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Venezuela Secretly Plotted to Sell Banned Syrian Oil to the U.S.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

President renews emergency powers, snubs foes

Venezuela's leader Nicolas Maduro angered his opponents Sunday by refusing to face them for his annual presidential address, fanning tensions as he renewed his emergency powers in a volatile crisis. His decision to give the speech in the pro-Maduro Supreme Court instead of the legislature aggravated a political standoff in the oil-exporting country. Delivering it inside the court building, he confirmed the depth of Venezuela's economic troubles. Maduro said income from the country's crucial oil exports plunged from more than US$48 billion in 2008 to just US$5.3 billion last year. That has meant less money to fund the social welfare model championed by Maduro and his late predecessor Hugo Chavez. "This revenue model has become unviable," Maduro admitted. More…


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