Venezuela's parliament has granted President Nicolas Maduro decree powers for the rest of 2015 in a move he says is to defend the country from US meddling but opponents decry as evidence of autocracy. In a noisy National Assembly session, ruling Socialist Party legislators, who have a majority, applauded the Enabling Law as a legitimate response to a US declaration that Venezuela is a security threat and sanctions on seven officials.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) slammed the United States for its decision to label Venezuela as a security threat and impose sanctions against a number of its officials, calling on Washington to revoke the measure.
In an editorial piece, “A failing relationship with Venezuela”, The New York Times expressed doubts about the latest measures imposed by the Obama administration on seven top officials from the Venezuelan government and goes even further questioning whether they will not end actually reinforcing President Nicolas Maduro position.
Unasur (Union of South American Nations) presidents will meet next week to respond to the grotesque and illegal meddling of the United States in Venezuelan affairs announced Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa.
President Nicolas Maduro responded to new U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan officials by asking legislators Tuesday to give him expanded powers in the name of fighting imperialism. Government critics called it a power grab.
United States President Obama on Monday issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.
Venezuela's government has given the U.S. two weeks to slash the size of its embassy staff in Caracas to 17 diplomats as tensions between the two nations rise. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez made the announcement Monday after a meeting with the top American diplomat in Caracas. She said it is up to the U.S. to decide which of an estimated 100 diplomats it wishes to send home.
President Nicolas Maduro said his government had captured American citizens involved in espionage activities, and said US citizens in the future will have to seek visas to come to Venezuela. Speaking during a rally, he said his government will prohibit some US officials from entering Venezuela in retaliation for a similar measure by the government of President Barack Obama against a group of Venezuelan public officials.
Loans by China's state-owned banks to Latin American countries rose by 71% to 22bn dollars in 2014, according to estimates published by the China-Latin America Finance Database. The figure is the second largest on record for Chinese lending in Latin America, according to the report.
Sporadic protests flared in different parts of Venezuela after a policeman shot dead a teenager during a demonstration against President Nicolas Maduro's government in the volatile city of San Cristobal. The worst unrest was again in San Cristobal where distraught relatives of 14-year-old Kluibert Roa held a wake and funeral following his killing on Tuesday.