Maduro’s grip on Venezuela tightens, warns of Trump threat

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro talks to the media after casting his vote at a polling station during the municipal legislators election in Caracas, Venezuela December 9, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 December 2018
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Maduro’s grip on Venezuela tightens, warns of Trump threat

  • Maduro said many opposition leaders are waiting for an invasion from by the US without giving details

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro has further consolidated power in local elections, while accusing President Donald Trump of plotting to overthrow him.
Election officials loyal to Maduro said Sunday night that the majority of 2,500 council seats went to members of his party.
The election came as an economic crisis rocks the once-wealthy oil country after two decades of socialist rule. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled searching for a better life.
Maduro’s government banned the most popular opposition parties from elections, while leading figures in the movement are jailed or go into exile fearing for their safety.
After voting, Maduro scoffed at foreign leaders including Trump who label him a dictator.
He said many opposition leaders are waiting for an invasion from by the US without giving details.


ICC prosecutor: examination of Philippines continues despite withdrawal

More than 5,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed in police anti-narcotics operations since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016. (AP)
Updated 36 min 58 sec ago
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ICC prosecutor: examination of Philippines continues despite withdrawal

  • Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda: ICC continues to have jurisdiction over possible crimes committed during the period the country was a member
  • The ICC procedure was ‘political persecution’ of Duterte, presidential spokesperson said

AMSTERDAM/MANILA: The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor said on Monday her examination into possible crimes against humanity committed in the Philippines would go on, despite its withdrawal from the court.
The Philippines’ withdrawal from the Hague court was formalized on Sunday.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement the ICC continued to have jurisdiction over possible crimes committed during the period the country was a member.
Bensouda has been examining whether thousands of extrajudicial killings allegedly committed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs are sufficient to warrant a formal investigation.
Duterte’s spokesman said the ICC had no basis to continue its preliminary examination and the government would not cooperate with it.
“They cannot enter here if that is their purpose, to investigate. You are already intruding into our sovereignty,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told a regular news conference on Tuesday.
More than 5,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed in police anti-narcotics operations since Duterte took office in June 2016.
Rights groups and critics say some of the killings were summary executions. Police deny such allegations, saying they had to use deadly force because the suspects were armed and resisted arrest.
The Philippines unilaterally withdrew from the ICC in March 2018 over what Duterte called “outrageous” attacks and violations of due process by it.
“We have already pointed out that in this country we have a judicial system that is robust and functional and very effective,” Panelo said.
The ICC procedure was “political persecution” of Duterte, he said.