The heir-designate of President Hugo Chavez is a former bus driver and trade unionist with the Caracas public transport. Nicolás Maduro, 50, has been foreign minister since 2006 and also was named vice president in October. As foreign minister Maduro has been a faithful ambassador of Chávez’ views, including often radical critiques of global affairs from a hard left-wing stance. However he has won plaudits from foreign diplomats for his affable, easygoing manner. “He´s the smoothest and least prickly of all the top Chávistas to deal with,” one European envoy said.
Comments: Yes indeed, a bus driver and union thug to boot. Ought to come in handy driving the Venezuelan ship of state - which has no brakes. Maduro has confided to US officials in the past that Chavez is a nut, so it could get interesting.
I agree. If he had any brains at all, he´d go to Maimi for some first class treatment same as that Canadian governor did.
But the reality is, Hugo is so paranoid about being poisoned he can´t even take a cup of coffee from anyone without a taster first. Chavez went to Spain to meet Prime Minister Aznar and literally didn´t trust the coffee Aznar offered him. He´s that crazy. His own paranoia may be what does him in.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved. "Once that´s done, you know, the day after, I´m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision. The president´s domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default,
A group of 45 Venezuelan retired top officers among which a dozen generals and admirals and a former defence minister have published an open statement in which they accuse the government of President Nicolas Maduro of having broken the country’s “constitutional thread” and thus support a military action which, they say “would not be a coup d’état’. The officers accuse the government of Maduro and former president Hugo Chavez of having handed the country over to Cuba and claim that the current leader who took office last April is exercising the Executive office in an ‘illegitimate way’. “We consider it is
Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter lashed out at Liz Cheney for waging a primary challenge and attacked “hucksters, shysters” who she said are hijacking the GOP. “The problem is we have hucksters, shysters, people ripping off the Republican Party for their own self-aggrandizement, for their own egos, to make money,” Coulter said on Fox News’s “Hannity.” “I would put Todd Akin, Newt Gingrich, Liz Cheney, Mark Sanford all in the same boat, and the consultants who persuaded Linda McMahon and John Raese to run,” she added. Coulter continued her criticism of Cheney, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the Republican primary
CARACAS, Venezuela The Ukrainian captain of an oil research ship detained by the Venezuelan navy is being charged with illegally sailing in Venezuela´s maritime economic zone — waters that are disputed with neighboring Guyana. The federal prosecutor´s office said Igor Bekirov would appear in a court Monday evening. The other 35 crew members, including five U.S. citizens, remain in custody. The ship arrived under navy escort Sunday at Margarita Island off Venezuela´s Caribbean coast. The vessel was conducting a seismic study for Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. under a concession from Guyana. Guyana´s government says the ship was well within its territorial waters. The vessel´s
Adolfo Osma, a panel beater, lost an entire day of work only to buy four packages of precooked corn flour, a basic staple used to prepare many traditional Venezuelan dishes. Those four packages will only last for about a week, since he has eight mouths to feed at home. Osma lives in low-income Las Adjuntas sector, (southeast Caracas), but he had to leave his house early in the morning to look for the precious corn flour across the city, in the Catia sector (northwest Caracas). He knew he would not find anything in the first supermarket he visited: there was no
Argentina will not accept the remains of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke who died in Italy, officials in Buenos Aires said on Friday. Priebke died in Rome aged 100 after serving nearly 15 years under house arrest for a World War II massacre in Italy for which he never expressed remorse. “Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has given the order not to accept the slightest move to allow the return of the body of Nazi criminal Erich Priebke to our country,” the foreign ministry said in a tweet. “Argentines will not accept this kind of affront to human dignity.” Priebke lawyer Paolo Giachini
Venezuela´s annual inflation rate rose to 49.4% in September, from 45.4% in August. Consumer prices increased 4.4% month-on-month, the central bank said, compared with 3.0% in August. It was the highest annual rate since the Venezuelan government changed the formula used to calculate the figure five years ago. President Nicolas Maduro´s administration has vowed to rein in inflation this year and on Thursday pledged on national television to auction 900 million dollars a week to companies to help with imports and combat shortages. The central bank said September´s price rises were driven by a 9.7% spike for housing services, a 6.6%
NEW YORK A New York City couple who lost two of their children in an attack police blamed on their nanny has welcomed a baby boy. Kevin and Marina Krim announced the news Friday on the Facebook page for the Leo and Lulu Fund. The Krims say Felix Harrison was born weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Everyone is healthy and happy. The fund was created in memory of their 6-year-old daughter, Lulu, and 2-year-old son, Leo, who were found dead in their apartment Oct. 25, 2012. Their 4-year-old daughter, Nessie, wasn´t home at the time. The fund raises money for children´s education. The family
GEORGETOWN, Guyana A ship carrying five American oil workers is expected to touch shore in the coming hours after Venezuela intercepted the U.S.-chartered vessel in disputed waters off the coast of Guyana, a move that threatens to revive a decades-old territorial dispute between South America´s biggest oil producer and one of the region´s poorest nations. The 285-foot survey research vessel, sailing under a Panamanian flag, was conducting a seismic study under contract for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Thursday when it was detained by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel and ordered to sail under escort to Margarita Island, which is part of
LIMA – At least 52 people died when a bus full of passengers plunged into a ravine in the southern Peruvian region of Cuzco, local authorities said Saturday. A local prosecutor, Juan Carlos Valverde, told RPP Noticias that up to now 52 deaths have been reported and that the bus crashed Friday night as it was transporting passengers home from a religious celebration. Though at first it was reported that 30 people had died, the mayor of the Santa Teresa district, Ruben Pinto, later contacted RPP Noticias to say that authorities were working to identify 52 victims that had been found up
Globaloney: This year´s Nobel Peace Prize has been given to the "Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," a group whose main achievement seems to be good intentions. This award is getting ridiculous. Alfred Nobel would be rolling over in his grave to see some of the absurd choices his beloved peace prize is now drawing. No, it wasn´t just the award to global terror pioneer Yasser Arafat in 1994. Or the one that went to the bureaucrat-filled, bankrupt European Union in 2012. There also was the premature award to just-elected President Obama in 2009, who had done literally nothing but get elected
A Chicago woman is suing a police officer and the town of Skokie, Ill., claiming she was seriously injured when a cop used excessive force when he threw her face first into a jail cell’s concrete bench following a drunk driving arrest. Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, claims in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, that she required reconstructive surgery to “replace the bones that had been shattered” after being pushed into the cell on March 10. Video, released Wednesday by Feuerstein’s attorney, clearly shows the incident. The four and half minute video initially shows Feuerstein being searched by a female officer. She then briefly
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday admitted defeat in the fiscal debate that resulted in the government shutdown and pushed the nation toward a default, saying it was a "good fight." (Snip) But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," he added. "In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts."
