The United States will use all options to free two Americans said to be detained in a failed mercenary attack in Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. “If the Maduro regime decides to hold them, we will use every tool that we have available to try to get them back,” Pompeo told reporters.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied any involvement by the US government in what Venezuelan officials have called a failed armed incursion in the South American country that led to the capture of two American “mercenaries”.
Venezuela's government said it foiled a marine incursion on Sunday by “terrorist mercenaries” who attempted to enter the country on speedboats from neighboring Colombia.
The U.S. State Department, the Treasury Department and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico are investigating at least two Mexican firms involved in an oil-for-food pact signed in 2019 with Venezuela’s government, U.S. officials said.
In the midst of the chaotic situation caused by the pandemic, the Argentine government announced the abandonment of Mercosur negotiations to prioritize the country’s domestic economy and the struggle against the virus. The rest of the bloc members must evaluate legal, institutional, and operational measures emerging from the decision.
Allies of both Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his bitter foe, opposition leader Juan Guaido, have secretly begun exploratory talks as concerns grow about the possible impact of coronavirus, according to sources on both sides.
Russian oil production giant Rosneft said it had ceased operating in Venezuela and transferred its assets to a company own entirely by the Russian government. The move is apparently intended to shield the company from US sanctions aimed at punishing entities that do business with the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
A retired Venezuelan general has turned himself over to Colombian authorities after the United States charged him with drug-trafficking and offered a reward for his capture, local media reported. Cliver Alcala turned himself in on Friday to the Colombians, who in turn handed him over to US authorities, the El Tiempo de Bogota newspaper said.
The US Justice Department announced the indictment of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday for “narco-terrorism” and offered US$15 million for information leading to his capture.
Brazil on Thursday announced it was closing land borders and prohibiting entry to people from European and many Pacific Asian countries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as Mexico and Peru reported their first virus deaths.