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Caracas Mayor’s Office to Expropriate Buildings for Renters

The mayor of Greater Caracas, Juan Barreto, announced Monday that the city will confiscate some 400 buildings and sell them to the people currently renting apartments within them.

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Venezuela Refuses to Extradite Man Wanted in the US for Drug Trafficking

Venezuela has set free Mateo Holguin Ovalle, wanted in the US for drug trafficking, on the grounds that the US cannot guarantee that he will not receive an excessive prison sentence.

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Venezuela’s Supreme Court Rules Vice-Minister Cannot Exercise Public Office

Venezuela's Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations, Mari Pili Hernandez, cannot exercise public office for three years, according to the country's Supreme Court. The decision is the result of an earlier accusation that Hernandez was involved in financial irregularities while she was a Caracas city council member.

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Venezuela’s Electoral Council President Abdicates

In a move to help avoid an opposition boycott of December’s Presidential elections, Jorge Rodríguez, the president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, announced he will not seek another term.

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Venezuela Announces New Mission: Mothers of the Barrio

Yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced “Madres del Barrio,” a social mission aimed at lowering drug use among young people, fighting unintended pregnancies in girls, and aiding mothers who live in extreme poverty.

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Chavez Slams Bush as “Coward, murderer”

Reacting to a recent Bush administration report, the 2006 Strategy for National Security, which called Chavez a demagogue, Chavez lambasted Bush for genocide in Iraq and.

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Conviction of Venezuelan Journalist Overturned

As a Venezuelan court overturned last week’s ruling to put an opposition journalist under house arrest for slander, the cases of two other journalists are proceeding.

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Venezuela to Support Literacy Drive in Bolivia

Eighteen Venezuelan volunteers are in Bolivia to help start up Mission Robinson International, which will work to eradicate illiteracy in Bolivia.

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Venezuela Says Press Association “Simulates” Confrontation of Government and Journalists

The Inter-American Press Association approved of a report during its semi-annual meeting in Quito, where it strongly criticized the Venezuelan government for restricting freedom of the press. The government responded, saying that the association represents media owners that are trying to discredit the Chavez government.

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Venezuelan Journalist Sentenced for Defamation

Ibéyise Pacheco, who accused a military officer of wrongdoing in columns she wrote for one of Venezuela's main newspapers, was given a nine month sentence for defamation. The case has attracted much attention for allegedly being an example of the persecution of journalists in Venezuela.

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U.S. National Security Strategy Cites Venezuela as a Challenge

The Bush Administration’s 2006 Strategy document calls Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez a demagogue “seeking to destabilize the region” and focuses on security importance of free market reforms.

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EU Observers Blame Lack of Confidence in Venezuelan Elections on Campaign

The election observer mission of the European Union presented its final report on the December 2005 parliamentary elections, stating that the greatest problem with the process was the lack of trust in it. According to the head of the observer mission, José Silva Pineda, this lack of trust had its roots in the public debate and not in the actual process itself.

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Venezuela Considers Increasing Taxes for Oil Companies (Again)

Venezuela’s oil minister announced an increase in taxes, from 34 to 50 percent, for companies producing extra heavy crude in the Orinoco Oil Belt, along the Orinoco River.

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Uruguay and Venezuela: Need to Strengthen Mercosur

Uruguay's President Tabaré Vazquez and Venezuela's President Chavez met in Caracas yesterday and today, to sign numerous cooperation agreements and expressed their disapproval of free trade agreements with the U.S.

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Venezuelan Worker Controlled Factory Movement Demonstrates for more Expropriations

A newly created organization, the Revolutionary Workers Front of Occupied and Co-Managed Companies demonstrated for more government expropriations of idle factories today.

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