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.


DR Congo court charges army officer in murder of UN experts

Updated 46 sec ago
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DR Congo court charges army officer in murder of UN experts

KANANGA: A DR Congo military tribunal on Monday charged an army colonel with the murder of two UN experts who were killed two years ago while investigating violence in a restive central region.
Authorities had initially said the victims, Zaida Catalan, a Swedish woman, and American Michael Sharp, were killed in March 2017 by “terrorist” militiamen in central Kasai region.
Col. Jean de Dieu Mambweni, who was arrested in December, will face charges including criminal conspiracy and murder as a war crime, court clerk Captain Alain Bosombi told AFP.
“The date of his appearance has not yet been set but it will be soon,” the official said.
The army officer was in charge of relations with civilians in the central Kasai region at the time of the killings.
Prosecutors say he was in telephone contact on the day with one of the main murder suspects.
A UN report described the murder of the two experts as a “premeditated setup” in which state security may have been involved.
Their deaths sent shockwaves through political and diplomatic circles in Kinshasa — especially among aid workers grappling with the country’s entrenched violence and humanitarian crisis.