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Carter Center Closes Offices in Venezuela

The Carter Center, which has had an office in Venezuela since 2002 and which played a crucial role in legitimating the Venezuelan electoral processes of 2004, will close its office, but will continue to "involve itself."

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Venezuela Issues Arrest Warrant for Former President Carlos Andrés Peréz

An arrest warrant for former Venezuelan president Carlos Andrés Peréz was issued in connection with the February 1989 police and military killings of hundreds of Venezuelans, following riots against IMF-imposed policies.

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Venezuela Arrests Suspected Colombian Rebel Leader

Venezuela's Minister of the Interior, Jesse Chacon, announced that Venezuelan police had arrested a presumed leader of the FARC in connection with the kidnapping of the mother of Detroit Tigers baseball star Ugueth Urbina.

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At OAS Venezuela Says US Interventionism is Prelude to Aggression

Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez charged at a meeting of the Organization of American States that the constant verbal attacks of the U.S. are a prelude to a possible physical attack. Also, he said the Chavez government has intelligence information of a possible assassination attempt.

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Granda Kidnapped in Venezuela while Negotiating Release of French Hostage

According to French diplomats, Rodrigo Granda, the Colombian rebel spokesman who was kidnapped in Venezuela last December, had been in the process of negotiating the release of a Colombian-French citizen and presidential candidate held by the rebels. French authorities suspect that his kidnapping was to prevent a prisoner exchange.

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Oil Minister: “Venezuela Will Not Withdraw from the U.S. Market”

Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Minister of Energy and Oil, says that Venezuela's state-owned oil comapny PDVSA will not sell Citgo, but it might sell one of its refineries, which does not refine Venezuelan crude.

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Venezuelan Government Charges U.S. Government of “Dirty” Media Campaign

Communication and Information Minister Andrés Izarra charged that the U.S. government is trying to portray the Chavez government as friendly to terrorism, as a buddign dictatorship, and as a menace to the U.S. Major media outlets are acting as willing accomplices in this campaign.

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Venezuelan Government Launches Worker Co-Managed Factory

President Chavez announced the launch of a paper factory that workers had taken over, which would now be co-managed between workers and state representatives. The factory will be part of a new plan to promote "Made in Venezuela."

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Colombia and Venezuela Further Deepen Ties

Colombia's and Venezuela's foreign ministers met over the weekend to discuss ways to further promote ties between their two countries, following the resolution of the crisis that had resulted from the "Granda Affair."

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Venezuela's Chavez Accuses U.S. Government of Considering his Assassination

Chavez accused the U.S. government of considering his assassination and of preparing public opinion for a possible agression against Venezuela.

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Shell and Venezuela's State Oil Company Agree to Major Joint Venture

Shell and Venezuela's PDVSA agreed to proceed on a joint venture to produce liquified natural gas. Venezuela is interested in pursuing such projects, so that it diversifies its energy production.

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Venezuela Experienced Record Growth of 17% in 2004

Venezuela's Central Bank released the official growth figures for 2004 and the numbers are at an all-time high of 17.3%. Much of this was due to the recovery from the oil industry shut-down in 2003, but much of it also came from low interest rates and high oil prices.

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Venezuela's VP Says US has Isolated Itself with its Foreign Policy

Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente Rangel said that contrary to U.S. claims, it is not Venezuela that is isolated, but the U.S., as its foreign policy in the recent crisis between Colombia-Venezuela showed.

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Venezuelan Recall Referendum on Opposition Deputies Suspended

Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled that the recall referenda on nine opposition legislators should be suspended because the deadline for holding the referenda passed six months ago. The referenda were ssupposed to take place this April.

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Venezuela's Tax Agency Shuts Down Coca Cola for 48 Hours

Venezuela's Tax agency Seniat shut down Coca-Cola for 48 hours today, for failing to keep their books in order. The shutdown follows on the heels of a similar closure of McDonald's last week, and several other transnational and national businesses over the past year as part of Seniat's attempts to increase tax revenue.

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