self-declaration as interim president was met with international support, notably from U.S. and EU leaders.
However his efforts to oust Maduro have struggled since key figures in the country’s powerful military reconfirmed their allegiance to Maduro.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Felix Ajide
France denies harbouring Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido in Caracas
France denied on Friday that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had taken refuge at any of its diplomatic sites in Caracas after the Venezuelan foreign minister said he was hiding in the French Embassy.
“Mr Juan Guaido is not at the French residence in Caracas.
“We have repeatedly confirmed this to the Venezuelan authorities,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told Union Radio on Thursday that Guaido was in the French embassy and also accused Spain of harbouring Leopoldo Lopez, another opponent of the government.
“It is shameful for Spanish diplomacy. It is shameful for the diplomacy of France what has happened, and they will pay the price very, very soon,” Arreaza said.
France in May summoned Venezuela’s envoy over accusations that President Nicolas Maduro’s government had been harassing its embassy in Caracas, including by cutting water and electricity to the ambassador’s residence.
France is among dozens of countries that do not recognise Maduro’s disputed 2018 re-election and consider Guaido to be Venezuela’s rightful president.
Maduro has previously accused French Ambassador Romain Nadal of meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
Von der Muhll, the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, added: “Only a democratic path with free, transparent, and credible elections will enable it (political crisis) to be resolved in the long-term and put an end to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/france-denies-harbouring-venezuelan-opposition-leader-guaido-in-caracas/
Venezuelan foreign minister confirms Guaido hiding in French Embassy, extradition expected
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed on Friday, reports that opposition leader Juan Guaido is hiding at the French embassy in Caracas, saying that the Latin American country is awaiting his extradition.
Arreaza’s remarks come after President Nicolas Maduro hinted that Guaido was “hiding from justice,” sparking talks that the latter might be sheltering at a diplomatic location.
“We hope that these governments (of Spain, France) will act properly, comply with the legislation of the hosting country — in this case, Venezuela — and transfer fugitives from justice into the hands of Venezuelan justice,” Arreaza said in an interview to Union Radio.
The foreign minister stressed that Leopoldo Lopez, another leading opposition figure, had been hiding at the Spanish embassy for more than a year.
Arreaza said that Lopez supervised Guaido and masterminded Operation Gideon, which was aimed at overthrowing Maduro.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/venezuelan-foreign-minister-confirms-guaido-hiding-in-french-embassy-extradition-expected/
Iranian fuel reaches Venezuelan stations as prices set to rise
Fuel shipped from Iran began arriving at Venezuela’s gasoline stations on Saturday, just hours before President Nicolas Maduro announced higher prices at the pump that are set to end more than two decades of almost-free gasoline.
As authorities in the country with the world’s cheapest gasoline got ready to expand retail sales under a system combining subsidies and international prices, the fifth cargo of an Iranian flotilla approached the Caribbean Sea and is expected to reach Venezuelan waters on Sunday, according to Refinitiv Eikon.
Of 1,800 stations in Venezuela, about 240 have remained working since Maduro announced coronavirus-related lockdown measures in March, which included restrictions on fuel sales due to very low inventories.
More than 1,500 stations nationwide are expected to work in the coming days under the new system.
The new system includes monthly quotas for vehicles and motorcycles, automated sales and monitoring equipment.
Despite the price increases, it will cost about $1 to fill a whole tank of a vehicle under the subsidy.
After reaching the quotas, drivers will have to pay internationally indexed prices.
The remaining 200 stations will be supplied by independent companies, so drivers buying at those sites will be charged $0.50 per litre of gasoline and will have to pay in foreign currency.
Lines of drivers began forming at stations on Saturday in cities including Maracay, Valencia and Caracas in anticipation of the gasoline distribution.
Gasoline has been heavily subsidised in Venezuela, which, coupled with hyperinflation in recent years, has made it almost free, but acute scarcity has recently encouraged a black market that has forced people to pay at least $2 per litre.
Venezuela’s refineries, which can produce more than 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of fuel, have worked at less than 20 per cent of their capacity in 2020 mainly due to power outages and lack of spare parts.
As the U.S. sanctions imposed on Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA have also limited the sources and types of products Venezuela can import, Maduro’s socialist administration this year turned to Iran for refining parts and fuel.
The supply has been criticised by the U.S. as both nations are under sanctions.
“Venezuela has the right to buy in the world whatever it wants to buy,’’ Maduro said.
“Fortunately, Venezuela has more friends than what people can imagine.’’
Washington has warned governments, seaports, shipping firms and insurers that they could face sanctions if they aid the Iranian supply, the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said on Friday.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, said his government will use Abrams’ comments as proof in an international case against sanctions.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/iranian-fuel-reaches-venezuelan-stations-as-prices-set-to-rise/
Twitter blocks accounts of Venezuelan vice-president who deals with combating covid-19
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, on Friday said Twitter blocked the accounts of Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez, who heads the country’s presidential commission on the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez leads the presidential commission against COVID-19.
“The inhuman and reckless gesture is that Twitter restricts @DrodriguezVen and @ViceVenezuela accounts, which are the sources of information necessary for the people of Venezuela in these unforeseen circumstances,’’ Arreaza said on Twitter.
At the moment, when trying to switch to the above mentioned Twitter accounts, a notification is given that these accounts are temporarily restricted.
However, Rodriguez’s English language account is still available for users.
Venezuela has so far registered 42 coronavirus cases, with six new cases confirmed over the past 24 hours.
The World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11.
More than 244,000 people have been infected worldwide, with no fewer than 10,000 fatalities, according to John Hopkins University.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim