Connect with us

FOREIGN NEWS

Venezuelan police tow National Assembly Vice-President Edgar Zambrano to jail in his car – National

Published

on

Venezuelan police tow National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano to jail in his car National

[ad_1]

Security forces arrested the No. 2 leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress Wednesday as President Nicolas Maduro‘s government began going after foes tied to a failed attempt to stir up a military uprising last week.

National Assembly Vice-President Edgar Zambrano was leaving his Democratic Action party’s headquarters when he was surprised by a commando unit from the feared SEBIN intelligence agency who surrounded his car.

A half hour later, the officers towed the vehicle away with the lawmaker still inside, at the same that Maduro was speaking live on state TV inaugurating an agricultural project. Neighbors looking on shouted “assassins” as the heavily armed agents pulled away.

“We democrats we will keep fighting!” Zambrano tweeted as he was hauled off.


READ MORE:
Venezuela’s Juan Guaido called for the ‘largest march’ in its history. Then protesters drifted home

The arrest was the first following the opposition’s fizzled uprising that started early on April 30 outside a Caracas air base. It was led by Juan Guaido, head of the National Assembly who is leading the U.S.-backed effort to end what he calls Maduro’s dictatorship.

Zambrano, 63, was one of the first opposition leaders to answer Guaido’s call for an insurrection, going to the bridge in Caracas where the opposition leader had appeared at dawn with a small cadre of soldiers ready to rebel against Maduro.

WATCH: Venezuelan government downplays results of ongoing coup attempt (April, 2019)





On the highway overpass, Zambrano embraced popular opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who broke house arrest to take part. Zambrano also thanked the handful of rebel National Guardsmen, who wore blue armbands as symbols of their allegiance to Guaido’s movement.

A lawyer by training, Zambrano is seen as a conciliatory figure within the opposition who is close to Henry Ramos, the former head of congress who has been accused of taking part in an earlier alleged conspiracy to oust Maduro. He took up his role as Guaido’s deputy as part of a power-sharing arrangement among the biggest parties.

Government officials had announced that Zambrano and eight other opposition lawmakers faced investigation on charges of “betraying the homeland” and “instigating an insurrection,” for their roles in last week’s unrest.


READ MORE:
Stalemate in Venezuela persists after days of protests and violence. What comes next?

Government supporters have been pushing Maduro to order arrests in the aftermath of the failed uprising, which is the closest the opposition has ever come to ousting the president. But analysts say there are limits to how far Maduro can crack down, and that any attempt to arrest Guaido risks inviting a strong response from the U.S., which has warned of “grave consequences” should the opposition leader be harmed.

Earlier Wednesday, Maduro and the head of Venezuela’s top court rejected a U.S. threat to apply sanctions to all its judges. They accused the Trump administration of trying to manipulate the crisis-wracked nation’s justice system and foment a coup.

Maikel Moreno, president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, pushed back at comments by Vice-President Mike Pence, who said the U.S. would extend sanctions to all members of the Venezuelan high court if they continued to be a “political tool” of Maduro.

WATCH: Venezuela in chaos amidst opposition uprising





“This unlawful, despicable and intolerable action violates the norms and principles of international law that govern relations between civilized nations,” Moreno, a political ally of the Maduro, said in a nationally broadcast TV appearance. Moreno already faces U.S. sanctions.

There is little sign that tension will break between Maduro and Guaido, who is backed by the United States and more than 50 other nations.

Guaido on Wednesday took to the streets of at least two coastal communities outside the capital, pushing to keep up the opposition’s rejuvenated momentum. He met with supporters in his hometown of La Guaira and surrounding communities, where he was greeted by cheers, hugs and fist bumps.

More than 3 million Venezuelans have left their homeland in recent years amid skyrocketing inflation and severe shortages of food and medicine. Pence and other Trump administration officials blame Maduro’s socialist policies and government mismanagement for Venezuela’s economic crunch, warning that 2 million more people are expected to flee by the end of the year if the crisis continues.


READ MORE:
Helicopter crash kills 7 military officers in Venezuela, authorities investigating

The U.S. lifted sanctions on a top Venezuelan general who broke ranks with Maduro last week. Pence said the immediate lifting of financial sanctions for Gen. Manuel Figuera, who was Venezuela’s spy chief, is intended to encourage others in the military to abandon their support for Maduro.

Figuera was the sole regime insider to defy Maduro during the uprising, although the White House contends several others, including Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino, had been in talks for weeks with the opposition to oust Maduro but backed away from the plan at the last minute.

WATCH: Pompeo says ‘we’re not there yet,’ in Venezuela





On Wednesday, Maduro discharged Figuera from service along with 55 other soldiers accused of taking part in Guaido’s uprising.

Among them was National Guard Lt. Col. Illich Sanchez, who oversaw protection to the opposition-controlled National Assembly and accompanied Guaido during the uprising last week.

Maduro has fallen under increasing international pressure since winning a second six-year term in an election last May that critics say was rigged. Russia, China and Cuba, among other countries, support Maduro.

Maduro says he is the target of a U.S.-engineered coup plot. He harshly criticized the Trump administration in his speech Wednesday, saying its offer to lift sanctions against members of the armed forces who turn against his government is an “assault on their honour and dignity.”

“Donald Trump is racist and surrounded by crazies,” Maduro said.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Published

on

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

Continue Reading

FOREIGN NEWS

Harris accepts VP nomination

Published

on

Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

Continue Reading

FOREIGN NEWS

Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

Published

on

Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

Continue Reading

Trending