Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Monday downgraded Venezuelan long-term credit ratings to CCC from CCC+, citing falling oil prices and the government's failure to address economic distortions.
A former bodyguard of Venezuela’s Socialist Party heavyweight Diosdado Cabello Leamsy Salazar, who fled the country earlier this week and was reportedly collaborating with US authorities investigating allegations of Venezuelan officials' involvement in drugs, said late president Hugo Chavez did not die on 5 March 2013 but on 30 December 2012.
In a documentary that aired recently on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's popular The Fifth Estate program, an allegory of Vladimir Putin was presented. The wily Russian president was described growing up in a shabby St. Petersburg apartment, where he would often corner rats.
The Venezuelan government has turned down a request by former presidents of Chile and Colombia to visit opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail. Chile's Sebastian Piñera and Colombia's Andres Pastrana say they are in Venezuela to support the opposition and have called for the release of Mr Lopez, who was arrested nearly a year ago.
In a three-hour State of the Nation speech to the National Assembly on Wednesday night, president Nicolás Maduro acknowledged some of the economic realities facing Venezuela: the economy contracted by 2.8% in 2014 and inflation stood at 64%.
At least a dozen protesters arrested in Venezuela remained in jail and masked assailants burned a bus overnight amid scattered unrest over swelling lines for basic goods, activists said.
President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he had secured a total of more than 20 billion dollars in investment from major creditor China for economic, social, and oil-related projects.
On the sidelines of the inauguration of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the Planalto Palace seat of Brazil's Executive, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met briefly with Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro in a hand-shake facilitated by Uruguay President Jose Mujica.
As of January first Venezuela is holding a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for two years (2015-2016). In such position, the government will have to take a stance on global issues, based on its “multi-center, pluri-polar world” approach.
Venezuela confirmed on Tuesday it had entered a recession while inflation remained the highest in the Americas, but President Nicolas Maduro's populist government blamed political foes for the dismal data. According to the latest Central bank information, GDP contracted in each of the first three quarters: 4.8%, 4.9% and 2.3%, while twelve-month inflation reached 63.6% in November.