Venezuela

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It Was a Symbol of Venezuelan Unrest. Now It, Too, Is Broken

Wuilly Arteaga says National Guard damaged his violin

(Newser) - Wuilly Arteaga has played his violin through weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela, his songs enduring even as he was forced to dodge tear gas canisters hurled in his direction. But on Wednesday, the music was silenced. Arteaga—often seen playing Venezuela's national anthem on the front lines—says... More »

It's Hell in Venezuela Right Now

Chaos and death dog the country

(Newser) - Five thousand. That's the number of man-portable air-defense systems—more conveniently known as MANPADS and able to down low-flying planes—Venezuela has obtained from Russia, according to a Reuters scoop published Monday. It's the largest stash of shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles in Latin America, and while US officials are... More »

Body of Fashion Designer's Nephew Found in Truck in Venezuela

The body of Carolina Herrera's nephew was found Thursday

(Newser) - A nephew of fashion designer Carolina Herrera has been found dead inside a truck on a road near Venezuela's capital. The public prosecutor's office said in a statement Friday that the body of 34-year-old businessman Reinaldo Jose Herrera was found the night before near Caracas. Another businessman was... More »

20-Year-Old's Death Makes 38 in Venezuela Unrest

Dozens of officers reportedly detained for refusing to repress protesters

(Newser) - The number killed in Venezuela amid mounting political unrest rose to 38 on Friday, as opposition leaders reported that dozens of officers had been detained for refusing to repress protesters, the AP reports. Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said 85 officers, a majority from the military, had been detained for... More »

Maduro Orders Writing of New Venezuelan Constitution

Opposition cries 'coup'

(Newser) - Venezuela's socialist leader has ordered the writing of a new constitution, further angering opponents whose intensifying campaign to oust him has brought hundreds of thousands into the streets. President Nicolas Maduro was vague in a televised speech Monday evening about how members would be chosen for a citizen assembly... More »

Venezuelan Workers Just Got a Huge Raise

Lowest income workers promised a 60% wage increase amid charged protests

(Newser) - In response to explosive anti-government protests, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro promised Sunday to raise the minimum wage by 60%. His critics claim the pay hike, announced during Maduro's weekly televised address, is a political distraction amid protests that have left 29 dead in just about a month, reports NPR... More »

Venezuela Threatens to Pull Out of OAS

Organization prepares to hold special meeting

(Newser) - Venezuela is threatening to pull out of the Organization of American States as the government's response to political unrest that has been blamed for 26 deaths in recent weeks draws rebuke from the hemisphere's major powers. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said late Tuesday that she had been instructed... More »

As Venezuela Seizes Plant, GM Calls Out 'Total Disregard'

General Motors says its plant, 'other assets' were illegally taken in Valencia

(Newser) - As demonstrators march across Venezuela to protest President Nicolas Maduro's administration, General Motors is dealing with its own problems in Valencia. The automaker said in a statement Wednesday that its plant there was illegally snatched by public officials and that "other assets," including vehicles, had been swiped... 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 »

Venezuela Backs Down From Power Grab

Though opponents say it's too little, too late

(Newser) - Venezuela's president and Supreme Court backed down Saturday from a surprise move to strip congress of its legislative powers that had sparked widespread charges that the South American country was no longer a democracy, the AP reports. President Nicolas Maduro asked the Supreme Court in a late-night speech to... More »

Venezuela's President Just Defanged His Congress

Latin American governments are condemning power grab of Nicolas Maduro

(Newser) - Venezuelans have been thrust into a new round of political turbulence after the Supreme Court gutted congress of its last vestiges of power, drawing widespread condemnation from foreign governments and sparking calls for protests, the AP reports. Governments across Latin America on Thursday condemned the power grab, with the head... More »

Venezuela's Leader Blames 'Macabre' Obama Plan for Looting, Riots

He claims decision to scrap bank notes is a triumph

(Newser) - Venezuela's president said Sunday that the sudden decision to scrap the country's most-used currency bill was an economic triumph over the country's enemies even as the government sent troops and police to cities where riots and looting broke out over the measure. In a national radio and... More »

Their Trade Collapsing, Venezuela Fishermen Turn to Piracy

Desperate gangs have killed dozens

(Newser) - Pirates are terrorizing Venezuela's coastal state of Sucre, once home to the world's fourth-largest tuna fleet and a thriving fishing industry. That trade has collapsed, along with virtually every industry across Venezuela. Gangs of out-of-work fishermen prey upon those who still venture out into the open sea, stealing... More »

Venezuela's Money Is So Worthless It's Printing Bigger Bills

Biggest bill is currently worth less than 2 US cents

(Newser) - Venezuela said it will issue higher-denominated bills as triple-digit inflation and a currency meltdown leave the country's largest note worth just around 2 US cents on the black market. The central bank said Saturday that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 Bolivars will begin circulating on... More »

He Works at Home Depot—When Not Messing With Venezuela

Gustavo Diaz once tried to overthrow Chavez; now he lives in Alabama

(Newser) - When he's not selling padlocks at Home Depot in Hoover, Ala., 60-year-old Gustavo Diaz is heading what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls an "economic war" against his country, laid out in full by the Wall Street Journal . Diaz's instrument: his DolarToday.com website, which Venezuela insists posts... More »

New Photos Show Endangered Amazon Tribe

Miners are getting too close to Yanomami, say activists

(Newser) - New photos have emerged of a tribe deep in the Amazon that shuns contact with the modern world, and the photos bring a mix of good and bad news. On the hopeful side, the aerial images show that the small Yanomami community near the border of Brazil and Venezuela seems... More »

Desperate Venezuelans Turn to Mines, Find Malaria

Disease makes a resurgence in dire times

(Newser) - More than a half-century ago, the World Health Organization recognized Venezuela as the first nation to wipe out malaria in its populated areas. It was even ahead of the US on that count. Today, though, the disease is making a ferocious comeback in the nation, even if the government fails... More »

As Venezuela Reels, Women Turn to Sterilization

With condoms and other methods in short supply, women have few choices

(Newser) - Add another problem to the catastrophe gripping Venezuela: women opting to sterilize themselves rather than bring a new life into the chaos. No government statistics on sterilization are available, but a social worker tells Reuters she sees up to five women a day who seek to undergo a tubal ligation.... More »

A Diary of Trying, Mostly Failing, to Find Food in Venezuela

A Bloomberg reporter charts her efforts over a month

(Newser) - Venezuela is in dire straits, and plenty of stories catalog how the nation's political crisis is setting off a humanitarian crisis as well. (Like so .) But for a more personal look, check out the diary kept by reporter Fabiola Zerpa at Bloomberg as she remains on a constant... More »

Family: Venezuela Cops Framed Son, New Bride

Weapons found in wife's apartment were planted: witness

(Newser) - Until June 30, Joshua Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleño, were living a fairy tale. The Mormons—Holt from Utah, Caleño from Venezuela—had fallen in love online before meeting in the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Holt then traveled to Venezuela on June 11 to marry Caleñ... More »

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