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 News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela

Venezuela NewsLinks 17 - 23 April 2006

Venezuela grants emergency aid
By: Cay Compass - Grand Cayman,Cayman Islands
Venezuela’s state bank has granted US$2 million in emergency assistance to the Caribbean island of Grenada in another step by President Hugo Chavez’s government to use its oil wealth to boost regional integration. Venezuela’s Bank of Economic and Social Development said the funds would be used to reconstruct homes in low–income communities that were heavily damaged during Hurricanes Ivan and Emily in 2004 and 2005.
Venezuela's Chavez said to mull oil move
By: - USA
In a move that could put even more pressure on already record-high oil prices, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a further step toward nationalizing his nation's oil industry, according to a published report. The Wall Street Journal, in a story dated Monday for its online edition, said Chavez's allies in Venezuela's Congress are considering a big tax hike on foreign companies' operations in the Orinoco River basin, which is Venezuela's biggest oil deposit.
Chavez: US Diplomat Welcome in Venezuela
By: Houston Chronicle - United States
Venezuela's president said Sunday that he would welcome a visit by a top U.S. State Department official and hopes to build close ties with like-minded Americans despite his vehement opposition to President Bush. Hugo Chavez said Thomas Shannon, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, had called his foreign minister to say he wanted to visit, and that Chavez did not object.
Venezuela Plans to Raise Trade Barriers Against Colombia, Peru
By: Bloomberg - USA
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he will raise trade barriers against Colombia and Peru because the neighboring Andean countries reached free-trade agreements with the U.S. Chavez said his decision last week to withdraw Venezuela from the Andean Community of Nations trade bloc was ``irrevocable.'' Venezuelan producers can't compete with ``super- subsidized'' products from the U.S., he said.
Chavez backs former US foe in Nicaragua election
By: Washington Post - United States
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday backed the favorite to win Nicaragua's November presidential election, days after Washington warned the country not to vote for its former cold war foe.
Venezuela: Thinking through the opposition's strategy
By: V Crisis - London,England,UK
Venezuela will have presidential elections December this year. To date there are 4 known, more can always appear, opposition candidates that will participate in the race namely: Julio Borges, Roberto Smith, William Ojeda and Teodoro Petkoff. Some people think that, since none of them have got any chance at beating the incumbent if the opposition does not get squarely behind one single candidate representing the universe of Chavez's foes, primaries are needed, in order to elect democratically who this candidate shall be. Sumate, the electoral NGO, has proposed to organize and run the primaries, in which any person registered in the roll can vote.
Guatemala Seeks Oil Deal With Venezuela
By: MSN Money - USA
Guatemala is seeking a deal to buy discounted petroleum from oil-rich Venezuela, Energy and Mines Minister Luis Ortiz said Sunday. Ortiz told The Associated Press that President Oscar Berger plans to meet with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez next month in Costa Rica to discuss the plan.
Venezuela to Expand Joint Oil Ventures
By: Washington Post - United States
Venezuela's state oil company would like to form joint ventures with oil companies extracting heavy crude in the Orinoco tar belt, a move that would bring the state a larger financial stake in the projects, a company official said in an interview published Saturday. Venezuela recently converted 32 other privately operated oil fields into "mixed companies" in which its company Petroleos de Venezuela SA holds majority stakes.
US air authority raises Venezuela security ranking, avoids flight ...
By: People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
The United States's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) upgraded Venezuela's air security ranking to category one on Friday, avoiding a ban that would have blocked most U.S. airlines from flying to the country, the U.S. embassy in Venezuela said. The decision came after a team of FAA inspectors visited Venezuela last month to examine the country's air security arrangements, after Venezuela's National Civil Aeronautics Agency (INAC) threatened to reduce the number of flights of three U.S. airlines to Venezuela.
Successful week of Venezuela solidarity
By: Green Left Weekly - Chippendale,NSW,Australia
To mark the four-year anniversary of the attempted coup in Venezuela, defeated within 72 hours by a popular uprising in which President Hugo Chavez was reinstated, a week of activity was organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) from April 11. Those curious about the Bolivarian revolution attended film screenings, pickets of US consulates and fiestas, including one at the CFMEU offices in Sydney’s west. The Venezuela charge d’affaires, Nelson Davila, addressed a seminar in Melbourne.

Venezuela Launches Primary Health Program for Extreme Poor
By: - Caracas,Venezuela
The Venezuelan government, yesterday, began a diagnostic primary health project for the homeless, drug addicts, and at-risk individuals as part of the “Negra Hipolita Mission,” the social program that is aimed at taking care of Venezuelans in situations of critical poverty. According to the project, developed by the Ministry of Popular Participation and Social Development (MINPADES), the consultations, exams, and health treatment which began yesterday in Caracas and Miranda State will cost a little over $150,000 to treat the approximate 1400 people who have been “rescued” and have been receiving attention in the Negra Hipolita Mission since its formation 3 months ago.
