Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2017 Contents A26 world
guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 17, 2017
UN criticises Trump
remarks on military
action in Venezuela
UNITED NATIONS---Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres yesterday criticised President Donald
Trump's threat of military action to resolve
Venezuela's political crisis, saying Latin Amer-
ica successfully got rid of foreign intervention
and this must be safeguarded.
The UN chief also implicitly criticised Vene-
zuela's President Nicolas Maduro for creating an
all-powerful constitutional assembly that leaves
the opposition powerless saying Latin America got
rid of authoritarianism as well and this must be preserved.
Trump's remarks last week that he wouldn't rule out a "military op-
tion" for Venezuela shocked even allies in Latin America who thought the
US had turned its back on decades of big-stick diplomacy in the region.
Maduro has long accused the US of plotting his overthrow and on
Monday he asked the pro-government assembly to investigate the
opposition for allegedly supporting Trump's remarks. He told a rally
that Trump's comments were prompted by the failure of the oppo-
sition's campaign to oust him after months of destabilising protests.
Guterres told reporters yesterday that "it is very clear that Latin
America has successfully struggled over the last decades to free itself
from both foreign intervention and authoritarianism."
"This is a lesson that is very important, to make sure that this legacy
is safeguarded---and namely in Venezuela, both aspects of it," he told
The secretary-general urged the government and the opposition to
restart negotiations "because I believe the only solution is a political
solution based on those negotiations."
Guterres said he strongly supports efforts by international facilita-
tors and regional leaders to assist the Venezuelan government and the
opposition in negotiating a solution. (AP)
Members of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Militia hold up
a framed image of independence hero Simon Bolivar
during an anti-imperialist march to denounce Trump's
talk of a "military option" for resolving the country's
political crisis in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday.
Hungry turn to
plate of food
COLOMBIA---hundreds of hungry
men, women and children line up
for bowls of chicken and rice---the
first full meal some have eaten in
An estimated 25,000
Venezuelans make the
trek across the Simon Bo-
livar International Bridge
into Colombia each day.
Many come for a few
hours to work or trade
goods on the black mar-
ket,looking for household
supplies they cannot find
But increasingly, they
are coming to eat in one
of a half-dozen facilities
offering struggling Ven-
ezuelans a free plate of
"I never thought I'd say
this," said Erick Oropeza,
29, a former worker with
Venezuela's Ministry of
Education who recently
began crossing the bridge
each day. "But I'm more
grateful for what Co-
lombia has offered me in
this short time than what
I ever received from Ven-
ezuela my entire life."
As Venezuela's econ-
omy verges on collapse
and its political upheav-
al worsens, cities like
Cucuta along Colombia's
porous, 1,370-mile border with
Venezuela have become firsthand witnesses
to the neighbouring South American nation's
escalating humanitarian crisis.
According to one recent survey, about 75 per-
cent of Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds
The Colombian government has crafted con-
tingency plans in the event of a sudden, mass
exodus, but already church groups and non-
profit organisations are stepping in, moved
by images of mothers carrying starving babies
and skinny men trying to make a few bucks on
Cucuta's streets to bring back home.
Paulina Toledo, 47, a Colombian hairstylist
who recently helped feed lunch to 900 Vene-
zuelans, said seeing how hungry they were "hurt
"Those of us here on the border are seeing
their pain," she said.
In the years when Venezuela's oil industry
was booming and Colombia
entangled in a half-cen-
tury armed conflict, an
estimated four million
Colombians migrated to
Venezuela. Many started
coming back as Venezue-
la's economy began to im-
plode and after President
Nicolas Maduro closed the
border in 2015 and expelled
20,000 Colombians overnight.
Jose David Canas, a priest, said
his church will continue to serve
food "as long as God allows."
"Until they close the
border," he said. "Until
everything is eaten or until
the province tells us that they
no longer have lunches to give
out. And then it's the end."(AP)
36 killed during
fighting at prison
CARACAS---A governor in Venezuela says at
least 36 people have been killed during clashes
between inmates and security forces at a prison
in the country's south.
Gov Liborio Guarulla of Amazonas state says the
bloodshed came after fighting erupted between in-
mates and their jailers Tuesday night.
An official at Venezuela's chief prosecutor's office
confirmed the death toll but declined further comment
Venezuela has around 30 prisons, many of which
suffer from overcrowding and are dominated by crim-
inal gangs that traffic in weapons and narcotics. (AP)
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