Thursday, May 30, 2019

TheList 5009

The List 5009     TGB

I hope that your week has been going well
Today in Naval History
May 30
1864 During the Civil War, the side-wheel steamship USS Keystone State and the iron screw steamship USS Massachusetts capture British blockade-runner Caledonia south of Cape Fear, N.C.
1944 USS Guitarro (SS 363) sinks Japanese freighter Shisen Maru, 60 miles south-east of Keelung, Formosa. Also on this date, USS Pompon (SS 267) sinks Japanese freighter Shiga Maru off Muroto Saki, Japan while USS Rasher (SS 269) sinks the gunboat Anshu Maru about 110 miles north-northeast of Halmahera.
1945 A TBM (VC 82) from USS Anzio (CVE 57) sinks Japanese submarine (I 361), 400 miles southeast of Okinawa. Also on this date, USS Blenny (SS 324) sinks Japanese cargo ship Hokoku Maru 40 miles southwest of Banjarmasin, Borneo while USS Croaker (SS 246) sinks Shuttle Boat (No.154) and Shuttle Boat (No. 146).
2008 USS Dubuque (LPD 8) rescues six Filipino mariners from a sinking vessel in the Balabac Strait. She was originally commissioned in September 1967 and decommissioned in June 2011. Dubuque is now in the reserve fleet at Bremerton, Wash.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Today's national headlines include the President and Acting SECDEF denying knowledge of a reported USS John S. McCain 'out of sight' directive during the President's Memorial Day visit to Japan. A year after it was established, the U.S. 2nd Fleet has reached an initial operational capability ahead of next month's Baltic Operations reports USNI News. "The North Atlantic has some of the world's busiest shipping lanes, and with the opening of waterways in the Arctic, this traffic will only grow," said Vice Adm. Andrew "Woody" Lewis. "This is a fact acknowledged by both our allies and competitors, and as such, it is critically important U.S. 2nd Fleet reinvigorates the way our forces are employed in this influential theater." The Virginian-Pilot reported on the mast stepping ceremony for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy that took place as Newport News Shipbuilding lowered the island house into place on the carrier. Additionally, the New York Times reports that the Trump administration believes Russia has restarted low-yield nuclear tests.
Today in History May 30
Jerome of Prague is burned as a heretic by the Church.
Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by the English.
The University of Marburg is founded in Germany.
Hernando de Soto lands in Florida with 600 soldiers in search of gold.
The first American daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Evening Post, begins publishing in Philadelphia.
The First Treaty of Paris is declared, returning France to its 1792 borders.
William Young patents the ice cream freezer.
The Piedmontese army crosses the Sesia River and defeats the Austrians at Palestro.
Union General Henry Halleck enters Corinth, Mississippi.
Memorial Day begins when two women place flowers on both Confederate and Union graves.
The brassiere is invented.
U.S. Marines are sent to Nicaragua to protect American interests.
The First Balkan War ends.
The U.S. Navy transfers the Teapot Dome oil reserves to the Department of the Interior.
The Royal Air Force launches the first 1,000 plane raid over Germany.
NASA launches Mariner 9, the first satellite to orbit Mars.
Thanks to KenP
Some Aviation History June 1-3:

June 1
1921 — Aeromarine Airways transports 1044 passengers with baggage and mails between Key West and Havana in 6 months. Starts intercity flying boat service at New York.
1921 — United States Weather Bureau starts daily flying weather bulletins.
1925 — A car dealer covers himself in stamps worth $718 in a bid to be sent airmail from San Francisco to New York; the United States Post Office refuses to accept him.
1938 — Flying a Pratt & Whitney powered Marcoux-Bromberg "Special," Earl Ortman, flies from San Francisco, California to San Diego California in record time of 1 hour, 48 minutes, 1 second.
1939 – The first flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw-190.
1939 – The Douglas DC-4 makes its first passenger flight from Chicago to New York.
1940 — United States Army Air Corps announces plans for the construction of the world's most powerful wind tunnel at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.
1948 – First flight of Cessna 170, a general aviation aircraft produced by the Cessna Aircraft Company between 1948 and 1956. Over 5,000 were built, and over 2,000 are still accounted for today. The Cessna 170 taildragger was replaced by the Cessna 172, which became the most popular light plane in history.
1949 — A survey conducted by a firm of New York aviation consultants shows that for the first time in history air travel volume is greater than first class rail travel. Revenue passengers-miles for domestic airlines totals 603 million compared to 582 million for Pullman trains.
1967 — First non-stop Trans-Atlantic helicopter flight, two Sikorsky HH-3E "Jolly Green Giants", New York to Paris.

June 2
1794 — J. M. J. Coutelle and N. J. Conte of the French army's ""Aerostiers" at Mauberge, France, make the first military use of a balloon, when they observe enemy positions from their captive balloon.
1910 — Charles Rolls makes the first non-stop double crossing of the English Channel from Dover, England, in one hour, 35 minutes.
1931 — Northwest Airways, Inc., inaugurates airmail service between Fargo and Mandan, North Dakota.
1938 — Flying a Consolidated "Flying Boat" powered by two Wright "Cyclone" engines, Richard Archbold flies from San Diego, California, to Hollandia, New Guinea with Russell Rogers, Lewis Yancey, G. D. Brown, S. Barrinka and Ray Booth covering a total distance of 7,200 miles.
1941 – First British Consolidated LB-30 Liberator II, AL503, on its acceptance flight for delivery from the Consolidated Aircraft Company plant at San Diego, California, crashes into San Diego Bay when flight controls freeze, killing all five civilian crew, CAC Chief Test Pilot William Wheatley, co-pilot Alan Austen, flight engineer Bruce Kilpatrick Craig, and two chief mechanics, Lewis McCannon and William Reiser. Craig, who had been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1935 following Infantry ROTC training at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering, had applied for a commission in the Army Air Corps before his death. This was granted posthumously, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, and on 25 August 1941, the airfield in his hometown of Selma, Alabama was renamed Craig Field, later Craig Air Force Base. Investigation into the cause of the accident causes a two month delay in deliveries, so the RAF does not begin receiving Liberator IIs until August 1941.
1948 – Convair B-36 Peacemaker entered service with the United States Air Force's 7th Bombardment Wing (Heavy).
1957 — The first solo balloon flight into the stratosphere (the upper portion of the atmosphere above seven miles) is made by United States Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr. In his plastic balloon "Manhigh 1," he stays in the air for six hours, 36 minutes and reaches an altitude of 96,000 feet.
1986 — The greatest distance achieved by a hang-glider is made by American Randy Haney who flies an unpowered hang-glider 199.75 miles (321.47 km) from his takeoff point.
1995 — Two North American Rockwell B-1B "Lancers" from Dyess AFB, Texas, set three speed records on a historic around-the-world flight.

June 3
1785 — Jean-Pierre Blanchard experiments with a parachute, releasing a silk parachute 20 feet in diameter, loaded with weight over England. Later he drops dogs attached to parachutes from his balloon.
1936 — The British Air Ministry awards a contract to Hawker for 600 "Hurricane Mk. I" fighters, the first of a new breed of high-speed, eight-gun interceptors for the RAF. This is the biggest peacetime order placed in Britain to date.
1942 – The Akutan Zero - During a Japanese raid on Dutch Harbor, eastern Aleutians, Alaska, the Mitsubishi A6M Model 21, 4593, 'D1-108', flown by Flying Petty Officer 1st Class Tadayoshi Koga (10 September 1922 - 3 June 1942) takes hit to oil line in a brush with a U.S. Navy PBY Catalina. Pilot realizes he cannot make return flight to carrier Ryujo so he attempts emergency landing on what appears to be grassy terrain on Akutan Island but turns out to be soft muskeg, fighter overturning as undercarriage makes contact, pilot killed by a broken neck. Attempt by Japanese submarine crew to rescue pilot is unsuccessful. U.S. Navy search team discovers nearly undamaged Zero with dead pilot still under the canopy, retrieves it and in August 1942 ships it to the Assembly and Repair Department at NAS North Island, San Diego, California for repair and evaluation, the second intact example to fall into American hands. Airframe had been built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya in February 1942.
