Colors: Blue Color

Pompeo: US says it will hold Maduro accountable for crisis

The US secretary of state in the Columbian border town of Cucuta on Sunday said the US will continue to pressure Maduro, and use "every economic and political means ... to help the Venezuelan people". 

"Using sanctions, visa revocations and other means, we pledge to hold the regime and those propping it up accountable for their corruption and their repression of democracy," Mike Pompeo said.

Pompeo met with Venezuelan refugees and called on Maduro to open the border to let aid through and to step down as president. 

In his last stop on a four-country tour in Latin America he said Russia and Cuba would pay a price for supporting Maduro.

First Red Cross aid delivery arrives in Venezuela

The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the Red Cross arrived in Venezuela on Tuesday, delivering medicine and supplies for needy patients in a country whose president has long denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis.

Workers in blue vests helped load boxes with the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies emblem onto trucks while leaders with the organisation pleaded for officials to keep the aid out of the nation's political dispute.

"It will be distributed in conformance with the fundamental principles of our movement, especially neutrality, impartiality and independence," said Mario Villarroel, president of the Venezuelan Red Cross. "Don't allow the politicisation of this great achievement."

Foreign intelligence services should exit Venezuela: Lima Group

The Lima Group regional bloc on Monday called for the exit of foreign security and intelligence forces from Venezuela and reiterated its rejection of the use of military force in the crisis-stricken South American nation.

Lima Group urges UN to 'take action' over Venezuela crisis

The Lima Group made up of mostly Latin American countries called on the United Nations on Monday to "take action" to prevent an escalation of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.

The group of 14 countries, which also includes Canada, exhorted UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the General Assembly and the Security Council to "take measures to avoid the progressive deterioration of peace and security, and to provide urgent humanitarian aid to the population of migrants coming from Venezuela."

Venezuela accuses Canada of supporting Trump's 'war adventure'

Venezuela accused Canada of supporting US President Donald Trump's "war adventure" after Ottawa announced new sanctions on top officials in President Nicolas Maduro's government.

In a statement, Venezuela's foreign ministry said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "has invalidated Canada as a reliable actor in dialogue". 

"It's alliance with war criminals that have declared their intention to destroy the Venezuelan economy to inflict suffering on the people and loot the country's riches demonstrates the hypocritical attitude of the Ottawa government in its pretentious concern for human rights," the foreign ministry said. 

Canada hit Venezuela with fresh sanctions

Canada announced new sanctions against 43 members of Maduro's government, including Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, whom it holds "responsible for the deteriorating situation" in the crisis-wracked South American country.

The sanctions included a freeze on the individuals' assets and a ban on them conducting business with Canada, which previously sanctioned another 70 top government officials.

source:aljazeera

Hundreds of migrants boarded a train known as the “The Beast” in southern Mexico on Thursday, in a risky move aimed at transporting them to the U.S. border quicker.

The decision to board the train en masse comes after a breakout of migrants from a troubled immigration detention center in the southern border city of Tapachula on Thursday night.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the mass escape, which appears to be the largest in recent memory, involved around 1,300 Cuban migrants. Around 700 of them have since returned voluntarily, but hundreds remain on the run.

Migration authorities said nearly 400 migrants boarded the train, Reuters reported, with images showing men, women and children of various nationalities, most of them on the roofs of carriages.

“We hope our God above will keep helping us. We had to keep moving forward,” Michael Hernandez, a Honduran, told Reuters after disembarking from the train together with a large group of others migrants after reaching the town of Ixtepec. “They won’t let us walk, so we climbed on the train. It’s our only option.”

    “They won’t let us walk, so we climbed on the train. It’s our only option.”
    — Honduran migrant Michael Hernandez

President Trump has been pressuring Mexico to do more about the migrants passing through their country into the U.S. – even threatening to close down the border if President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador doesn’t stop illegal migrants from coming to the U.S. border.

Mexico has largely been responsive to the pressure, stepping up the efforts to detain the migrants and deport them back home.

But such crackdown also led to migrants using the train, which runs from the southern border state of Chiapas into neighboring Oaxaca and north into Gulf coast state Veracruz, as this way dozens of police and immigration checkpoints along the Mexican highways can be avoided even the journey on a train is significantly more dangerous.

The train has been used by migrants in the past, but it became ignored in recent years because of the dangers of the journey, including death or lost limbs.

“They're riding the train again, that's a fact," said the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde, a migrant rights activist,  who works to provide temporary shelter for migrants.

“It's going to go back to the way it was, the (Mexican) government doesn't want them to be seen. If the migrants move quietly like a stream of little ants, they'll allow them to, but they are not going to allow them to move through Mexico publicly or massively,” he added.
source:AP and Foxnews