By Alejandra Arredondo/Voice of America (VOA)Edited by Diálogo Staff August 31, 2020 Venezuela is now less prepared for free and fair elections than it was in 2018, when the results of the presidential elections were rejected by more than two dozen countries, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams said on July 28.“The conditions for free and fair elections are actually much worse today than they were in May 2018, when [Nicolás] Maduro held the presidential elections,” Abrams said in a phone press conference.The Nicolás Maduro regime has called for new parliamentary elections for December 6, 2020, a measure that the opposition has criticized as another attempt to squelch their political representation.Civil rights groups have denounced the elections, which seek to renew the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as designed to favor the ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV, in Spanish).“The parliamentary elections in December are already rigged,” Abrams said, as he pointed to the National Electoral Council (CNE, in Spanish), an institution under government control designed to regulate elections and whose members were appointed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ, in Spanish).“The CNE […] is supposed to be an independent body […], however, the TSJ stopped negotiations to elect the members and appointed them itself,” Abrams said.U.S. in contact with Norway about VenezuelaThe diplomat also spoke about the visit of Norwegian government representatives, who have attempted to mediate a solution to Venezuela’s crisis. Abrams said that the United States is in contact with Norway and that he has spoken with some Norwegian diplomats.“As for the Norwegians, we are, of course, in contact with Norway, and I’ve spoken to Norwegian diplomats since the return of the group that was in Caracas — a difficult trip for them if you think about it, from Oslo to Caracas in a time of COVID,” he said.“I can’t say that I feel particularly optimistic about this trip, because it seems that the regime has already made up its mind […]; it seems to want to go forward with this phony election,” the U.S. official said.Venezuela and North KoreaThe United Nations (U.N.) warned Maduro that the military agreement with North Korea would violate Security Council regulations. U.N. investigators discovered that Diosdado Cabello himself signed that agreement.In this respect, Abrams said that a violation of U.N. sanctions is potentially serious for the Maduro regime, because many countries would be willing to impose sanctions, although they have not yet done so individually.“It also shows, again, the nature of this regime. We’ve seen recently the regime begin to build its relationship with Iran. Iran, Venezuela, a pair of pariah states. Iran and North Korea now — North Korea and Venezuela. And I think one of the other impacts, besides the potential sanctions themselves, is reminding countries worldwide about the nature of this regime and the partners that it seeks worldwide,” Abrams said.
SMALL forward Harold Adams rewrote the local basketball record books when he poured in an unbelievable 111 points, to help the Victory Valley Royals to a record-setting 206-46 win over Bankers Trust Falcons in the Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Open League basketball championship.Adams, before this unmatched scoring feat, had a 46-point game in this very tournament but this scoring binge erases score of his teammate Chris Williams, who had previously netted 76 points a couple seasons ago.Orlando Glasgow, from the scoring triumvirate of this rampaging Royals unit, was the next best scorer with 31 points. Williams managed 22 points.The signs were early on the scoreboard as Royals had a 40-13 lead when the first half ended, but by halftime they had outscored their opponents 43-6 to be ahead 83-19. The pivotal third quarter saw the writing on the wall for a historic final score as they raced to a 149-27 advantage, on a 63-8 run against their hapless opponents.In the other match of the double-header, Retrieve Raiders held on to a 57-55 win against Amelia’s Ward Jets behind 16 points from Neil Marks. Duel Montrose contributed 10. Parrish Cadogan was the top scorer for Jets with 20.(Joe Chapman)
After Virginia Tech beat Miami on Saturday evening, Syracuse officially locked up the No. 9 seed for the upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference tournament after losing to Florida State on Saturday. The Orange will play eighth-seeded Pittsburgh, who has the same 9-9 conference record as SU but beat Syracuse twice this season.The game will be on Wednesday at noon at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.In the two teams’ first matchup, each’s ACC opener, Pitt ran away down the stretch to the tune of a 72-61 win at the Petersen Events Center. On Feb. 20 at the Carrier Dome, the Panthers again pulled away late for a 66-52 win.Syracuse was dominated on the glass in both games with Pitt holding a combined 38-rebound advantage in the two contests. The winner of Wednesday’s game, a second-round matchup, will draw the league’s No. 1 seed, which will be North Carolina. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 5, 2016 at 6:06 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman