Joe Biden Dismisses Maduro's 'Outlandish Conspiracy Theories' About U.S. Involvement — Venezuela News Roundup

Vice president was in Chile for an inauguration


The Latest on Venezuela: 

Joe Biden visited Chile this weekend for the inauguration of the incoming president, Michelle Bachelet. He gave an interview to a local newspaper, telling it he was alarmed by the situation in Venezeula and deriding "outlandish conspiracy theories" about U.S. involvement.

Previous Venezuela News:

A police officer and a civilian died inclashes in Caracas March 7, bringing the death toll from the protests between citizens and the government up to 20.

Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro has called for a meeting with South American leaders and has broken off relations with Panama.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez have introduced a resolution to condemn the Venezulean government's treatment of protesters and are calling for targeted sanctions against the country's leaders.

Venezuela's weeklong carnival holiday began in late February, though unrest still simmers in Caracas. NBC News reports:

President Nicolas Maduro's government got a jump start of the national holiday by two days in hopes that it might cool off the nation's worst unrest in a decade.

The period of revelry preceding the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday is usually marked by Venezuelans abandoning cities to relax and celebrate at the beach.

In San Cristobal city, demonstrators manned a barricade on Thursday in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, and said National Guard troops had fired teargas at them but failed to dislodge their protest. Venezuela's western region has seen the worst unrest, with daily clashes between students and security forces.

A plan for a meeting Monday between Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders  hit a snag as opposition leader Henrique Caprles declined to attend. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the death toll in Venezuela is up to 13 following weekend conflicts. Businessweek notes:

The talks were scheduled after two weeks of unrest that have claimed the lives of 13 people, according to the government. Demonstrators protesting shortages of basic goods, the world's fastest inflation and rising crime today blockaded streets in eastern Caracas while government supporters on motorbikes gathered outside the palace saying they wouldn't allow the opposition to retake power.  

Previously Ed Krayewski noted how the violent crackdown in the country was getting much less media attention in the Western world compared to the uprisings in Ukraine.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that the family of protest leader Leopoldo Lopez claims that he is being held alone in military jail cell. The charges against Lopez, which included terrorism and murder, have been reduced to charges of instigating arson, damage and criminal gatherings. 

UPDATE: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he will nominate a new U.S. ambassador

UPDATE: The United States has expelled three Venezuelan diplomats. A week ago, Venezuela did the same to the United States, accusing Americans of fomenting rebellions there.

NEXT: A.M. Links: Malaysia Flight Vanishes Without Trace, Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll, Family Hospitalized After Eating LSD-Tainted Meat

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  1. Remember Chavez? Remember how he got into the Presidency and how he ran the country?

    Chavez went to the poor Indian tribes and said I will be your and the poor people’s hero. To the intellectuals he said I will create an efficient Social Government closely run for you! To the Industrialists he said I will make you much more money by going international even more. To the local business people he said I will remove corruption.

    None of this occurred. The country struggled and went further into great debt and his currency went down in value. He responded by taking lone control of the government saying “Legislators and politicians are corrupt in their beliefs. Socialism is the answer and he became dictator saying I will control far better without them.

    Does this give the America’s public any pause and internal reflection after five years.

    1. “Does this give the America’s public any pause and internal reflection after five years.”

      I doubt it.
      Pretty sure the majority of the American public bleeves we have smarter thugs and since we’re richer, we can hand out free shit for at least as long as the average voter hopes to live.

    2. Chavez lifted millions out of poverty. Supposedly.

      1. He lifted millions and probably billions into his own bank accounts but the “lifting out of poverty” is largely numbers inventing.

        Every time I went to visit my daughter in Venezuela, more and more “ranchos” appeared in the mountains and hills around their apartment. It looked like a fungus spreading.

  2. She and her husband no longer live there, thank god. But I remember when Maduro was getting heat about inflation – 57% – and decided to implement price controls on just about everything, including food. I told her I was worried there would soon be starvation in Venezuela because there will be food shortages. Her Venezuelan family scoffed at that because after all,” you can even grow your own food in your yard or apartment building, no problem in Venezuela.”

    Except when the government accuses you of “hoarding food” and confiscates it and arrests you. Because food shortages could never be caused by THEIR policies, it’s only hoarders and oligarchs who are trying to undermine the “revolution”.

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