1953 – The US Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team is activated flying the F-84G. Originally the Acrojets in F-80s, they were disbanded due to the Korean War. About the same time the Skyblazers began flying In Europe and two of their members became the nucleus of the Thunderbirds.
1959 — Graduation of the first United States Air Force Academy class. T
he first class having adopted the Cadet Honor Code, chose the Falcon as the Academy's mascot. On 29 August 1958, the wing of 1,145 cadets moved to the present site near Colorado Springs and the Academy received accreditation less than a year later.
1973 — The first crash of a supersonic transport aircraft occurs as a Tupolev Tu-144 goes down during a demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show.
On May 29, 1944, 75 years ago, German submarine U-549 torpedoed and sank USS Block Island—the only U.S. carrier lost in the Atlantic during World War IIUSS Eugene E. Elmore and USS Ahrens sunk the enemy submarine later that night. Nine hundred fifty-one of Block Island's crew were rescued. Amazingly, only six were lost; however, of the six Wildcat fighters in the air trying to make it to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands at the time of the attack, only two survived. The next morning, Eugene E. Elmore took the crippled USS Barr—which was also struck by a torpedo—in tow along with two ships full of survivors and set sail for Morocco. They eventually pulled into the Casablanca harbor on June 1. Army-issued fresh khakis and toilet gear went to each man, but the crew of Block Island was kept in isolation for the next several days to keep news of the ship's loss from leaking out
While on patrol in the Persian Gulf on May 17, 1987, USS Stark was struck by two Iraqi missiles that killed 37 Sailors and wounded another 21. The ship was in the Persian Gulf's war-free zone on a two-day exercise during the Iran–Iraq War. Around 9 p.m., when a majority of the Sailors were asleep, an Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 jet released two air-to-ground missiles on Stark. Apparently, the pilot believed the American ship was an Iranian oil tanker. The first missile struck the ship's forward port side, but it did not detonate. Just seconds later, the second missile hit, and it detonated. Due to the quick actions of Sailors onboard, the ship did not sink and was escorted to the Manama port in Bahrain the next day. To learn more, read the U.S. Navy release. For additional reading on the episodes surrounding the event, read H-018-1: No Higher Honor—The Road to Operation Praying Mantis at NHHC's website.
WWII@75: First Blimps Cross Atlantic
On June 1, 1944, 75 years ago, Blimp Squadron Fourteen (ZP-14) airships—K-123 and K-130—completed the first crossing of the Atlantic by non-rigid, lighter-than-air aircraft. The journey began at Naval Air Station South Weymouth, MA, and ended at Port Lyautey in Morocco. ZP-14 was established on June 1, 1942, and was involved in extensive antisubmarine warfare and rescue missions while serving in the continental United States. In 1944, ZP-14 received orders to deploy overseas to serve under the operational control of Eighth Fleet in Europe and Africa. The transatlantic flight was completed in three legs with stops in Argentia; Newfoundland; the Azores; and finally ending in Morocco. Once the K-series airships arrived, their primary mission was to provide a MAD (magnetic anomaly detection) barrier at night in the Straits of Gibraltar. Other duties included convoy escorts, search for survivors of downed aircraft, and miscellaneous activities. To learn more, read the naval aviation histories of Z-21 in the Caribbean and ZP-14 in the Atlantic and Europe at NHHC's website.
On May 29, 1844, 175 years ago, the frigate USS Constitution, commanded by John Percival, set sail from New York for an around-the-world cruise that covered more than 52,000 miles. During the two-year voyage, Constitution visited—in this order—the East Atlantic islands belonging to Portugal and Spain; Rio de Janeiro; Madagascar and Mozambique; the East African sultanate of Zanzibar; the Sultanate of Aceh (in contemporary Indonesia); Singapore and Borneo, a coal-rich island in the Malay Archipelago; Vietnam and China; the Philippines and Hawaii; California and Mexico; and Valpara√≠so on the Chilean coast. Secretary of the Navy David Henshaw sent the half-century-old sailing ship on the mission for a number of reasons but, of the priorities, collecting information on foreign waters and foreign ports was the only one deemed truly successful. To learn more, read the essay USS Constitution's Around-the-World Cruise: Adventures and Misadventures by COD's Adam Bisno at NHHC's website.
