Daily Archives: Jan 29, 2019

    In this Jan. 25, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Trump is dismissing a tell-all book by a former White House aide as “made up stories and fiction.” The book by Cliff Sims, “Team of Vipers,” compares many Trump aides to serpents. Trump is tweeting that Sims “pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer.” (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With little time to craft a deal over funding security operations on the U.S.-Mexico border, a bipartisan group of lawmakers was to meet in a public work-session on Wednesday even as President Donald Trump maintained a hard line on constructing a massive wall.

    Congressional negotiators are up against a Feb. 15 deadline for agreeing on funding through Sept. 30 for several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and its border operations.

    Realistically, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have about a week to settle differences and still give the full House of Representatives and Senate time to debate and vote on any deal.

    A 35-day partial shutdown of agencies was triggered on Dec. 22 when Trump refused to sign funding bills that did not contain $5.7 billion for a wall along the southwestern U.S. border.

    Faced with steadfast opposition in the Democratic-majority House, Trump relented on Friday, agreeing to re-open federal agencies temporarily without his $5.7 billion request. In return, Congress agreed to a special panel to negotiate a border security deal.

    Trump has threatened a resumption of the record-long shutdown if the panel fails to find common ground or produces a plan he does not like.

    In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump warned: “If the committee of Republicans and Democrats now meeting on Border Security is not discussing or contemplating a Wall or Physical Barrier, they are Wasting their time!”

    Physical barriers have long been installed on parts of the border to keep out illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants and more are underway.

    It was unclear whether Trump, who views the current arrangement as insufficient, would accept a simple continuation of such installations. Building a wall on the U.S. southern border – with Mexico paying for it – was one of Trump’s most often repeated promises during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mexico has refused to pay for a wall.

    Democrats, arguing a border wall is ineffective, say they want a mix of security tools: drones, sensors, scanning devices and fences, along with more border patrol agents.

    Wednesday’s committee meeting might be the only public session since behind-the-scenes negotiations are the stage for the real bargaining.

    The session is expected to mainly allow the seven Senate negotiators and 10 House negotiators an opportunity to make opening statements. The committee is headed by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat, and Republican Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    With a mix of wall supporters and opponents, it is unclear whether the panel will reach agreement.

    Republican Representative Kay Granger was optimistic, telling reporters she and Lowey “have worked together well” over the years.

    If Congress denies his request, Trump has threatened to declare a “national emergency” in order to take existing funds appropriated by Congress for other purposes – possibly from the Defense Department, for example – to build his wall.

    There is bipartisan opposition in Congress to that plan, which likely would spark legal challenges since the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate funds and direct their use.

      Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

      CARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House warned traders on Wednesday not to deal in Venezuelan gold or oil following its imposition of stiff sanctions aimed at forcing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power.

      National security adviser John Bolton tweeted that traders should not deal in gold, oil or other commodities “being stolen” from the Venezuelan people, even as opponents of Maduro’s government worried that a Russian plane in Caracas was preparing to ship gold out of the country.

      U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, by phone on Wednesday, reiterating support for his “fight to regain democracy.”

      On one side of the tussle for control of Venezuela, an OPEC member that has the world’s largest oil reserves but is in dire financial straits, Guaido and Western backers led by the United States are insisting on an immediate transition and fresh elections.

      On the other, Maduro, with backing from Russia, China and Turkey, says he will remain for his second six-year term despite accusations of fraud in his re-election last year and the economic meltdown.

      Venezuela’s struggle to pay its debts even to allies Russia and China amid a sharp drop in oil output has been exacerbated by the new sanctions, which will make it very hard to sell oil to its main client, the United States.

      In that context, the unusual arrival in Caracas of a Boeing 777 plane from Moscow on Monday led to speculation Maduro’s government was preparing to ship more gold reserves out of the country, following shipments last year of $900 million of gold to Turkey last year. Those shipments were part of a strategy to increase the Central Bank’s liquidity.

      Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra, a former Central Bank economist, told the National Assembly his understanding was that the plane would take some gold reserves to Russia when it leaves. The Central Bank did not respond to a request for comment.

      Sources have told Reuters private military contractors who do secret missions for Moscow were in Venezuela.

      Elliott Abrams, the U.S. envoy for Venezuela, said the United States was looking around the world for more assets of the Maduro government, including gold holdings and bank accounts

      The Kremlin said this week it expected Venezuela to pay its debts. Russia, which like China has loaned and invested billions of dollars in OPEC member Venezuela, called on Guaido to drop his demand for a snap election and instead accept mediation.

      But given the failure of previous rounds of dialogue between the government and opposition, including one led by the Vatican, opponents are suspicious, believing Maduro uses them to quell protests and buy time.

      Guaido’s envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, said the only dialogue they were interested in would be a negotiation for Maduro’s departure and new elections. Government officials insist the next presidential election will be in 2025.

