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US accuses Venezuela, Cuba of exacerbating regional unrest

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The United States on Wednesday accused its adversaries Venezuela and Cuba of fomenting strife in South America, where a number of countries have seen major protests.

Elliott Abrams, who leads the US effort to topple Venezuela’s leftist leader Nicolas Maduro, said the two governments have used social media and other means to stir up unrest.

“There is evidence beginning to build about an effort by the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela to exacerbate the problems in South America,” he told reporters.

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Abrams pointed to US ally Colombia’s recent expulsion of 59 Venezuelans for taking part in mass demonstrations against the unpopular conservative president, Ivan Duque.

He also cited allegations, denied by Havana, that Cubans financed protests against the right-leaning interim leader in Bolivia, where longtime leftist president Evo Morales quit after disputed elections.

US officials have previously also alleged Venezuelan involvement in demonstrations that have rocked Ecuador and Chile.

Despite the turbulence in the region, Maduro remains in power even though most Western and Latin American nations consider him illegitimate after wide reports of irregularities in elections last year.

The United States in January launched a campaign of sanctions and other pressure to topple Maduro and back Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly whom Washington considers interim president.

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Abrams said the United States would not change course and still expected success.

“No, we don’t have a Plan B. We have a Plan A. We think it will work,” he said.

“There can be no solution to the terrible problems faced daily by Venezuelans while the Maduro regime is in power, because the Maduro regime created those problems and is exacerbating them,” he said.

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Maduro presides over a crumbling, state-directed economy that has seen eye-popping levels of inflation and triggered the exodus of millions of Venezuelans who cannot find basic necessities.


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2020 Election

‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters

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As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw

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Ocasio-Cortez blasts her NYC mayor for ‘making excuses’ for NYPD violence against protesters

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The youngest woman ever elected to Congress ripped her city's mayor on Saturday for "making excuses" for New York Police Department actions.

In videos that circulated widely on social media, NYPD cruisers can be seen driving into pedestrian protesters.

https://twitter.com/RawStory/status/1266915796770598912

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted New York City Mayor de Blasio for defending the NYPD.

On Twitter, she told the mayor, "your comments tonight were unacceptable."

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‘Light ’em up’: Police open fire on people filming them from their front porch

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Video reportedly taken from the Wittier neighborhood of Minneapolis on Saturday shows authorities shooting projectiles upon people filming them from a front porch.

On Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew on the city, but his emergency order did not apply to citizens' homes or front porches.

Yet a video posted on Twitter shows a Minnesota National Guard humvee rolling down residential streets, followed by a group of police.

"Look at this, they just keep coming," a woman is heard saying as the camera shows the police.

"Go inside. Get inside," the police shouted.

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