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.
A teenager was killed during a protest on Tuesday in the western city of San Cristobal, state officials said, as tensions rise in Venezuela amid an economic crisis and a government crackdown on the political opposition.
Jose Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), said on Friday that “the detention of the Mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, has caused alarm due to the way in which it took place and because it deals with an elected leader exercising his duties.”
Venezuelan intelligence agents arrested on Thursday opposition leader and Caracas metropolitan mayor Antonio Ledezma, witnesses said, after accusations he was involved in a coup attempt against President Nicolás Maduro.
Backers of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez took to the streets of Caracas on Wednesday on the first anniversary of his arrest and subsequent jailing, but the mood of last year’s mass protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro was markedly different.
Venezuelan Finance minister Rodolfo Marco Torre announced that ”soon there will be important announcements on the issue of gasoline”, underlining that “a piece of candy cannot cost more than a liter of gasoline”.
Germany wants to speed negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, said Foreign minister Walter Steinmeier in Brasilia. The agreement has been pending since 1999 when discussions started but so far have been unable to reach a deal or commit a date because of internal problems from both sides.