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Venezuela

State win for Venezuela’s opposition masks deeper problems (Chris Arsenault, Al Jazeera)

Venezuela’s opposition has won an important symbolic battle in securing the governorship in Barinas State, but analysts say they are still losing the broader political war with government forces.

On the home turf of the oil-rich country’s late leader, Hugo Chavez, opposition candidate Sergio Garrido late on Sunday defeated the governing socialist party’s Jorge Arreaza, who served as Venezuela’s vice president and foreign minister.

State win for Venezuela’s opposition masks deeper problems | Politics News | Al Jazeera

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Venezuela

Venezuela’s youth have a long-term strategy for building democracy. Biden should listen (Willow Fortunoff – Atlantic Council)

Daily life in Venezuela has long been grim: Through mismanagement and corruption, Nicolás Maduro’s administration fails to provide basic government services and continues to undermine the essence of democracy. Every day, citizens face uncertain access to wages, running water, medical supplies, and stable internet. Young students, in particular, lack the educational and economic opportunities to improve their livelihoods.

Venezuela’s youth have a long-term strategy for building democracy. Biden should listen. – Atlantic Council

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Venezuela

How Venezuela this year almost doubled its oil output (Al Jazeera)

Venezuela this year almost doubled its oil production from last year’s decades-low as its state-owned company struck deals that let it pump and process more extra heavy crude into exportable grades.

The surprising reversal began as state-run Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, won help from small drilling firms by rolling over old debts and later obtained steady supplies of a key diluent from Iran. The two lifted output to 824,000 barrels per day (bpd) in November, well above the first three-quarters of the year and 90 percent more than the monthly average a year earlier.

How Venezuela this year almost doubled its oil output | Oil and Gas News | Al Jazeera

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Colombia Venezuela

Former Colombia FARC leader killed in Venezuela: Local media (Al Jazeera)

A former leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who rearmed in the wake of a 2016 peace agreement between the group and the Colombian government, has been killed in Venezuela, according to local media.

Hernan Dario Velasquez, known as El Paisa (the Peasant), announced in 2019 that he and several well-known FARC commanders were rearming and forming a faction called Segunda Marquetalia. Velazquez had been among the negotiators of the 2016 peace deal.

Former Colombia FARC leader killed in Venezuela: Local media | FARC News | Al Jazeera

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Europe Venezuela

Venezuela President Maduro brands EU electoral observers ‘spies’ (Euractiv)

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday (28 November) denounced members of the EU’s electoral observation mission who monitored voting last weekend as “spies,” and accused them of looking to “stain” the regional elections on their preliminary report.

Venezuela President Maduro brands EU electoral observers ‘spies’ – EURACTIV.com

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USA Venezuela

Venezuela’s Flawed November 21 Elections (US Department of State)

The Maduro regime deprived Venezuelans yet again of their right to participate in a free and fair electoral process, during Venezuela’s November 21 regional and local elections. Fearful of the voice and vote of Venezuelans, the regime grossly skewed the process to determine the result of this election long before any ballots had been cast.  Arbitrary arrests and harassment of political and civil society actors, criminalization of opposition parties’ activities, bans on candidates across the political spectrum, manipulation of voter registration rolls, persistent media censorship, and other authoritarian tactics all but quashed political pluralism and ensured the elections would not reflect the will of the Venezuelan people.

The United States supports the people of Venezuela in their desire for a peaceful restoration of democracy through free and fair elections, with full respect for freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.  We commend the political parties and candidates as well as voters who decided to participate in this process despite its flaws to preserve and fight for much-needed democratic space.  But that space is limited by Maduro’s efforts to divide and suppress Venezuela’s democratic actors.  By arbitrarily imprisoning reportedly more than 250 individuals on political grounds, denying Venezuelans their rights to freely express their opinions and choose their own leaders, and restricting Venezuelans’ access to accurate information, Maduro robs Venezuelans of their chance to shape their own future.  We call on the Maduro regime to cease its repression and allow Venezuelans to live in the peaceful, stable, and democratic country they deserve and have long sought.

The United States stands with all Venezuelans striving courageously to build a better future for their country.  We continue to support Venezuelan-led negotiations to restore the democracy Venezuelans deserve and to alleviate the suffering brought upon them by Maduro and his enablers.  We support the efforts of the democratic Venezuelan opposition and interim President Juan Guaidó.  We will continue to work with Venezuelan and international partners using all diplomatic and economic tools available to press for the release of all those unjustly detained for political reasons, the independence of political parties, respect for freedom of expression and other universal human rights, and an end to human rights abuses.

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Venezuela

Venezuela’s Maduro: Conditions to restart talks with opposition not there yet (Reuters)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday there will be no renewed talks with opposition politicians until “the kidnap” of a prominent government envoy Alex Saab – who was extradited to the United States – is answered for.

Venezuela’s Maduro: Conditions to restart talks with opposition not there yet | Reuters

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Venezuela

Venezuela ruling socialist party, allies sweep regional elections (Al Jazeera)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela and its allies have won big in regional elections participated by the opposition for the first time in four years.

Sunday’s vote for governors and mayors across the South American country, which was overseen by European Union observers, was widely seen as a political weather vane for a country that has experienced years of economic crisis worsened by crippling international sanctions.

Venezuela ruling socialist party, allies sweep regional elections | Elections News | Al Jazeera

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Uruguay USA Venezuela

Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Meeting on Venezuelan Refugee Assistance in Uruguay (US Department of State)

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman met today with representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Uruguayan civil society to discuss assistance to Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Montevideo, Uruguay.  Deputy Secretary Sherman thanked Uruguayan government and civil society leaders for their work to assist Venezuelan refugees and migrants and highlighted how U.S. funding of IOM supports its work in Uruguay.

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