Citgo's new board arrives in Houston, to hold first meeting: sources

(Reuters) – A board of directors appointed this month by Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress to run state-owned oil firm PDVSA’s U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum on Thursday was arranging its first meeting at the company’s headquarters, according with two people familiar with the matter. Venezuela’s National Assembly, led by opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, last week appointed new boards for […]

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Catalonia protesters burn tires, block highways over separatist trial

GIRONA, Spain (Reuters) – Catalan activist groups burned tires and tried to block highways across northeast Spain on Thursday as part of a day of protests against the trial of 12 separatist political leaders for their part in a declaration of independence in 2017. Eleven highways in Catalonia were affected by the protests, police reported, adding that they were working […]

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Venezuela's deputy U.N. military attache backs Guaido

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Venezuela’s deputy U.N. military attache, Colonel Pedro Chirinos, said in a video on social media that he recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president, increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro. U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, highlighted Chirinos’ announcement in a note posted on Twitter on Wednesday but misidentified him as […]

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Quarter of a million attendees expected at Venezuela aid concert

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Some 250,000 people are expected at a concert on Friday in Colombia aimed at raising $100 million to provide food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering widespread shortages, its organizer said on Wednesday. Billionaire Richard Branson is backing the show, called “Venezuela Aid Live,” in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. The event will feature performances from at […]

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Brazil president seeks $270 billion pension savings, Congress has doubts

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivered his proposed pension overhaul to Congress on Wednesday, a plan to save over 1 trillion reais ($270 billion) in a decade, which raised doubts about whether lawmakers would pass a package of that scale. The social security bill is the cornerstone of the new president’s effort to close what most economists call […]

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Venezuela's opposition ambassador takes control of embassy in Costa Rica

SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado’s designated ambassador to Costa Rica took control of Venezuela’s embassy in the Central American country on Wednesday, triggering criticism from the Costa Rican government for not waiting. On Feb. 15, the Costa Rican government gave Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s representatives 60 days to leave the country. Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado […]

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Putin, faced with ratings slump, offers Russians financial sweeteners

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin offered a raft of financial sweeteners on Wednesday to hard-pressed Russians after opinion polls showed trust in him has fallen to a 13-year low and almost half the population believe the country is on the wrong track. In his annual speech to the Russian political elite, Putin set out how he planned to raise […]

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Trump warns Venezuela military they are risking their lives and future

MIAMI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned members of Venezuela’s military who are helping President Nicolas Maduro to stay in power that they are risking their future and their lives and urged them to allow humanitarian aid into the country. Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants, Trump said if the Venezuelan military […]

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Italy's 5-Star defends ally Salvini in online vote

ROME (Reuters) – Members of Italy’s ruling governing party the 5-Star Movement voted on Monday to block a possible kidnapping trial against Matteo Salvini, its coalition ally and leader of the hard-right League party. The online ballot is meant to dictate how 5-Star senators should vote on Tuesday in a parliamentary committee reviewing whether magistrates can continue a probe into […]

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Venezuela to distribute food to poor Colombians amid aid tension

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s government will distribute food to poor residents of the Colombian border city of Cucuta this weekend, the Information Minister said on Monday, an effort that would parallel opposition plans to bring in humanitarian aid. Opposition activists have vowed to bring in food and aid provided in part by the United States via neighboring countries on Saturday, […]

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