Leaving Andean pact won't hurt Venezuela: minister
By: ABC News - USA
Venezuela's withdrawal from the Andean Community trade bloc, announced by President Hugo Chavez this week, will not hurt the world's No. 5 oil exporter, Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez said on Saturday. Chavez, who has attacked members of the bloc for signing trade pacts with the United States said on Wednesday that Venezuela was withdrawing from the group.
Chavez: Venezuelans will defend Cuba against US
By: Jerusalem Post - Israel
Venezuelans will spill blood to defend Cuba against a possible US invasion, President Hugo Chavez said. "If the US empire were to invade Cuba, Venezuelan blood would run in the defense of Cuba and its people," Chavez said Friday during a speech to government supporters in Venezuela's capital.
Chavez proposes a "new equals configuration" for Mercosur
By: MercoPress - Montevideo,Uruguay
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is sponsoring a “new configuration” for Mercosur to help overcome the current asymmetries among members which are threatening the cohesion of the block.
Chavez Proposes Nation of Republics
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
After its withdrawal from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), Venezuela steps up its role in the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) as a step towards a South American Union. While ratifying his country´s leaving of CAN for being ineffective after the signing of free trade agreements with the US by some of its members, President Hugo Chavez reiterated the pro-integration projection of his next steps.

Chavez and Lula discuss means to tie continent more tightly
By: Dominican Today - Santo Domingo,Dominican Republic
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had a long meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during which the two leaders discussed possible means for tying South America together more tightly both economically and politically. The nearly four-hour meeting of Chavez and Lula took place late Thursday at the Alborada Palace, official residence of the Brazilian presidency.
Four years after the coup, Chavez remains the target of US media disinformation
By: - Worth,IL,USA
People's Weekly World Newspaper (W. T. Whitney Jr.): The course of Venezuelan politics after the failed 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez contains elements of both change and continuity. Four years later, Chavez remains the target of US media disinformation. For example, on the eve of the 2002 coup attempt, Juan Forero of The New York Times wrote of Chavez’ “autocratic style and left-wing policies,” which “have alienated a growing number of people.” Shortly after the coup Forero gave credence to the lie that the Venezuelan President had resigned, and hailed his illegitimate would-be successor as a “manager and conciliator.”
Andean Community chief surprised by Venezuela's withdrawal decision
By: People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
The leader of the Andean Community said on Thursday that he was surprised by Venezuela's announcement that it was to leave the organization, and vowed to make a concerted effort to ensure the bloc did not dissolve. Allan Wagner Tizon, Secretary-General of the Andean Community, told a Colombian radio that he would examine Chavez's statement carefully.
Guinea-Bissau to establish diplomatic ties with Venezuela
By: People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
Guinea-Bissau is to establish diplomatic relations with Venezuela by setting up diplomatic missions in each other's capitals, according to a report reaching here from Bissau on Friday. In a statement, Guinea-Bissau's Foreign Minister Antonio Isac Monteiro said an accord to exchange ambassadors was signed earlier this month by Caracas and Bissau in an effort to consolidate bilateral cooperation.
US and Venezuela avoid ban on flights
By: Seattle Times - United States
U.S. aviation authorities upgraded Venezuela's safety ranking today, averting a ban that would have blocked most U.S. airlines from flying to the country. The U.S. Embassy in Caracas said in a statement that the "Federal Aviation Administration is raising the safety rating of Venezuela to Category 1."
Venezuela to Leave Andean Community
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Venezuela will present next week the necessary documents to officially break away from the Andean Community of Nations, Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Pavel Rondon said on Friday.
President Chavez will run up against all kinds of impediments to ...
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Guyana's Stabroek News: It was columnist Mr. Reggie Dumas writing in the Trinidad Express earlier this week who reminded readers of Dr. Eric Williams's famous speech to the PNM in 1975 entitled 'The threat to the Caribbean Community.'
Venezuela Pullout Worries Bolivia
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca described as sovereign Venezuela´s decision to withdraw from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), but declined to comment further. In reply to journalists about the issue, Choquehuanca said that once Venezuela pulls out, Bolivia may propose an Andean summit to discuss the serious situation.
Petkoff, Former Communist Guerilla, Seeks to Unseat Chavez
By: Bloomberg - USA
Teodoro Petkoff, who spent his youth as a communist guerilla in Venezuela's wilds and served as a cabinet minister in his 60s, called for a country ``without fear'' as he opened a campaign to unseat President Hugo Chavez. Petkoff, 74, said Chavez has created a nation enveloped in fear that has led to mounting crime, unemployment and corruption. Petkoff, who announced his presidential bid last night, said he would also maintain the social programs Chavez started, but improve them by rooting out ``corruption and political discrimination.''