Thanks to Naval History and Heritage Command
The Navy is preparing to commemorate the Battle of Midway, which was fought 3-7 June 1942 at and near the island of Midway in the central Pacific Ocean. The United States took the offensive in World War II after this victory of the U.S. Navy over the Japanese Imperial Navy. After Midway, the tide of the war turned in favor of the United States and her allies.  More information is available on our website:
- Battle of Midway - combat narrative, history, people, digital collections:
A lot of History here thanks to Jim
Lot of interesting reading.  Could spend hours on this.
   Each line below is a clickable web link !
      • WW2                                               European (THO)
      • Airplanes
Some news from around the world
        USA—China May Target Rare Earths As Trade War Heats Up Bloomberg News | 05/30/2019 China is reportedly putting rare earth metals in the crosshairs as its trade battle with the U.S. enters a new phase, reports Bloomberg News. China accounts for as much as 95 percent of global output of rare earth metals, while the U.S. obtains about 80 percent of its rare earths from Beijing. The materials are used in everything from F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters to guided missiles and targeting lasers. Recent domestic media reports indicate that Beijing is preparing to make use of its hold on the rare earths market in response to Washington's latest tariffs. "The fact that rare earths are on the menu again means China is using its most powerful political tool in the resources space," said Simon Moores, the managing director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, an industry research group. The U.S. imported $160 million worth of rare earth metals and compounds in 2018, an increase of 17 percent from 2017, but down from $519 million of refined rare earths in 2012, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Pentagon accounts for about 1 percent of total U.S. consumption of rare earths, according to a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. The elements are also found in smartphones, electric vehicles and wind turbines.   
USA—Moscow Testing Low-Yield Nukes In Violation Of Treaty, According To DIA Chief Business Insider | 05/30/2019 U.S. intelligence agencies say they believe that Russia has been clandestinely testing low-yield nuclear weapons in violation of an international treaty prohibiting such trials, reports Business Insider. "The United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the 'zero-yield' standard," according to prepared remarks from Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who spoke at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Russia is suspected of conducting several very low-yield nuclear tests at its Novaya Zemlya testing facility in the Arctic, reported the Wall Street Journal. U.S. officials have declined to reveal what explosive yields may have been involved in the trials, which would violate the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Russia ratified the treaty in 2000. There have long been concerns in the U.S. that Moscow's understanding of the treaty requirements may differ from that of the U.S. government. Ashley also suggested that China, which is a signatory to the treaty, may also be engaged in actions "inconsistent" with it. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty must still be ratified by eight more nuclear technology states, including the U.S., before it enters force, noted Reuters.     
Netherlands—Army Takes Delivery Of New Robots For Testing Milrem | 05/30/2019 Estonian defense firm Milrem Robotics says it has delivered two of its uncrewed ground vehicles to the Dutch army. Two Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry Systems (THeMIS) were handed over to the Robot and Autonomous Systems (RAS) unit of the 13th Light Brigade of the Royal Netherlands Army in April. The unit will use the autonomous systems to investigate their potential to increase combat power and reduce risk to soldiers, said a Milrem release on Tuesday. The ground vehicles were delivered in a transport configuration along with spare parts and accessories. Shortly after their delivery, the RAS employed the robots for the first time in an exercise in Scotland, the company said.     
Poland—Government Begins Project To Acquire F-35 Stealth Jets Defense News | 05/30/2019 Poland has taken another step in its bid to acquire fifth-generation fighter jets from the U.S., reports Defense News.  On Tuesday, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that his ministry had submitted a letter of request to Washington for 32 F-35A jets and a logistics and training package.  The advanced jets are intended to replace the air force's aging MiG-29 fighters and Su-22 strike aircraft, the minister said. A U.S. delegation traveled to Poland earlier this month to brief Polish defense officials on the potential purchase.  Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz told Parliament earlier this month that the jets would be acquired in two tranches. An initial squadron of 16 F-35As would be procured under the current modernization plan that runs through 2026 and a second squadron in the subsequent modernization plan, reported Flight Global.    
