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September 4, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela - With parts of Venezuela still dark after a mysterious blackout that left the capital and 17 states without electricity, President Nicolas Maduro laid the blame on opposition sabotage as his government scrambled to respond to the power failure. The power shutdown began midday Tuesday after an apparent failure in high voltage transmission lines in Aragua and Guarico states, which led to total outage in several of the country's most populous areas. Power was restored by early Wednesday to most of metropolitan Caracas, the capital, and a dozen states, according to the government.
August 15, 2013 | By Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon
BOGOTA, Colombia - Capital flight, political instability and misguided attempts to rein in double-digit inflation are being blamed for the weakening of Venezuela's currency on the black market, where it has fallen more than 75% against the U.S. dollar since April. The sharp drop in the value of the bolivar has occurred as economic problems grow more acute for President Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, and political divisions between Chavistas and the opposition become wider and more violent.
August 12, 2013 | By David Ng
Gustavo Dudamel keeps a busy professional schedule filled to the breaking point with conducting engagements in Los Angeles and Caracas, Venezuela, plus other major cities. Still, he's managed to find time in recent months to compose and conduct the score for an upcoming biopic of Simón Bolivar. In a recent interview with The Times, Dudamel said he has completed scoring and recording the soundtrack to the movie "Libertador," which stars Edgar Ramirez as the South American revolutionary figure.
August 7, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed opposition leader Henrique Capriles' lawsuit seeking the nullification of April presidential election results and alleging voter irregularities and levied a $1,500 fine against him for "offensive and disrespectful allegations" against the court and other officials. The court also asked public prosecutors to make a “detailed analysis” of whether criminal charges should be filed against Capriles for having made unfounded favoritism charges against government officials.
July 27, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Does Edward Snowden know what he'd be getting into if he ends up gaining asylum here? Many Venezuelans doubt it. The former National Security Agency contractor remains in Russia seeking at least temporary asylum. But leaders in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have to varying degrees said they would be willing to take him in if he can work out a way to get to those countries. Venezuelans interviewed in recent days say they have more pressing concerns than taking in Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. government on espionage charges for having leaked details of the government's efforts to monitor email and voice communications.
July 10, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
As fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden weighs his asylum options, he should be familiar with the name Luis Posada Carriles. Both Venezuela and Cuba want to get their hands on the 85-year-old Posada, accused of orchestrating the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner in which all 73 on board died. The U.S. government has for years refused a Venezuelan extradition request for Posada, a Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen who lives in the supportive Cuban exile community of South Florida that applauds his longtime mission to kill former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
July 6, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden was still holed up at Moscow's Sheremetyevo-2 airport as finally -- out of two dozen countries to which he applied -- Venezuela and Nicaragua extended offers of asylum. “As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live in the homeland” of Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar and the late President Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Saturday.
July 5, 2013 | By Chris Kraul, Tracy Wilkinson and Mery Mogollon
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered NSA leaker Edward Snowden political asylum Friday, possibly the firmest offer of refuge the U.S. fugitive has received since exposing a massive program of surveillance of phone calls and emails in the United States and abroad. Also Friday, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his government had received an asylum request from Snowden and would be willing to grant it under the right circumstances. Snowden, who is believed to be stranded in the transit area of a Moscow airport, has applied for refuge to about 30 countries.
June 5, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres of Venezuela confirmed Wednesday that West Hollywood filmmaker Timothy Tracy had been expelled from the country earlier in the day, six weeks after he was arrested on espionage charges. Tracy was put on an American Airlines flight bound for Miami. The documentary filmmaker was arrested April 24 by operatives in the SEBIN intelligence agency on accusations of "gathering information" including video and photographic images for what Torres described as the April Connection, an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government.
May 29, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia - Venezuela recalled its ambassador and ended its participation in peace talks Wednesday after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met with the losing opposition candidate in Venezuela's recent presidential election. Santos received losing candidate Henrique Capriles at the presidential palace in Bogota. Capriles has charged that the Venezuelan presidency was stolen from him in the April 14 election by the apparent winner, Nicolas Maduro, the late President Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor.
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