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The Unfortunate Trail Trump Leaves Behind Him

During Donald Trump's SOTU I mentioned a few things I thought would backfire big time. First, his spotlight on his guest, Juan Guaidó, who is an opposition leader in Venezuela.

Trump called Guaidó the “true and legitimate” leader of Venezuela and said President Nicolas Maduro is a “tyrant” as lawmakers applauded.

“Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland,” Trump said to Guaidó. “All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

Here's the result of Trump's welcome of Guaidó:

Six American oil executives under house arrest in Venezuela were rounded up by police hours after President Donald Trump met Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s chief opponent at the White House, according to family members of the men.

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No Treaty, No Problem for the DEA

Update 7/27: The Netherlands has authorized Aruba to release Hugo Carvajal, saying he does have diplomatic immunity. Looks like the DEA has lost this round. Definitely the right decision in my view.

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Venezuela does not allow the extradition of its citizens to the U.S. That doesn't stop the DEA. The latest conquests in its global war on drugs: Benny Palmeri-Bacchia, a Venezuelan attorney who served as a judge and prosecutor, and Hugo Carvajal Barrios, aka "Pollo" (chicken), the former head of Venezuela's Military Intelligence. Palmeri-Bacchi was arrested en route to Disneyland with his family for a vacation, and Carvajal was arrested in Aruba (as the result of a year long DEA plan to arrest him outside of Venezuela, more on this below.) [More...]

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Hugo Chavez Wins Big

It doesn't surprise me that Hugo Chavez won by a big margin in Venezuela.

With 78 percent of voting stations reporting, Chavez had 61 percent to 38 percent for challenger Rosales, said Tibisay Lucena, head of the country's elections council. Chavez had nearly 6 million votes versus 3.7 million for Rosales, according to the partial tally.

Turnout among the 15.9 million eligible voters was 62 percent, according to an official bulletin of results, making Chavez's lead insurmountable.

Here's more on Chavez and his promises for his next administration.

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