Motorcycle gunmen kill pro-government legislator in Venezuela

CARACAS, (Reuters) – A pro-government member of Venezuela’s controversial legislative superbody was shot and killed in the west of the country by two assailants riding a motorcycle, authorities said yesterday.

Lawyer Tomas Lucena, 31, was in his pickup truck with relatives on Wednesday afternoon when he was shot several times. He died in a hospital in Trujillo state, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

A relative unknown in Venezuelan politics, Lucena was a member of the 545-strong ‘Constituent Assembly’ created last year by socialist President Nicolas Maduro in a move widely condemned by Western powers and fellow Latin American nations.

Speaking during an hours-long televised broadcast, Maduro alleged that Lucena, a father of three young children, had been targeted for political reasons.

“(He was) killed by right-wing hit men,” Maduro said.

“Violence here, violence there… directed by the embassy of the United States,” he added, without offering any evidence.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Critics say Maduro routinely uses Washington as a scapegoat for the OPEC member’s political and economic meltdown.

Venezuela has one of the world’s highest murder rates, while a fourth straight year of recession has deprived millions of three square meals a day.


Castro nears retirement as Cuban president, lawmakers vote on successor

HAVANA,  (Reuters) – Cuba’s Raul Castro was just hours away from retiring as president yesterday, with his vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel set to replace him in a shift that will usher in the island’s first non-Castro leader since the 1959 revolution.

Ecuador opens probe of ex-President Correa over debt operations

QUITO, (Reuters) – Ecuador’s state prosecutors’ office said on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation of former President Rafael Correa and 10 former officials for alleged mismanagement of public debt during the last five years of his administration.

Despite changes after 2012 horror, India’s rape victims denied speedy justice

NEW DELHI,  (Reuters) – India launched fast-track courts and a tougher rape law that included the death penalty after a gruesome assault on a young woman shocked the country in 2012, but crime statistics indicate the situation has got worse, not better, since then.

British PM May dealt embarrassing Brexit defeat in parliament’s upper house

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain’s upper house of parliament inflicted an embarrassing defeat on Theresa May’s government yesterday, challenging her refusal to remain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now