Ukraine—4 Soldiers Killed In Helo Crash In Rivne Region Interfax-Ukraine | 05/30/2019 Four soldiers have died in a helicopter crash in the western Ukrainian region of Rivne, reports Interfax-Ukraine.  The troops from the 16th Separate Army Aviation Brigade were conducting day-night flight training late Wednesday when their Mi-8 transport helicopter went down in the Radyvyliv district, reported the 112 (Ukraine).  Col. Ihor Mazepa, the brigade commander, was among those killed. (Ukraine) reported that the helicopter made an emergency landing and then caught fire. The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) is probing possible violations of flight rules. Infractions can be punished by up 15 years imprisonment.  President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordered Lt. Gen. Ruslan Khomchak, the chief of the General Staff, to personally oversee the investigation.
Singapore—New Agreement To Deepen Defense Ties With China  Straits Times | 05/30/2019 The defense ministers of China and Singapore have agreed to update their bilateral defense cooperation agreement to strengthen relations, reports the Straits Times.  Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen met with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, on Wednesday in Singapore.  The ministers agreed to amend the existing Agreement on Defense Exchanges and Security Cooperation to potentially increase ties between military services and establish academic and think tank exchanges.  The partners also agreed to expand the scale of existing bilateral military exercises.  The updated accord is expected to be signed later this year.  The agenda also covered regional security and ways for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus to enhance confidence among militaries and prevent conflict, reported Channel News Asia.    
India—Goa Shipyard Launches Another Indigenous Patrol Vessel For Coast Guard Goa Shipyard | 05/30/2019 Goa Shipyard has announced the launch of the second domestically designed offshore patrol vessel for the Indian coast guard. The 2,400-ton ship was put into the water during a ceremony on May 25, the shipbuilder said on Tuesday. The lead ship in the as-yet-unnamed class was launched on Feb. 21. The patrol ships will be assigned to protecting India's exclusive economic zone, said Goa Shipyard. The vessels will feature fast boats for search-and-rescue and anti-piracy missions.     
Afghanistan—Suicide Bombing At Military Academy Kills 6 Khaama Press | 05/30/2019 At least six people have been killed and six injured in a suicide attack targeting a military training center in Kabul, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan). The explosion on Thursday targeted the Marshal Mohammad Qasim Military Academy in the city's fifth police district, reported the Tolo News (Afghanistan).  The attacker approached on foot and detonated his explosives when a soldier tried to stop him, said police quoted by Agence France-Presse. The blast took place as cadets were leaving the college, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  An annex at the school houses NATO trainers.  ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, reported Reuters.     
United Arab Emirates—Defense Pact With The U.S. Enters Effect Emirates News Agency | 05/30/2019 A mutual defense agreement between the U.S. and United Arab Emirates has entered into force, reports the official Emirates News Agency.  The Defense Cooperation Agreement formally came into effect on Wednesday, according to a joint statement.  The accord is designed to enhance defense and security collaboration between the two nations and support efforts to maintain security in the region. Details of the agreement were not immediately made public. The milestone was announced during U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's visit to Abu Dhabi, where he met with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayad Al Nahyan, reported Al Arabiya.     
Egypt—Haftar Hands Over Wanted Militant Radio France Internationale | 05/30/2019 The Libyan National Army (LNA), based in eastern Libya and led by Khalifa Haftar, says it has delivered a wanted Egyptian militant to the government in Cairo, reports Radio France Internationale. Hisham El-Ashmawi was handed over to Egyptian intelligence on Tuesday, according to Egyptian state television. Ashmawi, a former Egyptian special operations officer, is wanted in Egypt for the attempted assassination of a minister and several attacks, including in the Western Desert region. He left the army in 2012 and joined the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (Sinai Province) terrorist group, which conducts attacks against Egyptian and Israeli targets in the Sinai peninsula. Ashmawi reportedly went to Libya in 2013 and was captured by the LNA in Derna in October..
