Protests go on amid Carnaval
Scattered barricades blocked streets in some Caracas neighborhoods Friday even while life went on as usual in others as a political standoff persisted through the second day of national holidays. In spite of the long weekend heading into three days of Carnaval, student-led demonstrations have so far maintained a street presence, not just in the capital, but also in cities including Valencia, Merida and San Cristobal. In that context President Nicolas Maduro forged ahead with a new round of televised peace meetings Friday. He announced his intention to establish similar conferences in all states. Absent were members of the opposition, who refuse to open a dialogue until Maduro releases protesters from jail and stops harsh crackdowns on protests.
Stolen art traced to Miami
Dozens of works of art were secretly taken from a storage facility at Cuba’s flagship National Museum of Fine Arts and some have surfaced across the Florida Straits in Miami, museum and gallery officials said Friday. In a statement posted online, Cuba’s governmental National Council of Cultural Heritage acknowledged what it called a major loss for the museum, located on a main boulevard in central Havana. Prominent Florida art dealer Ramon Cernuda, who left Cuba as a young child in 1960 and runs a gallery in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables, told the AP the thefts came to light after he bought a painting two weeks ago by Cuban artist Eduardo Abela from another local gallery.
World Bank loans $1.2 billion
The World Bank announced Friday a $1.2 billion package to support Tunisia’s economic reforms and stumbling economy. The much needed cash came on the heels of the announcement a month ago by the International Monetary Fund that a long-delayed $500 million in funding had been released following the passing of a new post-revolutionary constitution. The World Bank program involves $750 million to promote growth and create employment. Another $300 million is earmarked for decentralization projects to aid the impoverished interior.
Compiled from wire reports.