The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is situated on the northern coast of South America. Home to an estimated population of 29.1 million, it covers around 916,445 square kilometres which includes the Andes mountains and the Amazon Basin Rainforest. Its main export is oil. Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 but continued resistance led in 1811 to it becoming the first Spanish American country to declare independence. A chequered political history followed which saw dictatorships rise and fall, as well as military coups. 


Forced plane landing, a deployed gunboat, and ignoring rulings by UN Human Rights Committee and a regional African court – no wonder you don’t read about the US extradition case against Venezuelan envoy Alex Saab

  • US concerned by Maduro government crackdown on opponents as election looms
  • Caracas vowed that its oil sector would keep going regardless of US sanctions

Polls show only 13.9 per cent of Venezuelans plan to vote for the incumbent, but popular rival Maria Corina Machado is facing a ban from holding public office.

High-risk, high-cost mega-infrastructure projects like those backed by Belt and Road Initiative decline in popularity, with developments now seen in sectors with faster returns and fewer operating costs.


Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino says the troops are safeguarding the country’s national sovereignty, amid a border dispute with Guyana over mineral-rich Essequibo.

Venezuela’s president ordered more than 5,600 military personnel to participate in a ‘defensive’ exercise near the border with Guyana, in response to Britain sending a warship to the area.

Guyana’s president said troops are prepared to defend the nation’s territory after Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro revived a long-dormant dispute over the oil-rich Essequibo region.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at Guyana’s request on Venezuela’s claim to a vast oil-rich region called Essequibo.

The supertanker Olympic Trophy, chartered for US$13 million, is expected to load in early December, according to a source and ship tracking data on Kpler.

Government critic Maria Corina Machado declared herself the winner early on Monday after early results showing her ahead with more than 90 per cent of support.

Chinese and Venezuelan presidents meet for the first time in five years, agreeing to boost collaboration in areas from oil and trade to space exploration.


Beijing and Caracas are strengthening ties against a backdrop of intensifying US-China rivalry across the region and Venezuela is seeking energy investments to boost the economy ahead of next year’s election.

Reformist outsider Bernardo Arevalo is up against former first lady Sandra Torres, both social democrats, meaning Guatemala will have its first leftist leader in more than a decade.

Currency swap to help Buenos Aires make good on US$2.7 billion owed, with remaining US$1 billion balance covered by Development Bank of Latin America.


Instagram model Sofia Salomon aims to challenge the nation’s deeply conservative society and, if accepted, will be the first transgender woman in the competition.


Latin American nations are strengthening relations with China amid a belief that Washington’s focus turned to the Middle East and now the Indo-Pacific.

The Talavera mine in Venezuela’s Bolivar state flooded on Wednesday after heavy rains but rescuers could not continue recovery efforts before Saturday. Authorities will return to the site on Sunday to check for further survivors.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a ‘multipolar’ world rather than one dominated by the US, as he arrived in Brazil seeking to rebuild his nation’s alliances after years of isolation.

The pope, who was in hospital due to bronchitis last week and suffers from a knee condition, approached the altar in a wheelchair. He is expected to celebrate the Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square.