Guaido bid to oust Maduro in Venezuela fails
Juan Guaido’s attempt to win over the Venezuelan army in his longstanding campaign to remove Nicolas Maduro as president was seen as a failure. The Times noted military vehicles running down the protesters he had called out onto the streets to support him.
The Times - May 1st
The New York Times saw the move as leaving the opposition to Maduro “weaker than before in the eyes of its exhausted and impoverished followers.” The paper warned the Trump administration that any direct US intervention to support Guaido, “would find little support across the region.”
The Washington Post dismissed Maduro’s accusations that Guaido had attempted a coup with US support. “Don’t call it a coup. Venezuelans have a right to replace an oppressive, toxic regime,” it said.
The Times called Maduro’s rule “illegitimate” and said, “western nations should hasten his departure by diplomacy and the promise of aid and debt relief once he goes.” The Guardian, meanwhile, urged, “careful international engagement rather than reckless ideological intervention.”
US Democrats accuse Attorney General of deception
Attorney General William Barr last week faced intense questioning by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee about his alleged attempt to whitewash President Trump over the Mueller inquiry into Russia interference in the last presidential election.
The Wall Street Journal – May 2nd
The Wall Street Journal headlined the “clash” between Barr and the Democrats, while the New York Times focused on accusations by House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that Barr had had lied to Congress in his summary of Mueller’s findings. The Washington Post headlined Barr’s rejection of accusations that he misled the public.
The Washington Post – May 2nd
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin accused Barr of being a “political hack” who, “can no longer function credibly as attorney general.” New York Times writer Jamelle Bouie said he had, “used his position to insulate the president from legal scrutiny.”
But in the Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Stressel suggested opposition to the Attorney General was based on fear of what his own planned investigation into the whole Trump-Russia Mueller probe might turn up. “The liberal establishment, including journalists friendly with it, doesn’t want that to happen and so has made it a mission to destroy Mr Barr.”
US sanctions damaging Iranian economy
As the US announced the ending of waivers that had allowed eight countries to continue importing limited quantities of Iranian oil, the Financial Times headlined sanctions pushing the Iranian economy into recession, with inflation reaching nearly 40%.
Financial Times – April 30th
The New York Times also reported the IMF’s forecast that the Iranian economy would contract this year by 6%. But it warned that despite Saudi promises to make up for any Iranian oil losses on the market, “there is a risk the effort could backfire, triggering a hike in world prices.”
UK voters punish major parties over Brexit
British papers saw voters in local elections in the UK punishing both the Conservatives and Labour parties over their failure over Brexit.
“Now will they listen?” was the theme of headlines in several papers. But there was little agreement on the message voters wanted the parties to take in.
The Independent – May 4th
Daily Express – May 4th
The Independent reported Labour MPs saying they had lost council seats in the election because leader Jeremy Corbyn had failed to back a second referendum. The Express felt voters were urged the ruling Conservative party to “deliver Brexit!”
The Telegraph saw the local election result as, “a protest against the Brexit chaos, both by those who want Brexit, those against it and those who just want to get on with their lives.”
The Guardian noted that the poll saw voters deserting Labour for the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, both opposed to Brexit. “All the evidence suggests that Labour would be penalised for enabling Brexit. Three-quarters of Labour voters think Britain was wrong to not to leave the EU.”