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Oil Industry Shutdown Leader Sentenced to Almost 16 Years in Prison

Economic Saboteur, long-time fugitive, and former union federation president Carlos Ortega was convicted to 15 years and 11 months for his role in the 2002-03 oil industry shutdown that was to force President Chavez to resign.

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Venezuela's Chavez Announces a New National Science Program

President Chavez announced a new science program, a "mission," which would create a Venezuelan system of science, technology, and innvoation. The program will be funded with money from Venezuela's excess foreign currency reserves.

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Venezuelan Lawmakers Present Recordings They Say Involves US in Conspiracy

National Assembly Deputies Nicolas Maduro and Celia Flores and others presented another set of recordings that they said demonstrate U.S. involvement in a conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela during the recent parliamentary elections.

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Venezuela and Paraguay Agree to Oil Deal during Chavez’s Visit

Venezuelan President Chavez signed an oil deal with Paraguay, to provide beneficial financing terms for oil shipments to Paraguay, during his visit to that country, after the Mercosur summit in Uruguay.

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Venezuela to Enter MERCOSUR as Full Member

MERCOSUR countries announced earlier today that Venezuela was on track to become a full voting member. However, there is still much work to be done.

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Venezuelan Lawmakers Accuse Dissident Military of Destabilization Plan

Lawmakers Flores and Carreno presented recordings of conversations with dissident officers who were talking about causing up to 15,000 deaths in a wave of violence during last week's election. The plan was for the most part thwarted in time. They said the CIA was also involved.

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OAS and EU Statements Note Transparent Elections, Voter Distrust

Sunday’s National Assembly election was calm, election centers were adequately prepared, and the vote was transparent, but voters still distrust the system, said OAS and EU statements. Also, the observers expressed surprise and disappointment that the opposition withdrew.

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Venezuela Begins Low-Cost Heating Oil Program in New York

U.S. Congressman José Serrano, Venezuela's Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez, and CITGO CEO Félix Rodríguez announced today the details of a pilot program to deliver discounted heating oil to three non-profit housing corporations in New York State, specifically to Bronx county.

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Assembly President Says Consultation Will Guide Venezuela’s New Legislature

The President of Venezuela's National Assembly said the newly constituted body will consult permanently with citizens in its legislative work. Also, it will pass new rules to enforce stricter discipline, such as improved attendance of deputies.

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Venezuelan Oil Pipeline Attacked for Election Day

On the eve of Sunday's parliamentary elections, unidentified individuals destroyed a section of a crucial Venezuelan pipeline, using C-4 explosives. PDVSA President Rafael Ramirez said the attack was meant to provoke fear and more abstention in the election.

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Chavez’s Party Wins 68% of Seats in Venezuela’s Parliament

According to preliminary results released a few hours after voting centers closed, pro-Chavez parties won all seats in the National Assembly and Chavez's own MVR party won 114 out of the 167 seats. Opposition leaders argued that low turnout made the new National Assembly illegitimate.

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Only 10% of Candidates Withdrew from Venezuelan Elections

Despite the announcement that four parties declared a boycott of today's parliamentary elections, only about half of these party's candidates withdrew from the race and only 10% of all candidates had withdrawn by Saturday.

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International Observers Ratify Transparency and Legitimacy of Venezuelan Vote

Election observers from the electoral commissions of several Latin American countries held a press conference yesterday, in which they argued that the boycott of several opposition parties does not affect the legitimacy of the National Assembly vote.

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Venezuelan President Accuses US of Masterminding Opposition Election Boycott

President Chavez accused the U.S. of being behind the opposition's pull-out fromt he upcoming elections on Sunday and said he is aware of a CIA plot against him.

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Opposition State Governor Urges Venezuelan Elections to be Postponed

Opposition Governor Manuel Rosales, said elections should be postponed, but did not say his party, Nuevo Tiempo, which is expected to win many seats, would withdraw from vote. The Electoral Council said it will definitely not postpone the vote.

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