Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced the creation of peace prize in honor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, and said he was awarding it to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The announcement comes on the same day that the Nobel Committee awarded its annual Peace Prize to Juan Manuel Santos, president of neighboring Colombia, for his role in negotiating a peace agreement with Marxist FARC rebels.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, the first formal encounter between the two since Kerry became the top U.S. diplomat. The two sat down together after a ceremony in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias to mark the signing of a peace agreement to end a 52-year armed conflict.
Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro flooded Venezuela's capital on Thursday in one of the biggest mass protests against socialist rule for more than a decade. Dressed in white and chanting “this government will fall,” hundreds of thousands rallied across Caracas to demand a recall referendum against Maduro and decry a deep economic crisis in the oil rich country.
Venezuela's opposition and government head into a crucial test of strength this Thursday with massive marches for and against a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that have raised fears of a violent confrontation.
Paraguay said Mercosur will continue to function and is waiting for a reply from Uruguay to confirm a collegiate presidency of the block, until Argentina takes the helm at the end of the year. If not, Mercosur members are well aware that the the same way they decided to belong to the group, they can walk away...
The foreign ministers of Mercosur founding members will adopt a common position regarding the current disarray of the group following on Venezuela's unilateral attitudes said Paraguayan economic affairs and integration deputy minister Rigoberto Gauto.
Venezuela’s grim situation is impacting not only millions of households around the country: it is also sending panic waves across the Caribbean all the way to Cuba, a solid ally that for decades now has relied heavily on Chavismo’s generosity.
Venezuela has defiantly confirmed that is will fully exercise the self-proclaimed presidency of Mercosur, despite the opposition from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, who consider the chair vacant and are meeting in Montevideo to find an alternative for the six month mandate.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have announced they do not support Venezuela as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, further deepening controversy in the group which could even hinder ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union and closer links with the Pacific Alliance.
Mercosur is again split over Venezuela because Paraguay, and apparently Brazil, have not been consulted regarding the decision to hand the pro tempore presidency of the block to Venezuela in July, as was agreed in Montevideo by Uruguay and Argentina.