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Two Officers Arrested in Venezuela for Plot to Assassinate Chavez

Two suspects, including a captain of the Venezuelan National Guard, were detained late Thursday night for their presumed involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate the Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez.

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Chavez Presents Plan for Socialist Unity Party of Venezuela

On his radio program Aló Presidente last Monday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, made a call for party unity, and presented his plan for the formation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the next nine months.

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Venezuela makes deals on oil projects

Several major oil companies reached agreements Monday with the leftist government of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela over his plan to nationalize multibillion dollar projects in the Orinoco belt.

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Chavez Allies Delay Decision on Merging with New Venezuelan Socialist Party

All three main coalition partners with Chavez’s party announced that they will wait until the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is formed before deciding whether to merge with it.

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Venezuela Expands Support for Bolivian Disaster Victims

The Chavez government announced late last week that it is increasing the aid it is sending Bolivia to $15.7 million and 75 tons of supplies to deal with the humanitarian crisis there, in the wake of massive flooding. This aid is in addition to logistical support in the form of emergency teams, two helicopters, and a cargo plane.

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U.S. Drug Report Criticizes Venezuela and Bolivia

The Bush administration once again accused Venezuela’s Chavez government of a lack of cooperation in the war on drugs, to which Venezuelan officials responded by saying that their drug inforcement has improved since ties with the US DEA were broken.

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U.S. Names New Ambassador to Venezuela

The Bush administration announced yesterday that it will appoint Patrick Duddy as new ambassador to Venezuela. Duddy currently is the U.S. Joint Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

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Venezuelan Unemployment at New Low, GDP Continues Strong

Venezuela’s January unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level, 11.1%, in over eight years, according to the country’s National Statistics Institute. Also, GDP growth for the 4th quarter of 2006 was higher than expected, at 11.8%.

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Venezuela Decrees Nationalization of Last Foreign Controlled Oil Fields

Venezuela’s President Chavez announced a new law-decree, which will nationalize the last remaining oil production sites that are under foreign company control.

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European Union Observers Praise December Elections, Recommend Improvements

The Electoral Observer Mission of the European Union (EUEOM) concluded that Venezuela’s presidential elections of last December were, “held in respect of national laws and international standards.” The report also listed a number of ways in which future elections could be improved, such as by limiting government advertising in favor of one candidate.

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Venezuela and Argentina Sign Accords for Closer Cooperation

The presidents of Venezuela and of Argentina, Hugo Chavez and Nestor Kirchner, signed a series of 17 agreements yesterday, which will bring the two countries even closer together than they already are.

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Texas Congresswoman Urges Bush to Reconsider Venezuela Arms Ban

A U.S. congresswoman called on the Bush administration Wednesday to reconsider its ban on selling parts for U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Venezuela, urging improved ties between the two nations.

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Venezuela and London Sign Oil for Advice Deal

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone signed an agreement yesterday according to which Venezuela would provide discounted diesel fuel in exchange for advice on public transportation, environmental protection, tourism, and city planning.

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Chavez Announces 5 Point Decrease in Sales Tax, Monetary Reform

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez yesterday announced government plans to reduce the rate of value added tax (VAT) by 5 percentage points, as well as plans to make changes to the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar.

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Venezuela to Heighten Security in Response to Al Qaeda Threat

Venezuela’s Defense Minister, General Raúl Baduel said yesterday that Venezuela would strengthen national security, in reaction to a recent alleged threat from the terrorist group Al Qaeda, which said that it would target major U.S. oil suppliers. Some officials, though, both in the U.S. and in Venezuela, expressed skepticism about the threat.

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