassy officials in Venezuela have received non-life-threatening injuries—but possibly some damage to their careers—after being shot at a strip club in Caracas early yesterday. The men were shot during a brawl that broke out at the club in an upscale part of the capital around 4:... More »

Hugo Chavez: I'd Vote for Obama

And Obama would vote for me, says Venezuelan president

(Newser) - Here's something Mitt Romney can probably use: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says if he were an American, he'd vote for Barack Obama, whom he describes as a "good guy," reports the Telegraph . And if Obama were Venezuelan, "I think he'd vote for Chavez,"... More »

Chavez Cronies Hit Vatican HQ With Tear Gas

Supporters also attack opponents of lifting term limits for leader

(Newser) - Supporters of Hugo Chavez have claimed responsibility for a tear gas attack on the Vatican's headquarters in Caracas, reports CNN. Three canisters landed deep inside the building, which has been sheltering an anti-Chavez student leader wanted by police since June. Several people were overcome by fumes. Gas attacks elsewhere in... More »

Chávez Welcomes Russian Navy

Medvedev makes first visit to Caracas

(Newser) - Russian warships arrived in Venezuela today, a show of strength aimed at the US as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America. Venezuelan sailors fired off cannons in a 21-gun salute as the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko docked in La Guaira, near Caracas. Russian sailors dressed in black-and-white uniforms... More »

Opposition Scores Key Gains in Venezuela Election

But president's backers retain majority of power

(Newser) - President Hugo Chávez’s supporters held onto a strong majority in yesterday’s local elections in Venezuela, but the opposition party won a number of key victories, the AP reports. Chávez backers won 17 of 22 gubernatorial seats, while the opposition took the mayor’s office in Caracas... More »

Chavez Boots US Envoy: 'Go to Hell, Yankees!'

Threatens to cut oil shipments

(Newser) - In a dramatic move in support of Bolivia, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez yesterday slashed diplomatic ties with the US, booting the American ambassador and calling home his envoy from Washington, reports Reuters. The socialist leader has also threatened to stop all oil shipments to the US—Venezuela’s largest customer—... More »

Former London Mayor Will Advise Chávez

'Red Ken' seals urban planning deal nixed by his successor

(Newser) - Ken Livingstone, London's mayor from 2000 until his election defeat this May, has found a new job: consultant to Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. "Red Ken," who has long been a supporter of the socialist president, will advise pro-government mayors on urban planning, reports the BBC. Last year... More »

Portugal PM Gets Heat for Smoking on Plane

Was he just blowing smoke when he backed Portugal's cigarette ban?

(Newser) - Portugal banned smoking in public places five months ago but the country's prime minister appears to have forgotten the rule his own government enacted. Jose Socrates—known to be a smoker in private—stunned passengers and triggered an uproar when he blithely lit up in the first-class cabin of a... More »

Ecuador Wants Apology on FARC; US Backs Bogota

Bush to Colombia: We're with you

(Newser) - Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, is in Brazil today, pushing for an apology from Colombia for its incursion into Ecuador to attack FARC guerrillas Saturday. While most Latin American nations, including Brazil, have condemned the cross-border attack, the White House yesterday unequivocally backed Colombia in the rapidly escalating crisis. Correa heads... More »

Chavez Foes Stage Mass Rally

Thousands take to the streets ahead of Sunday's vote

(Newser) - Tens of thousands took to the streets in Caracas today to protest Hugo Chavez's proposal to bolster his power and institute socialist changes. Venezuelans will vote Sunday on 69 constitutional reforms, including the eradication of presidential term limits. "We can't be a communist Venezuela," one opposition leader told... More »

Bush Hooked On FON-iks at UN

UN speech draft included phonetic pronunciations

(Newser) - A draft of President Bush's speech to the United Nations included phonetic spellings to help him pronounce difficult names like sar-KOzee, according to a copy of the speech accidentally posted for a time on the UN website. It was up long enough for reporters to see it, much to the... More »

Urbina Gets 14 Years

Former MLB pitcher Ugueth Urbina guilty of attempted murder in Venezuela

(Newser) - All-star pitcher Ugueth Urbina, who's been in a Venezuelan jail for a year and a half awaiting trial for attempted murder,  has been convicted and sentenced to 14 years. He was also found guilty of illegal deprivation of liberty and unlawfully taking justice into his own hands in a... More »

15 Stories