Chavez: Venezuela to withdraw from Andean Community of Nations
By: - Caracas,Venezuela
Yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela would exit from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), and that he would consider dropping import tariffs for select agricultural goods for some neighboring countries. Announcing Venezuela’s withdrawal from the CAN, Chavez said, “For years I’ve been saying that the Andean Community is dead. Right now, I’m president of the Andean Community. And what am I president of? Of a big lie. Above all now that Colombia and Peru have signed a free trade agreement with the United States, in this it’s true that they finished killing it.”
Fidel Castro: Attempt to execute Chavez ... but the firing squad ...
By: - Worth,IL,USA
New Socialist: In the book “Fidel Castro, a two-voiced biography,” published by the Debate Publishing House, the Cuban President told Ignacio Ramonet information not previously released about the events of April 2002 in Venezuela.
Expert: CAN Will Fade without Venezuela
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Peruvian international analyst Ernesto Velit asserted that without Venezuela, the Andean Community of Nations will disappear, and together with it, the ineffective Andean Parliament. If we add the possible withdrawal of Bolivia from CAN, founded in 1969 to foster integration, there would be no reason for its existence because only Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, which are unilaterally negotiating a free trade agreement with the US, will remain in it, said Velit.
Venezuela will no longer be an Andean nation
By: Pravda - Moscow,Russia
In a previsible move since its approaches to the other main trade bloc of South America, the Mercosur, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made public his plans to withdraw from the Andean Community of Nations over the pro-Washington policies of its other members. "Venezuela is leaving the Andean Community of Nations," Chavez said in comments broadcast by Venezuelan television after he attended a conference with South American leaders in Paraguay. "It doesn't make sense; we have to do something else."

Hugo Chavez blames US for high oil prices
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed the United States for the high cost of oil Thursday, saying the American hard line on Iran was driving prices to record levels. Chavez predicted that the cost of oil would soar far higher if the standoff over Iran's nuclear program led to a U.S. attack on the Islamic republic.
US Ambassador: Venezuela is sovereign on its decisions on oil
By: El Universal - Venezuela
US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield Thursday said that Venezuela is sovereign regarding its decisions on oil, but added that he wished the country keeps selling it to US costumers, Efe reported. The US envoy explained his points of view on Venezuelan oil policy when asked about a warning issued by President Hugo Chávez, who threatened Wednesday to blow up oil fields in the event of a US invasion.
Venezuela announces to EU its withdrawal from CAN
By: El Universal - Venezuela
Venezuela Thursday informed the European Union its decision to leave the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), during a meeting held by representatives of both blocs in Brussels, CAN Secretary General Allan Wagner said. "(Venezuelan Foreign Affairs) Vice Minister Pavel Rondón advised on his country decision" to leave CAN, declared Wagner to AFP after a meeting of an EU-CAN bipartisan committee analysing a potential start of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between both blocs.
Venezuela to Expose Assassination Plot
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Venezuela National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro said his country intends to denounce, before international bodies as well as at home, the plots to assassinate President Hugo Chavez. Maduro mentioned the legislature´s priorities are to give the people the evidence that the media did not, and follow-up on the official request to Colombia to conduct an investigation.
327 died, and 655 were wounded in Venezuela's 30 prisons, which house around 20,000 people
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Chinese Xinhua: At least 15 prisoners died in a fight between prison gangs in Venezuela's Western Penitentiary Center, Venezuelan television said on Wednesday. The gangs were fighting for control of Santa Ana, as the jail is known, the television said. Venezuelan authorities have not confirmed the story, however.
Looks like maybe ... Venezuela's opposition is finally getting its act together?
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Oil Wars Blogspot: It's been a long time coming but it looks like maybe -- just maybe -- the opposition is finally getting its act together and is about to finally taking some good steps. It was announced yesterday by SUMATE ... the opposition electoral NGO supported by the US ... that they will be organizing primaries for opposition candidates who want to run against Chavez in the upcoming presidential election.
Chavez says US won't give Morales a honeymoon
By: Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused his arch-enemy Washington on Thursday of trying to destabilize Bolivia's leftist government, which took office three months ago. Chavez -- a close ally of Cuba President Fidel Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales -- regularly attacks the Bush administration while Washington says he is using Venezuela's bountiful oil wealth to meddle in neighboring countries.
Venezuela reclaims oil company acreage
By: Oil & Gas Journal - Houston,TX,USA
Venezuela reclaimed more than 27,000 sq km formerly licensed by oil companies last month by requiring them to join new state-controlled joint ventures, El Tiempo newspaper reported. Companies operating 32 oil fields were required to form ventures with the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, (PDVSA) as part of the Venezuelan government's effort to boost its share of oil revenue (OGJ Online, Apr. 10, 2006).
Venezuela to Swap $1.4 Bln of Domestic Debt in May (Update1)
By: Bloomberg - USA
Venezuela will swap 3 trillion bolivars ($1.4 billion) in domestic debt coming due this year for three-to-six year bonds, Finance Minister Nelson Merentes said. The government will carry out the swap in the next two months, Merentes said at a press conference today in Caracas.
CITGO denies all knowledge of President Hugo Chavez' 'illegitimate ...
By: - Worth,IL,USA editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: In an emailed response to CITGO Petroleum Corporation's manager of public affairs & corporate secretary, Fernando J. Garay denies all knowledge of the mysterious Ray Nava ... the alleged illegitimate son of President Hugo Chavez ... who played a central role in a movie assignment which resulted in Las Vegas-based film maker Harry Minetree being stiffed for US$130,000.
Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay coordinate gas pipeline
By: Granma International - La Habana,Cuba
Before the end of the year, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay will know if they will be able to carry out their project to unite the three nations with a gas pipeline, a plan that already has partial funding assured by Venezuela, said the presidents of those countries.
US ambassador publicly states respect of Venezuela's sovereignty
By: Xinhua - China
U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield made a public statement on Thursday, saying the United States respects Venezuela's sovereignty in oil matters. He said the U.S.-Venezuela relationship in terms of trade and gasoline was "positive", and described the countries as natural partners for geographical reasons.
Oil price will rocket if US attacks Iran: Chavez
By: Xinhua - China
The oil price could reach 100 U.S. dollars a barrel if the United States attacked Iran, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned on Thursday. During a visit to the Brazilian state of Parana, Chavez said that a U.S. attack on Iran would imperil the fragile stability in the Middle East and lead to a hike of the world oil price, which is already at a historic peak above 70 U.S. dollars per barrel. Chavez, who arrived in Parana's state capital Curitiba early Thursday for the second Parana-Venezuela Regional Meeting.
Venezuela's Petkoff Declares Candidacy, to Run Against Chavez
By: Bloomberg - USA
Former Venezuelan Planning Minister Teodoro Petkoff became the fourth opposition candidate to say he will challenge President Hugo Chavez in December's election. Petkoff, who is now editor of opposition newspaper Tal Cual, made his announcement during a television broadcast. Petkoff, 74, scheduled a press conference tomorrow to unveil his platform.
Chávez: "We are creating the South American Axis of Evil"
By: El Universal - Venezuela
President Hugo Chávez Thursday said that he is creating an "Axis of Evil" with Latin American heads of state who share his ideas in order to resist imperialism, which, in his opinion, is trying to seize the Americas. "We are creating a South American Axis of Evil, as some call it," Chávez said sarcastically, referring himself to US remarks on the negative influence that he would be exerting on some countries in the hemisphere.
Chavez sees chance of oil hitting $100 per barrel
By: TMCnet - USA
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an antagonist of the United States whose nation is the world's fifth-largest exporter of crude oil, said here Thursday that the essential commodity's price might well continue its sharp climb and reach upwards of $100 per barrel.
An invasion of Venezuela by the United States has to be avoided at ...
By: - Worth,IL,USA
A business executive with decades of insider experience in the upper reaches of Venezuelan business life and politics has told he is not surprised by our recent articles on CITGO and several 'personalities' running around Houston. "It is quite worrisome but not surprising ... Chavez has lost control of the management of many Venezuelan state-owned companies starting off with PDVSA ... he does not delegate well and his yes-men are short-term opportunists like the ones that have worked in all previous administrations."
Venezuela is building a civilian militia
By: Seattle Times - United States
President Hugo Chávez constantly warns Venezuelans a U.S. invasion is imminent. Now he's begun training a civilian militia as well as the Venezuelan army to resist in the only way possible against a much better-equipped force: by taking to the hills and fighting a guerrilla war.
Chavez's Venezuelan Drug Trade and Corruption
By: The Common Voice - Greenville,SC,USA
On Wednesday, Mexican military officials said they seized five-and-a-half tons of powdered cocaine from a commercial aircraft that landed after a trip from Venezuela. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be upwards of $100 million.
Chávez touts pipeline
By: Buenos Aires Herald (subscription) - Buenos Aires,Argentina
Venezuela President Hugo Chávez yesterday exhorted South American colleagues to back his bold but costly vision of building a natural gas pipeline spanning the continent, warning rising power consumption only raises the risk of a future energy crisis. Chávez joined with Evo Morales of Bolivia, Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay and Nicanor Duarte of Paraguay for a half-day ‘‘Gas Summit’’ in the Paraguayan capital as they talked both about proposals for a transcontinental pipeline and a new call for another, smaller pipeline for sending Bolivian natural gas to Paraguay and Uruguay. The presidents announced after their brief summit that they agreed to undertake feasibility studies for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would tentatively run from southern Bolivia’s Tarija fields to Paraguay and Uruguay — a distance of some 6,000 kilometres. Such a pipeline would also have to cross either Brazilian or Argentine territory to reach Uruguay and officials here said they were eyeing an initial estimate of roughly US$450 million.
