Jul 23, 2019

Venezuela hit by widespread blackouts

Caracas is one of several places in Venezuela hit by a massive power cut. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Caracas and other parts of Venezuela were plunged into darkness after a massive power cut Monday night, AFP reports.

Why it matters: It's brought back fears of a return to blackouts that left millions of Venezuelans without water and communications access in March, per AP, which notes President Nicolás Maduro's government has again accused opponents of sabotaging the hydroelectric power system in the latest outage. The opposition blamed government mismanagement.

Go deeper: Power outages across Venezuela have left Maduro wobbling

Go deeper

Embargo on Venezuela pits U.S. against China and Russia

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House national security adviser John Bolton declared in a speech Tuesday morning that the embargo on Venezuela announced Monday night will deny President Nicolás Maduro the funds he needs to sustain his regime.

Why it matters: It has been six months since the U.S. recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president, and three months since a U.S.-supported coup attempt on Maduro failed. The drastic new steps are an attempt to regain momentum — but they will inflame tensions with Russia and China, allies of Maduro who receive shipments of Venezuelan oil as a form of debt repayment.

Go deeperArrowAug 6, 2019

Trump's Venezuela envoy insists Maduro will fall within months

Guaidó this week in Caracas. Photo: Pedro Mattey/picture alliance via Getty

President Trump's envoy for Venezuela says he's "absolutely" confident Nicolás Maduro will fall by year's end, despite Maduro's success thus far in clinging to power.

Flashback: It has now been 6 months since Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela's legitimate president. The Trump administration demanded at the time that Maduro leave immediately, or else. He didn't. An attempt to topple him in April failed. Rumblings of potential U.S. military intervention haven't come to fruition.

Go deeperArrowJul 25, 2019

U.S. embargo on Venezuela raises stakes for Russia and China

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro speaking in Caracas. Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images)

In the absence of a foreign policy victory in Venezuela, President Trump's economic embargo on the country shows his sights resettling on the prospect of regime change.

The big picture: Despite Washington's anointment of Juan Guaidó as the country's democratically elected leader and its tightening asset freeze on government property, regime change remains a high hurdle. Behind the administration's recent move is the untested wager that the renewed threat of extraterritorial sanctions against Venezuela's trade partners China and Russia could erode their support for President Nicolás Maduro.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019