Somalia—U.S. Steps Up Airstrikes Against ISIS, Al-Shabaab In North Military Times | 05/30/2019 The U.S. has apparently increased its targeting of militant groups in Somalia's northern Golis Mountains, reports the Military Times. On Sunday, a U.S. airstrike killed three Al-Shabaab militants in the region, which has been a site of conflict between it and IS-Somalia. This was the sixth American airstrike in the last month targeting militants from the two groups, the newspaper said on Wednesday. U.S. Africa Command argues that the strikes help to disrupt militant leadership and recruiting efforts. Nevertheless, Al-Shabaab has remained a potent force in rural areas across Somalia. Meanwhile, IS-Somalia has carved out its own territory in the northern Puntland region over the last several years and has begun to operate in the south, including the capital, Mogadishu. IS-Somalia and Al-Shabaab have been formally at war since late 2018, although the former is believed to have only a few hundred members.     
Democratic Republic of the Congo—Troops Kill 26 ADF Rebels In N. Kivu Province Reuters | 05/30/2019 Security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo say they have killed 26 rebels in a gunfight in the northeastern North Kivu province, reports Reuters.  On Thursday, rebels attacked a military post in a village near the city of Beni, which has been hard hit by an Ebola epidemic.  The troops counter-attacked, eventually recovering 26 bodies of suspected rebels.  Officials said the attackers belonged to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group that began in Uganda and has been operating along the border between the DRC Uganda for decades.  The ADF has not publicly allied itself with any jihadist groups. Witnesses say the ADF carried out an attack last month that was claimed by ISIS.  About 1,300 people have been killed by Ebola in the region since August. Violence, including attacks on treatment facilities, have hampered the government's response.      
Uganda—Intelligence Officer Arrested On Charges Of Spying For Rwanda Daily Monitor | 05/30/2019 A Ugandan army officer has been arrested on accusations of having spied for neighboring Rwanda, reports the Daily Monitor (Kampala, Uganda). Col. Paul Muwonge was apprehended by personnel from the chieftancy of military intelligence, the investigative arm of the Ugandan army, on May 22, unnamed sources told the newspaper on Tuesday. Muwonge was the direct of intelligence for the Ugandan army, placing him in a position to receive classified information from all five of the service's infantry divisions. The colonel has not yet been formally charged, the paper said. Col. David Gonyi was quickly appointed to replace Muwonge. Relations between Rwanda and Uganda have been troubled of late amid Rwandan allegations that the Ugandan government is illegally holding many of its citizens and deporting others unlawfully.  Uganda has denied the accusations.     
Colombia—Court Upholds Lawmakers' Objections To Modifying Peace Deal With FARC Colombia Reports | 05/30/2019 A Colombian constitutional court has ruled against President Ivan Duque's proposed changes to a 2016 peace deal with Marxist rebels, reports Colombia Reports.  The ruling on Wednesday upheld a vote by the senate earlier this month. Supporters of the proposed changes argued that the measure did not reach the constitutionally-mandated threshold.  Duque was elected in 2018 on a platform that included reworking the 2016 deal with the FARC rebels, who largely demobilized and disarmed under the agreement.  The lower house rejected the proposed changes in April. The senate voted against the proposal 47 to 31 earlier this month, noted Reuters.  The changes championed by Duque could have affected victim compensation, extradition and sentencing.  The peace deal has constitutional status in Colombia. Amending it requires a two-thirds majority in Congress.     
Venezuela—No Deal Reached In Talks Between Maduro, Opposition In Norway Mercopress | 05/30/2019 Talks in Norway between the Venezuelan government and the opposition led by Juan Guaido have ended without an agreement, reports MercoPress (Uruguay). Delegations representing President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido met in Oslo on Wednesday.  It was the first face-to-face meeting as part of a process that began two weeks ago to bridge the country's ongoing political and economic crisis.  In a statement following the talks, Guaido affirmed support for future talks, emphasizing that his goals of removing Maduro and holding free and fair elections have not changed.  The National Assembly president declared himself interim president in January. Maduro was re-elected in May 2018 in polls that were widely viewed as fraudulent.  News of the negotiations came a day after the central bank released official statistics for the first time in years, reported CNN.  Inflation exceeded 130,000 percent in 2018, while gross domestic product fell by 22.5 percent, according to the figures.  At least 3 million Venezuelans have fled due to the worsening economic conditions, which have also resulted in increased disease and food scarcity.  .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Post

THE MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALL Jack Blanchard's Column February 13, 2021

        Thousands of readers around the world ...