Venezuela quits Andean trade bloc
By: BBC News - UK
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says his country is withdrawing from the South American trade bloc, the Andean Community of Nations. He told a summit in Paraguay that Venezuela was leaving because recent trade deals between Peru, Colombia and the US had killed off the community.
Venezuela, like US, to hold military exercises in the Caribbean
By: Pravda - Moscow,Russia
Venezuela plans to hold military exercises soon along its coasts and with neighboring countries' armed forces, the defense minister said Wednesday, while U.S. warships were conducting their own maneuvers in the Caribbean.

Hugo Chavez Says US Naval Exercises Pose a Threat to Cuba and Venezuela
By: Cuban News Agency - Cuba
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the US naval exercises in the Caribbean region pose a threat to Venezuela and Cuba. Chavez spoke Tuesday in Caracas during the First National Gathering of Students from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque in attendance.
Oil revenues allow Hugo Chavez to reject US criticism of his ...
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Crude oil prices have risen once more to levels above $71 a barrel - a rise of 25% so far in 2006, and a threefold gain over the past three years. The effect is to heighten fears about inflation in importing countries ... and to exacerbate international tensions.
Chavez: Oil Will Be Destroyed if Attacked
By: Washington Post - United States
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday again raised the specter of U.S. designs to oust him and promised that his government will blow up his country's oil fields if the United States should ever attack. U.S. officials have repeatedly denied any military plans against Chavez, but also call him a threat to stability in the region.
Venezuela, China sign on broadcaster training, program exchange
By: China Knowledge Online - Singapore
Venezuela and China on Tuesday signed an agreement on program exchange and the mutual training of TV and radio broadcasters, reported State-run Xinhua news agency. Tian Jin, deputy head of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) signed the agreement with Venezuelan Communications Minister William Lara at a ceremony in Caracas, capital of Venezuela.
Venezuela president says he'd blow up oilfields if US attacked
By: - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned Wednesday his government would blow up its own oilfields if the United States ever were to attack -- the latest in a series of warnings against Washington. U.S. officials have repeatedly denied any military plans against Chavez but also have called him a threat to stability in the region. Speaking with other South American leaders, Chavez said his conflict with the United States is rooted in Washington's thirst for oil.
Chavez Issues Oil Threat if US Attacks
By: Houston Chronicle - United States
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday threatened his country would blow up its own oil fields if the United States were to attack. Chavez, speaking to other South American leaders at a meeting on plans for a regional gas pipeline, said the "true root" of Venezuela's conflict with the United States is oil and gas.
Hugo Chavez taking a page out of Saddam's book: "we'll blow up our own oil fields"
By: V Crisis - London,England,UK
See this is the kind of blessing oil speculators dream about: the deranged Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said today from Uruguay "should they [USA] attack nobody will receive any oil. Should Venezuela be attacked we will do what the Iraqies do, we will have no other choice but to blow up our own oil fields, but they [the US] won't take that oil" (sic). Therein lies the admission then, for the record. In exhibit 13.905 of alleged, and to date unsubstantiated, imperial invasion plans geared at ousting him, Chavez has increased the decibels of his rants, already in the realm of insanity. Mind you a man supposedly deeply commited to help the poor and disenfranchised, expressing in international fora his willingness to destroy the sole source of income that his pauperous nations has. What a leader, surely worthy of Honorary Degrees from world-class universities.
Venezuela, Cuba likely to get UN spots
By: CubaNet - Coral Gables,FL,USA
The Bush administration is battling to stop Venezuela and Cuba from gaining seats in important U.N. posts in a confrontation that has many Latin American nations caught in the middle, diplomats and analysts say. Most observers believe Washington faces an uphill battle to keep Venezuela out of the Security Council and Cuba out of a newly created U.N. Human Rights Council.
Venezuela to Withdraw From Andean Free Trade Pact, Chavez Says
By: Bloomberg - USA
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his country will withdraw from the Andean free trade association because Colombia and Peru reached free trade agreements with the U.S. that make the group obsolete. Chavez said in a press statement that the Andean Community of Nations, which groups Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, is ``dead.'' Chavez is in Paraguay, attending a regional meeting.
Hugo Chavez Says US Naval Exercises Pose a Threat to Cuba and ...
By: - Holguín,Cuba
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the US naval exercises in the Caribbean region pose a threat to Venezuela and Cuba. Chavez spoke Tuesday in Caracas during the First National Gathering of Students from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, with Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque in attendance.
Deadly riot in Venezuela prison
By: BBC News - UK
Ten inmates have been killed in a prison riot in the Venezuelan state of Tachira, the authorities have said. The local National Guard commander, Luis Nieto, said the fighting was between rival groups of inmates at the jail, in the south-west of the country. Other unconfirmed reports put the number of prisoners killed at 15. Disturbances are relatively common in Venezuelan jails, which suffer from overcrowding and violence between rival prison gangs.
President Hugo Chavez is planning to make Venezuela an armed society
By: Wilmington Morning Star - Wilmington,NC,USA
President Hugo Chavez constantly warns Venezuelans a U.S. invasion is imminent. Now he’s begun training a civilian militia as well as the Venezuelan army to resist in the only way possible against a much better-equipped force: by taking to the hills and fighting a guerrilla war.

Chavez Praises Paraguay Meeting
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez emphasized the importance of the meeting with his counterparts Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and the host, Nicanor Duarte, opened in Paraguay on Wednesday. Chavez said the meeting aims at designing integration plans and strengthening relations among Latin American countries as the only way to achieve a balance with North America.
Washington opposes seats for Venezuela and Cuba on U.N. bodies
By: Centre Daily Times - Centre County,PA,USA
Washington faces uphill battle against Venezuela and Cuba in the U.N. The Bush administration is battling to stop Venezuela and Cuba from gaining seats in important U.N. posts in a confrontation that has many Latin American nations caught in the middle, diplomats and analysts say. Most observers believe Washington faces an uphill battle to keep Venezuela out of the Security Council and Cuba out of a newly created U.N. Human Rights Council.
Venezuela Bank Profits Fall on Regulation
By: Houston Chronicle - United States
Private banks in Venezuela have seen their profits fall this year as heavy government regulation affects their businesses, a research firm said Tuesday. Profits fell 4.15 percent to US$313 million (euro255 million) in the first three months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005, said a monthly report by Softline Consultores CA, a banking sector research firm.
Iran is not sending nuke missiles to Venezuela, official says
By: El Universal - Venezuela
Foreign Affairs minister Alí Rodríguez Araque Tuesday labeled as "nonsense" the claims that Venezuelan stance to support Iranian nuclear projects for peaceful purposes could be rewarded in the future with a provision of nuclear missiles, Efe reported.

Chavez seeking to militarize Venezuela
By: Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
President Hugo Chavez constantly warns Venezuelans a U.S. invasion is imminent. Now he's begun training a civilian militia as well as the Venezuelan army to resist in the only way possible against a much better-equipped force: by taking to the hills and fighting a guerrilla war. Supporters of the president, a former paratroop commander, are increasingly taking up his call. Chavez wants 1 million armed men and women in the army reserve, and 150,000 have already joined, surpassing the regular military's force of 100,000. Now Venezuelans are also organizing neighborhood-based militia units for Chavez's Territorial Guard.
Venezuela denies USA accusations over Iran nuclear missiles stockpile deal
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Venezuela defends the peaceful use of nuclear energy, such as that of Iran, Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez affirmed Tuesday. Addressing the TV program "En Confianza," the minister denied US accusations of alleged deals between Venezuela and Iran for the stockpile of nuclear missiles in the South American country. "We have no arms deal with Iran, and the country's military relations are totally clear and public," Rodriguez assured, adding any country has the right to use nuclear energy with peaceful goals.
Venezuela and the Objectively Biased Mainstream
By: - USA
The recently-elected Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has been taking a lot flack from the rest of the world for his presence in politics. Noted critics have been President Bush, the Catholic Church, and even his own citizens. The fallacious and prejudicial claims are usually along the lines of Chavez being dictatorial or restricting the freedoms of his people. It is a mystery that these voices of authority are unable to do the slightest bit of research. In fact, the past seven years in Venezuela have been the most democratic in its entire history: There have been eight elections or referendums; Chavez received 56% of the popular vote (while President Bush only received 51%). Maybe brilliant criticism only arises from imminent threat.
Venezuela Reaches Landmark 75% Debt Retirement
By: - Caracas,Venezuela
After almost a year of buying billions of dollars in Argentine bonds, Venezuela moves to buy back its own, saving, according to the Ministry of Finance, $676 million in debt repayments in 2006. Venezuela announced in late February it would retire 3.9 billion dollars in Brady bonds, which would have matured in 2020. Last week the Ministry of Finance announced that 75 percent of the purchase had been made. The remaining sum is expected to be bought back by the end of May.
By: Monterey County Herald - Monterey,CA,USA
As tension mounts between the administrations of George W. Bush and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a supreme court justice from that South American country brought the message of Venezuela's constitutional revolution to Monterey on Monday. Justice Fernando Ramon Vegas Torrealba told a crowd of more than 100 at the Monterey Institute of International Studies that "deep and profound changes" are happening in Venezuela since the inception of the new constitution, an "instrument of empowerment" written since the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez.
US doubting choice of new electoral council: Venezuela
By: Hindu - Chennai,India
A top spokesman for President Hugo Chavez has accused the US Government of using a Venezuelan non-profit group to try to discredit lawmakers' methods for choosing a new elections council ahead of the presidential elections. The group Sumate, which receives funding through the US-supported National Endowment for Democracy - has raised concerns that dozens of applicants for the elections council were eliminated without an explanation by a congressional committee.
