Los chamos sub-18 lograron triunfos ante Colombia (8 por 5) y Cuba (10 por 5)

REDACCIÓN | CARACAS.- La selección nacional de Venezuela avanzó a la Super Ronda del Campeonato Panamericano de beisbol categoría sub-18, tras superar 8 carreras por 5 a su similar de Colombia, en el estadio Rico Cedeño, en Chitré, Panamá.

Sean Mendoza, antesalista y quinto bate de los ganadores, despachó grand slam para coronar racimo de cinco carreras en la parte alta del tercer inning, las cuales resultaron determinantes en la victoria frente a los neogranadinos.

El zurdo portugueseño José Palacio, ficha de los Rockies de Colorado, inició y se apuntó el triunfo en trabajo de cinco entradas, en las cuales le fabricaron una carrera con cuatro imparables, obsequió cuatro boletos y recetó par de ponches.

Éxito frente a Cuba

Venezuela y Colombia llegaron a la última jornada de la fase clasificatoria con balance de dos triunfos por un revés, luego que en la jornada del lunes la representación vinotinto despachó a Cuba con marcador de 10  carreras por 5, apoyada en excelente labor del abridor zurdo yaracuyano Kleiver Osorio, quien en cinco innings permitió cuatro hits, le anotaron tres carreras y propinó ocho ponches. José Mendoza ligó tres imparables  y fletó dos y Yefri Carrillo remolcó tres carreras.

Fue el primer triunfo de Venezuela sobre Cuba en una docena de enfrentamientos en torneos panamericanos de la categoría juvenil desde 1997.

Venezuela cayó ante Canadá 8 por 2 en la inauguración y luego venció a Bahamas 17-1.

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CARACAS (Reuters) – Allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had discussed holding a presidential election in the coming months during talks to find a breakthrough in the country’s political crisis, four sources told Reuters on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country’s rightful interim ruler, attends a session of Venezuela’s National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo

Opposition politicians will travel to Washington to speak to U.S. officials this week, the sources said.

Maduro and a delegation representing opposition leader Juan Guaido have been meeting in Barbados as part of talks to resolve a political stalemate in the struggling OPEC nation that is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Guaido’s delegation had proposed a presidential vote in six to nine months on a number of conditions including changes to the elections council and supreme court, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential.

The government had in theory agreed to a presidential vote on the condition that the United States lift economic sanctions, Maduro be allowed to run as the Socialist Party candidate, and that the vote be held in a year, one of the sources said.

However, the government has since pulled out of the talks to protest a new round of sanctions by Washington, and no new date has been set to resume the discussions, despite a visit by Norway foreign ministry officials – acting as mediators – seeking to revive them.

U.S. officials have expressed support for an election but without Maduro as a candidate, which may be a point of discussion, two of the sources said.

Venezuela’s information ministry, Norway’s foreign ministry and the U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Preparing groundwork for an election requires a raft of changes to state institutions, including both the elections council and the supreme court – both of which have aggressively intervened in election processes to favor Maduro.

Another possible roadblock would be the existence of the Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful legislative body controlled by Socialist Party supporters that opposition leaders say could also intervene in any potential vote.

Reporting by Mayela Armas and Corina Pons in Caracas; additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington; writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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Claims that Nicolás Maduro’s number two official is working with the US are an attempt to ‘stoke paranoia’, experts say

Diosdado Cabello and Nicolás Maduro.

Diosdado Cabello and Nicolás Maduro.
Photograph: ARiana Cubillos/AP

He is one of the most influential and infamous figures in Venezuelan politics – a hardcore Chavista who uses his weekly talkshow to preach permanent revolution and excoriate the evil empire up north.

But two reports in the American media now suggest Diosdado Cabello, Nicolás Maduro’s number two official, has been engaged in “secret communications” with United States officials designed to force Hugo Chávez’s successor from power.

Observers of Venezuelan politics greeted Sunday’s reports – from the Associated Press and Axios – with skepticism.

“I’m not convinced it is true,” said Christopher Sabatini, a senior fellow for Latin America at the Chatham House thinktank.

“I think what the US is trying to do is some sort of psy ops thing, trying to rattle people within Maduro’s administration. They are trying to get inside Maduro’s head and stoke paranoia within the inner-circle,” Sabatini added.

“But there’s a whiff of desperation here … the fact that they are talking so openly about it really doesn’t seem to be a particularly good negotiation strategy.”

Geoff Ramsey, a Venezuela expert at the Washington Office on Latin America, said he did believe there had been exchanges between Cabello and Trump representatives.

“But the fact that we now know about them suggests that whatever channel existed has been closed,” he added.

Axios claimed that in recent months Cabello, the 56-year-old head of Venezuela’s pro-Maduro constituent assembly, had been communicating with Trump’s top Latin America adviser, Mauricio Claver-Carone. Some Trump officials considered that a positive sign suggesting Maduro’s circle was “gradually cracking”.

The Associated Press claimed Cabello had met someone “in close contact with the Trump administration” in Caracas last month and that a second meeting was planned. By engaging with Cabello it said the US hoped to intensify an internal “knife fight” supposedly raging at the pinnacle of Maduro’s administration.

Maduro has been fighting for his political life since January when a young opposition leader called Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s rightful president and received the backing of more than 50 governments, including the US and UK.

Cabello has yet to directly address claims he was talking to Washington, although an aide told the Associated Press he would only do so with Maduro’s permission.

On Monday Cabello shared a tweet mocking the allegations with his 2.3 million followers. “Diosdado met in SECRET with a gringo SECRET agent to agree a SECRET plan to topple Nicolás, who knows nothing about this, because if he did know it wouldn’t be a SECRET,” it said.

Any move to involve Cabello in Venezuela’s post-Maduro political future – or offer him immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes – would be highly controversial among government opponents.

“He is widely detested. He’s seen as this central hub of corruption in the regime,” said Ramsey.

However, Ramsey said that with Venezuela’s crisis dragging on US officials seemed aware “bitter pills” might have to be swallowed to secure Maduro’s downfall.

Sabatini said the suggestion the US was negotiating with a man accused of human rights abuses and “all sorts of illicit activities” was troubling. “Diosdado is probably not a man who should be negotiated or bargained with.”

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RIO DE JANEIRO — The head of U.S. Southern Command says military officials are focusing on preparing for “the day after” once “isolated” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leaves power.

Navy Adm. Craig Faller warned Monday against Venezuela’s “formidable weapon system” and criticized Cuba, Russia and China for assisting Maduro, saying it was important to put “continuous pressure” on the “illegitimate regime” and organize humanitarian efforts.

Faller also shared concern about the growing influence of China in Brazil. China is the South American country’s largest foreign investor.

The commander is in Rio de Janeiro for a multinational maritime exercise this month that partly aims to better coordinate the response to cyber war threats and natural disasters.

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China‘s largest energy company, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is backing away from direct purchases of Venezuelan crude as the United States tightens sanctions against Caracas.

CNPC has cancelled plans to load about five million barrels of Venezuelan oil onto ships this month, Qatar News Agency reported. This comes after the latest executive order from US President Donald Trump, ratcheting up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.

It is thought to be the first time in 10 years that Beijing has refused to buy Venezuelan oil, and follows a meeting between CNPC executives and senior US diplomats, a source told Reuters news agency.

Chinese and international media said an interruption in August would not mean a complete break in communication between China and Venezuela over oil.

Washington froze Venezuelan government assets held in the US in early August. Further guidelines are expected to be issued by the US Treasury, but the Trump administration has been trying to unseat socialist President Nicolas Maduro since at least his 2018 re-election.

Trump’s executive order on August 5 did not explicitly prohibit non-US companies from doing business with Venezuela’s state-run company PDVSA but did threaten to freeze US assets of any person or company determined to have “materially assisted” the Venezuelan government.

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