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US Pulling Last of Embassy Staff From Caracas

Pompeo slams Cuba, Russia for Maduro support

(Newser) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is withdrawing the last of its staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation. Pompeo announced the decision late Monday as Venezuela struggled to restore electricity following four days of blackouts around the country and a deepening political crisis,... More »

Power Outages Slam Most of Venezuela

The capital Caracas was a mess during Thursday's rush hour

(Newser) - Venezuela has been plagued by confusion and violence over the past few weeks, and now a new problem is exacerbating things: power outages across most of the country. The AP reports that blackouts have hit 22 of the country's 23 states, slamming the capital of Caracas at rush hour... More »

17 Dead After Nightclub Brawl

Fight in Caracas club sparked deadly stampede

(Newser) - Venezuela's government says 17 people were killed Saturday after a nightclub brawl in the capital led to a stampede, the AP reports. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol says eight minors were among those killed. Another five people were injured. He says one of those involved in the fight set... More »

Venezuela Captures Rebels Led by Rogue Helicopter Pilot

Oscar Perez may have died in shootout

(Newser) - Venezuelan special forces on Monday captured five members of a band led by a rebellious police officer who has been on the run since stealing a helicopter and launching grenades at government buildings in the capital last year, officials say. It wasn't clear if the renegade officer, Oscar Perez,... More »

US Orders Diplomats' Families to Leave Caracas

Violence expected ahead of key vote

(Newser) - The United States is ordering relatives of American diplomats to leave the Venezuelan capital ahead of a polarizing vote planned for Sunday to start rewriting the country's constitution. The State Department says it's also allowing US government workers to depart the embassy in Caracas and limiting the movement... More »

10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World

Caracas fares the worst

(Newser) - Caracas, Venezuela, has the unwanted distinction of being the most dangerous city in the world in a new survey. The report by 24/7 Wall St takes a look at global homicide rates and finds that the city's mix of gang warfare and political unrest puts it at the top... More »

Militias Storm Venezuela Congress, Beat Lawmakers

At least 4 opposition politicians were injured

(Newser) - Pro-government militias wielding wooden sticks and metal bars stormed the congress building in Caracas on Wednesday, attacking opposition lawmakers during a special session coinciding with Venezuela's independence day. At least four lawmakers were injured and blood was spattered on the National Assembly's white walls, the AP reports. One... More »

Helicopter Attacks Venezuela Supreme Court

Maduro calls it a 'terrorist attack'

(Newser) - In what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called a "terrorist attack" by people seeking to overthrow his government, a police helicopter attacked government buildings in Caracas on Tuesday with bullets and grenades. Officials say the stolen helicopter fired 15 shots at the Interior Ministry before launching four grenades at the... More »

'Mother of All Marches' Leaves 3 Dead

Opposition leader was tear-gassed in Venezuela's capital

(Newser) - What anti-government activists in Venezuela called the "mother of all marches" turned bloody on Wednesday, with at least three people killed and dozens more injured during rallies and marches across the country. The Guardian reports that at least one opposition lawmaker was hospitalized after taking part in the demonstrations,... More »

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 »

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