US doubting choice of new electoral council: Venezuela
By: Zee News - Noida,India
A top spokesman for President Hugo Chavez has accused the US government of using a Venezuelan nonprofit group to try to discredit lawmakers` methods for choosing a new elections council ahead of Presidential elections. The group Sumate - which receives funding through the US-supported National Endowment for Democracy - has raised concerns that dozens of applicants for the elections council were eliminated without explanation by a congressional committee.
Unemployment is Main Concern in Venezuela
By: Angus Reid Global Scan - Vancouver,BC,Canada
Many Venezuelans are worried about the current job market, according to a poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. 37 per cent of respondents believe unemployment is the main problem in the country. Earlier this month, the Central Bank of Venezuela announced that the country’s economy grew by 7.9 per cent in the first trimester of 2006. At the end of February, Venezuela’s unemployment rate was 10.7 per cent, meaning 1.3 million people are out of work.

Report: Venezuela Took Land From Oil Cos.
By: Houston Chronicle - United States
Venezuela reclaimed more than 10,700 square miles in potential drilling acreage from private oil companies last month by requiring them to join new state-controlled joint ventures, a newspaper reported Monday. Amid efforts by the Venezuelan government to take greater control of the oil industry and boost its share of revenues, private companies operating 32 oil fields were required last month to form joint ventures with the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.
President Hugo Chavez Frias and CITGO executives cannot continue to emulate an ostrich!
By: - Worth,IL,USA editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: Las Vegas-based film maker Harry Minetree says serious questions need to be answered about shady goings-on at Venezuela's state-owned CITGO Petroleum Corporation in Houston (Texas) and Tulsa (Oklahoma) where, he says, an internal web of deceit and cover-up is causing major concern.
Beijing's Pragmatism Meets Hugo Chavez
By: The Brown Journal of World Affairs - Providence,RI,USA
For decades, globalization has been the official policy of China’s top leaders, be it modern-day economic globalization or Mao Zedong’s pursuit of a global communist revolution. Since Mao’s death, China has been guided by the notion articulated by Deng Xiaoping: “to get rich is glorious.” In the post-Mao context, pragmatism generally trumps widely accepted morality in international affairs, leading China to strike deals with authoritarian regimes from Sudan to Iran who have natural resources that Chinese leaders desire. China’s newfound zeal for pragmatism sometimes leads it to strike deals with governments that clash with the United States and the international community. One such challenge for Sino-U.S. relations is China’s ties to Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez.
Venezuela Denies Opposition Remarks
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Venezuela's Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) has denied remarks by opposition group SUMATE questioning the decision, before it is made, on the National Election Council (CNE). Member of top MVR leadership William Lara described the opposition remarks as "lies by US-sponsored talking puppets," and urged the opposition not to listen to the criticism of the work done by the Nomination Committee.
Union: Venezuela Oil Refinery Still Down
By: Houston Chronicle - United States
A Venezuelan oil workers' union said Monday that the country's 300,000 barrel-a-day Cardon oil refinery is still not producing gasoline _ a key export _ after a power outage idled the facility last week. "Production at Cardon is still paralyzed ... there are no refined products," said Francisco Garcia, representative of the Sinutrapetrol oil union.
Venezuela to House New Petrochemical Plant
By: WTOP - Washington,D.C.,USA
Brazilian company Braskem and Pequiven, a division of Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA, have signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a petrochemicals complex in Venezuela, Braskem's chief executive said Monday. At the core of plans for the facility is a unit designed to produce about 1.2 million tons of ethylene per year, Braskem Chief Executive Jose Grubisich said in a conference call. The unit would also produce about 1 million tons of polyethylene a year, he added.
Venezuela ranks first in entrepreneurship in the world
By: El Universal - Venezuela
Venezuela occupied the first position in entrepreneurship according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Support Competitiveness Program, Andean Development Corporation (CAF), reported. The investigation found that Venezuela has 25 percent of early entrepreneurship. This means that one out of four Venezuelans are starting a business or taking an enterprising initiative. Thailand ranked second, accounting for 21 percent, followed by New Zealand, 18 percent.
Venezuela Praises South Awareness
By: Prensa Latina - Havana,Cuba
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez noted that the most important feature of integration among southern countries is awareness building. Rodriguez said the changes were brought on by the ruthless imperialist offensive itself, with its terrible results for developing countries, and South America showing the largest degree of awareness.
Venezuela refinery partially restored
By: BusinessWeek - USA
Production at Venezuela's Cardon refinery has been partially restored after a power outage idled the 300,000-barrel-a-day facility, the state oil company said Sunday. The refinery is currently producing 200,000 barrels a day with five of its seven crude-processing units back in service, Petroleos de Venezuela SA said in a statement.