      FRESH PROTESTS

      Responding to a call by Guaido, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across Venezuela on Wednesday, some waving Venezuelan flags while drivers of cars and buses honked in support.

      “I want this government to go, it has been a total humiliation for the country” said Lucy Cordoba, 51, a government worker in the poor hillside town of Petare at the edge of the capital, where she said trash had not been collected for a year and water was scarce.

      Cordoba said her children were among the more than 3 million Venezuelans who have left the country in the past couple of years. One went to Peru, and another to Dominican Republic.

      More than 40 people have died so far in and around the protests that began a week ago, the U.N. human rights office said. Hundreds have also been arrested, including children.

      White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump and Guaido agreed to maintain regular communication after Venezuelan authorities opened an investigation that could lead to Guaido’s arrest.

      Oil prices rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday, as investors remained concerned about supply disruptions because of Venezuela

      Maduro, 56, says Guaido is staging a U.S.-directed coup against him. Facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago, Maduro told Moscow’s RIA news agency on Wednesday that Trump ordered “the government of Colombia and the Colombian mafia to kill me,” reprising an accusation of assassination plots that he has often made over the years.

      Bogota and Washington have routinely denied that.

      However, speculation about military action against him was fueled this week when Trump national security adviser John Bolton carried a notepad with the words “5,000 troops to Colombia”. U.S. Major General Mark Stammer, the commander of U.S. Army South, was in Colombia on Wednesday, U.S. embassy officials said.

      In response to Guaido’s invitation to army officers to join his cause in return for an amnesty, Maduro has made daily visits to troops, whose pledges of allegiance are televised. He is not expected to stand down while he has the backing of senior military officers.

      “Do you want to be a coward,” he yelled in a call and response session with hundreds of soldiers on Wednesday.

      “No, president,” they shouted back.

      Edwin Martinez is the Publisher and Owner the Largest Latino Newspaper and Online News Organization serving Buffalo, Rochester and Dunkirk New York. Thru Panorama Hispano News daily online Newspaper, Panorama reaches readers in Puerto Rico, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando and Miami, and many other large Latino markets across the nation and around the world, including Spain and Mexico.  Edwin was born in Buffalo, NY. And raised in New York City and Buffalo, New York. His professional career began in 1987, when he joined an International conglomerate company with sales in the Billions of dollars as a corporate manager. He then entered Politics as a Legislative Director in the New York State Senate. In 1989, he became Chief of staff at New York State Parole Board and of the Division of Parole serving Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1995, he was offered the Under Sheriff position in New York City but declined because of family commitments. That year, he moved on to become Regional Director of Programs at the New York State Division of Parole. Edwin, Likewise, worked at the US Justice Department.

      Edwin also built an impressive record of accomplishment in the human service arena beginning in the early eighties. In 1983, he helped created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the first full service agency headed by a Puerto Rican/Latino in Buffalo, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association. He provided the leadership and spearheaded the creation of Western New York’s first residential substance abuse treatment program, then incorporated and served the board of La Alternativa, Buffalo’s first Hispanic based substance abuse prevention program. He then merged La Alternativa with The Puerto Rican Chicano Committee and The Puerto Rican American Community Association to create Buffalo’s largest Hispanic Organization, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo.

      Edwin has also been a Generous Philanthropist to the Latino and Western New York community, funding College Scholarships, Youth Programing, Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Hispanic Veterans Memorial and Senior Services throughout his lifetime. Likewise, he has given and raised monies for political candidate for the last 35 years.

      A pioneer in healthcare reform in Western New York, Edwin Served on The health Systems Agency board for 15 years. Where, he regulated HealthCare provider services thru local Hospitals, Nursing Homes and ambulatory care facilities throughout Western New York. Likewise, Edwin has served on the Board of Directors of Columbus Hospital and Waterfront Nursing home which were later merge with Buffalo General Hospital.

      As a Ward chairman and Executive member of The Democratic Party, Edwin was instrumental in the election of the first Latino Judge, Councilmembers and The first Puerto Rican Mayor of the City of Dunkirk. As well as coordinated campaigns for Governors, Senators and State Assembly members. Likewise, Edwin served on the transition teams of various Governors, County Executives and Mayors across New York State and Western New York, which opened doors to the first Latino Commissioners, and Deputy Commissioners in the City of Buffalo. As well, Edwin’s involvement in government opened the doors too many Latinos in government positions today.

      Edwin has also been active throughout his lifetime in improving outcomes within the public schools system. While at the same time, creating organizations in Higher Education to serve the needs of Latino College Students.

      Today, through his vision, commitment, and leadership, Panorama Hispano News continues to grow and continues to be the number one news source for Latinos around Western New York, while, also reaching across the country and around the world.

       

      STAY CONNECTED

      WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com