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WORLD
May 21, 2013 | By Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BOGOTA, Colombia -- A popular pro-government Venezuelan talk show host took a leave of absence Monday night hours after the leak of an alleged conversation he had with a Cuban intelligence official about President Nicolas Maduro's battle with political opponents. In the recording, TV personality Mario Silva allegedly tells high-ranking Cuban military intelligence officer Aramis Palacios about the chaotic state of Venezuelan politics. He is also said to have accused a relative of Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez, of leaking details about the late president's battle with cancer.
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WORLD
May 14, 2013 | By Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon, Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela - The sale of Globovision, Venezuela's last major television station critical of the government, raised concern Tuesday that no mass media platform may remain on which to challenge the Chavista administration of President Nicolas Maduro. The sale of the station for an undisclosed price by an ownership group led by Guillermo Zuloaga, now self-exiled in Miami, was completed Monday night, according to a statement the broadcaster posted on its website. Zuloaga had said mounting government fines and political harassment had left him with no choice but to sell.
WORLD
May 1, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon
CARACAS -- Political tensions that have boiled steadily in Venezuela since last month's presidential election exploded on the floor of Congress , with lawmakers slugging it out in a brawl that left several injured. Pro- and anti-government legislators blamed each other for the fight that erupted Tuesday night after the head of the Congress, Diosdado Cabello, refused to give opposition members a turn to speak unless they first recognized the election of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz and Mery Mogollon
The Venezuelan government has charged a West Hollywood filmmaker with criminal activity for allegedly inciting post-election violence within the South American nation. Timothy Tracy was charged Saturday with conspiracy and using a fake public document, among other crimes. He was arrested earlier in the week at Simon Bolivar International Airport outside of the capital, Caracas, as he tried to leave the country. Venezuelan officials accuse the 35-year-old Tracy of working on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the Associated Press, and newly elected President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he ordered Tracy's arrest on suspicion that the American was "creating violence in the cities of this country.
OPINION
April 23, 2013
Re "A Venezuela score card," Opinion, April 19 Former U.S Ambassador to Venezuela Charles Shapiro's predictable assault on Venezuelan democracy failed to mention that about 79% of eligible Venezuelans actually turned out to vote in their presidential election. Compare that with here, the bastion of true democracy. Last year, 55% of registered California voters cast their ballots, while only 20% of registered voters participated in the recent Los Angeles mayoral primary. And these figures are even worse if you were to include the millions of California adults who have never even made the effort to become registered voters.
WORLD
April 19, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon
CARACAS, Venezuela -- As Venezuela prepared Friday to swear in a new president, the pro-government election tribunal surprised observers and agreed to opposition demands to review the controversial vote that gave Hugo Chavez heir Nicolas Maduro a narrow victory. The National Electoral Council apparently bowed to public pressure. Large crowds have taken to the streets in recent nights, beating pots and pans in a time-honored Latin American tradition of protest. Each night, they have been greeted by pro-government demonstrators trying to drown them out with fireworks.
WORLD
April 19, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late President Hugo Chavez, was sworn in to Venezuela's highest office Friday, despite refusal by a newly empowered opposition to accept defeat in a hotly contested election. Flanked by huge portraits of Chavez, “our eternal commander,” and Simon Bolivar, legendary liberator of Latin America, Maduro held a miniature copy of the Venezuelan Constitution during a ceremony with numerous heads of state in attendance.
OPINION
April 19, 2013 | By Charles Shapiro
Venezuela's National Electoral Council declared Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late President Hugo Chavez, the winner in the presidential election Sunday. But it was a victory in a compromised system that tilted the table in his favor. FOR THE RECORD: Venezuela: The biographical information in an April 19 Op-Ed on the Venezuelan election misreported the name of an L.A. organization. It is the Pacific Council on International Policy, not the Pacific Council on International Affairs.
WORLD
April 17, 2013 | By Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's attorney general said Tuesday that seven people had been killed and 61 injured in post-presidential election clashes between police, supporters of newly elected President Nicolas Maduro and challenger Henrique Capriles, who has demanded a recount. Atty. Gen. Luisa Ortega Diaz also said that 135 people had been arrested since election results were announced late Sunday that gave Maduro a victory by 1.5 percentage points. Capriles, the governor of Miranda state, has charged that Maduro stole the election, citing 3,200 alleged irregularities in Sunday's balloting.
WORLD
April 15, 2013 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela - Nicolas Maduro's narrow victory in an election to serve out the late Hugo Chavez's presidential term in Venezuela will complicate tackling major issues on his agenda: fixing a crumbling economy, addressing violent crime and restoring relations with the United States. The election results, coming amid allegations by rival Henrique Capriles of widespread voting abuses, will make governing this polarized country even more difficult because Maduro will lack the broader public support enjoyed by his colorful predecessor, analysts said Monday.
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