Democracy Growing in Venezuela, Justice Says
By: New University - Irvine,CA,USA
Despite ongoing conflicts between supporters and opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the country is making progress as a democracy, according to Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice Fernando Ramon Vegas Torrealba, who spoke on April 13 at UC Irvine in an event titled “Venezuela and the Struggle for Democracy.” Torrealba’s lecture, which concerned the changes in Venezuela following the Bolivarian Revolution and the consequent drafting of a constitution by the people followed a screening of the documentary film “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Venezuela is the fifth largest oil supplier to US
By: El Universal - Venezuela
For the last three years, Venezuela was on and off the third and fourth place among the largest oil suppliers to the United States, but last February the South American country ranked fifth, as oil sales to the US decreased by 53,000 bpd (4.3 percent) to 1.17 million bpd compared to the previous month. According to the latest data published by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the statistical arm of the US Energy Department, oil exports in February plummeted 182,000 bpd (13.4 percent) compared to the same month in 2005, when oil sales to the US averaged 1.35 million bpd.
Sales of fake Kalashnikov guns bring USD 2 billion of profit
By: Pravda - Moscow,Russia
The Russian defense export enterprise, Rosoboronexport, signed a contract to deliver 100,000 Kalashnikov guns AK-103 to Venezuela in May 2005. In addition, Venezuela intends to launch the licensed production of Russia's world-known gun and manufacture 900,000 Kalashnikovs according to applicable international laws and standards.
CIA's subliminal message is: "Away With Chavez!" Soon it will be: "Kill Chavez!"
By: - Worth,IL,USA
University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz J. T. Lee writes: A few days ago, Madson Blog informed us that "US Special Forces train rebels in Guyana for incursions into eastern Venezuela." The editorial concluded: "The Zulia state secessionists are key players in the 'Western Front.'"
Oil numbers counter very large lies peddled by the Venezuela opposition
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Oil Wars Blogspot writes: Be forewarned this is a technical and numbers oriented post; some may have their eyes glaze over reading it. Nevertheless, given this emphasis on all things oil, the centrality of oil to the ongoing struggle in Venezuela, and some of the very large lies peddled by the Venezuela opposition this is an important post.

The US Now Planning a Fourth Attempt to Oust Hugo Chavez
By: OpEdNews - USA
This essay has a duel purpose. I began it initially to explain how sophisticated and effective the dominant corporate media is in programming the public mind to believe whatever message they deliver regardless of whether it's true which it rarely is. I chose the title Reeducation 101 - Defogging and Reversing the Corporate Media's Programming of the Public Mind which I'm now using as the heading of my introductory section. Along with that discussion, I then planned a detailed case study example of how they're doing it by demonizing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias with a building and resonating drumbeat of invective in advance of the US government's fourth attempt to oust him. That discussion follows my introductory section.

Chavez forms personal militia
By: Monsters and - Glasgow,UK
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has formed a personal militia, which he claims would defend the nation against possible U.S. aggression. Alberto Muller Rojas, Chavez`s national security adviser, said the formation of the force was logical in the face of what Chavez called increasing provocations by the United States, which he said wanted to gain access to his country`s immense oil wealth.
Decision ratifies Venezuela as owner of the biggest oil reserves in the world
By: - Worth,IL,USA
Prensa Latina: The recent purchase by Venezuelan state enterprise Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) of its debt in the US market was added to a new hydrocarbon law in the strategy for recovering the Venezuelan oil sovereignty.
Venezuela's hydrocarbons policy: from Service Contracts to Joint Ventures
By: - Worth,IL,USA oil industry commentarist Oliver Campbell writes: On April 10, Venezuelan Vice Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Dr. Bernard Mommer, gave a talk to a packed house at the Bolivar Hall in London which was sponsored by the Venezuelan Embassy in London, The Anglo-Venezuelan Society and The Windsor Energy Group.
Venezuelan Cardon oil refinery resumes production
By: People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
Venezuela's Cardon oil refinery, which had been paralyzed by a major electrical fault for two days, resumed production on Sunday. Media reports said that a fault in the electrical system had halted operations in the refinery early Friday morning, fortunately without any injury to personnel, significant material damage, or environmental effect.
US ambassador to Venezuela agrees to report activity plans
By: Xinhua - China
U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield has agreed to inform the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry of his public activity plans in Venezuela after experiencing repeated harassment here, a government official said on Sunday Information Minister William Lara said that Brownfield and Venezuela's Deputy Foreign Minister for North America Mari Pili Hernandez met on Wednesday to discuss plans for security coordination and that Hernandez had insisted that Brownfield give the foreign ministry a written notice of his public engagements in advance.
Venezuela: US diplomat didn't seek protection
By: China Daily - China
Venezuela denied on Sunday that it failed to uphold its obligations under international accords to provide protection for foreign diplomats, after the U.S. ambassador was harassed by supporters of President Hugo Chavez.



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