John D. Feeley, a U.S. Department of State official, confirmed today on W Radio in Colombia that the 24 Venezuelan officials sanctioned last week by the U.S. government:
… are government ministers, presidential advisers, National Guard and SEBIN officials, and judges. They are some of the people who’ve participated in the government’s systemic repression of the democratic forces on the street, [who] simply wanted to voice their opinions and have access to a true dialogue with the government.
Asked if Maduro had a visa to enter the U.S., Feely answered:
I don’t know if he has a visa. Generally, that’s protected by our code of confidentiality, but any sovereign leader from any county has the right to request a visa at any time.
Feeley’s comments constitute the most information the U.S. has given out regarding the identity of the PSUV officials who now have visa restrictions barring them from entering the country. The U.S. Department of State announced the sanctions last week, but gave no further details.
He also made it clear that the travel sanctions only apply to the 24 individuals on the list, saying that “ordinary Venezuelans” can continue to request visas just as they always have.
Air Canada Denies Claims It’s Back to Business in Venezuela
Earlier today, the Venezuelan government issued a statement saying that Air Canada had resumed normal operations in the country, after dramatically cutting operations in Venezuela this past March.
In a string of tweets, the Canadian Embassy in Venezuela denied the claim. It also made it clear that the Venezuelan government still owes airlines US$4.1 billion in revenues, that Air Canada has not been able to access money owed to it in a year, and that Air Canada seating capacity to and from Venezuela is down 49% since last year. The tweets are seen below:
Former President Uribe Publishes Doument Linking Carvajal to FARC
The former President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, published a document through his Twitter account outlining what he alleges to be the connection between Hugo Carvajal, a former general and close ally of Chavez and Maduro, and the Colombian drug trade.
The document makes the following claim:
September 5, 2007: Guerillas evade drug enforcement agents who had tracked 2,900 kilos of cocaine hidden in a warehouse in Puerto La Cruz [Venezuela] which were going to be exported to Europe. The drugs belonged to various Colombian drug traffickers and a percentage of the shipment belonged to Frente 10 from the FARC [Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia]. We tracked a phone call by Hugo Carvajal to members of the National Guard and the Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar [DGIM], who were guarding the shipment, saying that a raid was imminent. The drugs were moved to another location and the operation was foiled.
Uribe also claims that two FARC members, Yesid and Didier Rios, have been living on the Venezuelan island of Margarita since 2007 under the protection of the DGIM. So far, Uribe has not provided any evidence beyond the claims outlined in his document.
Alvaro Uribe was President of Colombia from 2002 to 2007. Hugo Carvajal was the head of military intelligence in Venezuela from 2004 to 2011, and was recently accused by the United States government of drug trafficking and collaboration with the FARC.
Pictures from Around the Country
A protest in La Candelaria, Caracas:
A line up in Barquisimeto, allegedly outside a supermarket:
Finally, a video from Barquisimeto taken this week. The video appears to be security footage, and allegedly recorded a robbery inside a clinic.
The video shows a man sitting. Two men approach him, and proceed to nonchalantly disposes him of his sunglasses, watch, and wallet and/or cellphone. The men then calmly walk away: