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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Venezuela 'heading for Cuba-style vote'

Venezuelan opposition leaders said the country is heading toward Cuban-style elections, with no real challengers to the ruling party, thanks to burdensome new rules governing how parties renew their registration.The accusation comes as the opposition stands to make major gains in upcoming regional elections, with Venezuela’s economy imploding and President Nicolas Maduro’s popularity plunging. The new rules, announced recently, set up a challenging series of hoops for parties to jump through in order to participate in this year’s vote, which has not yet been scheduled. Maduro’s United Socialist Party is exempt, as is the main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), since both won more than 1% of the vote in the past two elections. But the catch, for the MUD, is that it is not in fact a single party: It is a coalition of some 30 parties, each of which will have to go through the renewal process.More…

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