Venezuelan banker Leopoldo Castillo Bozo is wanted by INTERPOL for engaging in “terrorist activities” and has been denied access to the United States on the same grounds, according to journalist Casto Ocando.

Ocando posted documentation to his Twitter account showing a U.S. visa-refusal form for Bozo. The reason for the refusal is that Bozo allegedly engaged in “terrorist activities” by acquiring bonds from the Republic of Iran, in apparent contravention of sanctions against the country.

Ocando also reports that Bozo is an “associate” of vice-president Aristobulo Isturiz.

SAIME: Nacho’s Passport Still Valid

Shortly after performer Miguel Ignacio Mendoza (better known as “Nacho”) posted a video to Twitter yesterday claiming that the Venezuelan immigration service, SAIME, had revoked his passport, the agency took to Twitter to dispel the claims. SAIME said that Nacho’s passport was still valid, and that the reason he was held at the Simon Bolivar International Airport by immigration agents is that the airport computers were unable to scan his passport, necessitating manual entry into the immigration system.

It is not clear why Nacho left the airport under the impression that his passport was no longer valid.

Chaderton: US Might Invade

Former Venezuelan ambassador to the Organization of American States Roy Chaderton spoke in an interview that aired on Televen today and said that some members of the Venezuelan opposition were “friends of invasions”, and insinuated that the United States might intervene military in Venezuela.

Chaderton also acknowledged the long, often futile lines Venezuelans have to endure to buy groceries every day, calling them a “tragedy” and “a powder keg” that might explode at any moment. Chaderton said:

The authorities face a challenge. We’ll be in a lot of trouble if we don’t face these types of difficulties [the lines]. If the authorities don’t do it, they set a bad example, because the people become afraid, or they might explode as a result of all the abuse.

He also described personally seeing a line and feeling sorry for the people he saw there:

These lines are a tragedy. Recently, I went out for a walk at 5:30 AM. It was really cold, and [I] saw unending lines that included little old grandmothers, freezing for hours.

Chaderton raised eyebrows last year with comments he made during a televised interview. He jokingly suggested that a bullet tearing through the skull of an opposition supporter wouldn’t make a sound because “they don’t have any brains”.

PSUV Official Allegedly Arrested for Smuggling Milk

El Nacional reported today that a local PSUV official in Merida state named Alexis Azuaje was arrested earlier today after the SUV he was driving was stopped by authorities and found to contain a hoard of powdered milk, presumably destined for resale on the streets at steep prices. The powdered milk originated from a local Mercal, a state-owned supermarket chain.

Twitter users were the first to report the incident. The pictures below allegedly show the moments after Azuaje’s vehicle was stopped by the National Guard:

The SUV allegedly belonging to Azuaje:

Alexis Azuaje standing beside the SUV in question. Note the bags of powdered milk on top of the SUV and the National Guard soldiers:

A close-up of the hoard:

Inflation Goes Up 14% in January

The inflation rate in the country shot up by 14% in January, according to the a source for La Patilla.

The website compared Venezuela’s inflation rate with that of other Latin American countries for the month of January, and found that the second-highest inflation rate in the region for the first month of the year came from Argentina, which saw its index increase 3.6%.

Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic posted the best inflation numbers for January, reporting an increase of 0.11% and 0.01%, respectively.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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