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Venezuela Dismisses Initiative for U.S. Government TV and Radio in Venezuela

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment on Wednesday, which would support the creation of Radio and TV broadcasts into Venezuela in support of "freedom, security, and prosperity." Venezuela government officials dismissed the initiative, saying that Venezuela enjoys tremendous freedom of speech and plenty of anti-government programming.

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Unemployment Drops 3.7% in Venezuela

Unemployment dropped to 11.8% in June, one of its lowest rates since Chavez became president. Also, employment in the formal economy rose to 54.2%, a 4.5% point increase relative to June 2004.

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European Union to Monitor December Parliamentary Elections in Venezuela

A technical mission from the European Union is currently visiting Venezuela to prepare for the National Assembly vote that will take place in December of this year.

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Venezuela Assumes Presidency of Andean Community

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez assumed the presidency of the Community of Andean Nations yesterday, promising to greatly advance Latin American integration during his tenure and making numerous proposals, such as the creation of a Bank of the South, a Humanitarian Social Fund, and a regional energy association.

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Chavez Says Venezuela Will Expropriate Closed Enterprises

During his weekly television prgram Aló Presdiente, President Chavez announced that his government will evaluate over 700 closed enterprises in Venezuela to determine which might be expropriated and turned over to workers. A list of 136 enterprises has already been drawn up.

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Venezuela’s Electoral Authority Offers OAS to Audit Voting Machine Software

National Electoral Council President Rodriguez offered that the OAS elections monitoring team audit the voting machine software, so that all sides in the upcoming vote could have greater confidence that the vote is secret and the vote counting accurate. Opposition group Sumate argues this is not so.

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Grenade Explodes at Regional Electoral Council Headquarters in Venezuela

A fragmentation grenade was thrown at the regional offices of the National Electoral Council (CNE), which is preparing for the upcoming August 7th local vote. CNE president Rodriguez said that the vote will take place with tighter security measures.

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Vice-President Responds to Otto Reich, Denies Venezuela is “Cubanizing”

Venezuelan Vice President José Vicente Rangel responded to statements made by the ex US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Otto Reich, in which Reich accused Venezuela of being a “branch” of Cuba and of undergoing a process of “cubanization.”

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Venezuela Accuses US of Interfering in Internal Legal Proceedings

Venezuela’s embassy in the US and the Attorney General’s office lamented the State Department’s decision to pass judgment on the court case against the directors of the NGO Sumate, which received U.S. government funds for the presidential recall referendum last August 2004.

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Venezuela Launches New Culture Mission

Yesterday Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced the launching of Mission Culture and called upon Venezuelans to rescue “everything that we have been.” According to Chávez, “ideas and culture are essential parts of this revolution.”

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Venezuelan Judge Rules NGO Will Face Trial for Treason

Venezuelan NGO Súmate appeared in court this week on charges of “conspiracy against the political form of the nation.” The Public Prosecutor says that Súmate used foreign funding from the U.S.-government funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to finance a political campaign, rather than for the educational purposes for which Súmate leaders claim to have used the funds.

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Venezuelan University Students’ Murders Lead to Restructuring of Police Force

After the brutal murders of three university students on June 29th, the Venezuelan Minister of the Interior and of Justice announced that divisions of the Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM) will be eliminated or reorganized and that the national forensic police (Cicpc) will be restructured.

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Venezuela-US Business Roundtable Reaches $600 Million

Last week 249 Venezuelan and American businesses gathered in Caracas for a macro business roundtable that generated US$624.5 million in less than 48 hours. At the event’s close, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez used American words to describe the Third World’s historic and current biggest challenge.

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Venezuela Accepts Responsibility for 3 Disappearances in 1999

The Venezuela state accepted responsibility for the disappearances of three men at the hands of state military and police during riots in the state of Vargas in December, 1999. The case has been before the Inter-American Court for Human Rights since 2000.

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US-Venezuela Business Roundtable Inaugurated in Caracas

Venezuelan and U.S. business leaders gathered in Caracas for the opening session of a macro business round between the two countries. Despite continuing political tensions, Venezuela-US trade is increasing, and remains a priority, say officials of both countries.

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