In a bookend of sorts to his 21-hour “filibuster” against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for just under 10 minutes Wednesday evening in opposition to an imminent Senate vote that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. Cruz denounced the Senate deal as “terrible,” saying it will do nothing to help the “millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Speaking for the “American people,” Cruz said the Senate deal “embodies everything that frustrates” them about the “Washington establishment.” The majority of the speech centered around Cruz’s opposition to the health
On CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday, Robert Redford said congressional criticism of President Barack Obama is racially motivated. “Don’t get me started on that,” the left-leaning actor said when asked about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. “What I wanted to see [in Obama´s second term] is turning out to be a bit of a dream that never came true. I don’t envy [Obama´s] position. I think he is a good man. I think he is an intelligent man, a compassionate man who can’t function in that environment. That environment — it is so decrepit. It is so paralyzed. And the worst
Rep. Peter King thinks Republicans in the House could have bargained for much more than they´re getting in a pending Senate deal, if only the House had kept the government open in September and focused on negotiations over the federal debt limit. "Instead we look like the crazies," King, a Republican from Long Island, told me this afternoon from Washington. "Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd. Except that it´s serious."
The US was scrambling to avert a potentially disastrous breach of its debt ceiling on Wednesday morning, after Republican attempts to table a deal collapsed in disarray overnight, leaving the prospects for a last-minute deal on a knife-edge. America´s divided political system now has just 24 hours to find a compromise to the budget stand-off between the White House and hardline Republicans, with the deadline to extend America´s borrowing limit falling due on Thursday. In a sign of plunging confidence in Washington on Wall Street, Fitch, a leading credit ratings agency announced that the US was now on a "negative watch"
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says he hopes the House “will get some adult supervision from the Senate” to achieve a debt ceiling deal. (Snip)King said he would vote for that deal, and blames Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for this fiscal mess. “Ted Cruz has been a total fraud from the start,” King said. “It never could have succeeded. I can’t imagine going into battle knowing you can’t win and continue telling your people you are winning. It’s Never Never Land, parallel universes, whatever you want to call it.” Congress, King added, will be back in the same boat in three to four
It was bad enough when those teabagging Republican terrorists killed the First Lady’s Twitter account. Now they’ve taken her lovely garden hostage! Reuters: In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food. It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love… “Due to the shutdown, garden maintenance has been reduced considerably and only being watered as needed,” a White House official confirmed, speaking
The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act´s October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable. This isn´t some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department´s usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling. *** The health industry and low-level Administration
The deal reached by Congress on Wednesday to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling averts a financial catastrophe but leaves the weakened U.S. economy facing new threats. The agreement will send about 450,000 federal employees back to work and restart paychecks for the 1.3 million employees who stayed on the job during the shutdown. Getting those salaries back in circulation will help economic growth, particularly in the Washington area. More important, the threat of a default on the national debt has been avoided, along with the recession and financial crisis that may have accompanied a failure to
Grover Norquist isn’t happy with the Defunders. The Americans for Tax Reform president told reporters today that they have a lot of apologies to make and bridges to re-build. “It’d be a good idea if they stopped referring to other Republicans as Hitler appeasers because they opposed the strategy they put forward which failed,” Norquist says. “I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology — and your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.” Norquist refrained from naming the
Psst. Anic-Pay! Bloomberg‘s Megan McArdle (who has been on an incredible roll lately**) takes issue with the idea that the Obama administration needn’t panic about Obamacare, as long as it can get its glitch-plagued health care exchanges up and running by the end of the year. Wrong, she suggests. It’s time to panic. Now. Why? Because the exchanges are the way to sign up young, healthy people and prevent the fabled “death spiral,” in which only older, sicker people sign up for insurance, causing rates to rise and healthier people to drop out, causing rates to rise even more, etc.
The bipartisan deal to reopen the government and temporarily lift the debt ceiling includes one small Obamacare element -- a provision that says people´s incomes must be verified before they can get Obamacare subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums. But this was not a concession to Republicans, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN´s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. "It´s, you know, it is, frankly, a bit of a fig leaf, which we were happy to give, but that was not a negotiation. That was not what Ted Cruz and the others started to demand that we give them." [Video] Schumer noted