CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced as “illegal” the new economic sanctions leveled by the United States against Venezuelan officials over a controversial government plan for rewriting the constitution.
“Who do these imperialists in the United States think they are? The government of the world?” Maduro said in a speech on Wednesday, after the White House imposed sanctions against 13 current and former Venezuelan officials.
He called the sanctions “illegal, insolent, and unprecedented.”
Among the Venezuelan individuals targeted with the sanctions were army and police chiefs, the national director of elections, and a vice president for the state oil company PDVSA.
The US government warned that the sanctions were just a start, and the White House was readying tougher measures against anyone supporting Maduro.
The sanctions are supposed to be punishment for Maduro’s plan to hold elections for a controversial new congress that will have the power to rewrite the constitution and override the current opposition-led legislature.
UNITED NATIONS – In a series of cuts made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haiti announced its plans to reduce its diplomatic missions by 60 percent.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Rodrigue confirmed the decision Tuesday, citing the country’s budgetary issues. The minister reported that the government’s contractual staff from around the world will be the first to be cut, with more than 40 missions closing due to the economic crisis.
“For now, we spend US$4.2 million a month on missions and we want to reduce it to US$2.5 million,” the minister said in a statement.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A pilot was killed when a plane owned by Roraima Airways crashed as it approached an airstrip in the western section of Guyana on Tuesday.
Dead is the airline’s chief pilot Captain Collin Martin.
The highlander aircraft crashed just before sunset.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), on Tuesday quashed the convictions of the two men – Vincent Edwards and Richard Haynes – who were sentenced to death for murder committed in Barbados in 2006.
The men were set free on Tuesday, after being imprisoned since 2007.
They were charged for the murder of Damien Alleyne on July 21, 2007, almost a year after Alleyne’s death on August 11, 2006.
IRVING, Texas – US oil giant ExxonMobil has discovered more oil in the Payara reservoir offshore Guyana.
In making the announcement on Tuesday, ExxonMobil Corporation says this increases the total Payara discovery to approximately 500 million oil-equivalent barrels.
“These positive well results increase the estimated gross recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to between 2.25 billion oil-equivalent barrels and 2.75 billion oil-equivalent barrels,” the company said.
The well drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited and encountered 59 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone in the Payara field.
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