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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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Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Involvement in Election Pull-Out

A State Department spokesman said U.S. is not the hidden hand behind the decision of opposition parties to withdraw from the upcoming National Assembly Election. The opposition parties’ decision to withdraw came after the Venezuelan electoral council had conceded to many opposition demands, and OAS had announced that the “secrecy of the vote will not be violated.”

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Another Key Venezuelan Opposition Party Drops Out of Election

Despite internal divisions, Venezuelan Opposition party Justice First decides to drop out of the elections after three other key parties do. The decision nearly split the party, which says that those members that want to run, may still do so.

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Three Key Venezuelan Opposition Parties Declare Withdrawal from Elections

Retreating from an earlier commitement to participate in the elections, AD, Copei, and Proyecto Venezuela, three important opposition parties announced that they would not participate in the Dec. 4 elections for the National Assembly unless the Electoral Council makes major changes or postpones the vote.

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Venezuela’s Electoral Council Agrees to Opposition Demand

Reacting to the threat that some opposition parties would withdraw their candidates from the National Assembly elections this Sunday, CNE President Jorge Rodriguez announced yesterday that fingerprint scanners that are supposed to prevent fraud will not be used.

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Venezuela and Spain Proceed with Military Deal, Despite US protest

The Spanish and Venezuelan Defense Ministers signed a deal for the sale of Spanish military equipment to Venezuela earlier today. The agreement comes after U.S. objections, which Chávez labeled “interference…by the imperialist government of the United States.”

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Venezuela and Colombia Gas Pipeline to Promote Regional Integration

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe’s visit to Venezuela has resulted in a $230 million gas pipeline agreement. Uribe and Chávez confirmed the strong ties between their two nations, and hopes to work toward a united Latin America.

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US Moves to Thwart Spain’s Military Equipment Sale to Venezuela

Spanish firms continue to make plans for $1.6 billion sale of aircraft and boats to Venezuela, even as Washington raises objections. In public statements, Venezuela highlights the political importance of the deal, while Spain focuses on its commercial nature.

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Venezuela to Launch $100 Billion Investment Plan

Chavez announced that Venezuela will engage in a massive investment program, of $20 billion over five years, to invest in public infrastructure. The funds will come entirely from the country's oil industry and from excess foreign currency reserves.

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Venezuela’s Attorney General Mounts Legal Challenge to Controversial Penal Code

Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez asked Venezuela's Supreme Court to nullify almost the entirety of a recent controversial reform of the penal code. This reform stiffened punishment for many crimes and allowed the opposition to argue that the government is interested in stifling free speech and protest.

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Argentina and Venezuela Strengthen Links

Argentinean President Nestor Kirchner came to Venezuela yesterday and signed a deal to build a gas pipeline between the two countries. Kirchner also confirmed Venezuela’s entry to the South American trade bloc Mercosur next month.

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Venezuela’s Electoral Council Concedes to Many Opposition Demands

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) announced changes in voting procedures after meeting with opposition groups and other government agencies. The changes included auditing a much higher percentage of paper ballots, not using fingerprint scanners, and providing media access to all candidates.

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Thousands in Massachusetts To Get Cheaper Oil

A subsidiary of the Venezuelan national oil company will ship 12 million gallons of discounted home-heating oil to local charities and 45,000 low-income families in Massachusetts next month under a deal arranged by US Representative William D. Delahunt, a local nonprofit energy corporation, and Venezuela's president, White House critic Hugo Chávez.

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Venezuelan Legislator Says Anderson Murder Suspect Tried to Bribe Judge

Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela's National Assembly, said that Ravell, the director of one of the main oppositional TV stations, participated in a meeting with one of the accused in the Anderson murder, to plan a $3 million bribe for the judge in the case. Ravell denied such a meeting ever took place.

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