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OAS Should Support both Social and Political Rights Says Venezuela’s Foreign Minister

In his address to the OAS General Assembly, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez said that Democracy and Poverty are incompatible and that the OAs ought to adopt the social charter Venezuela helped draft, in order to strengthen social rights in the region.

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Rice Advocates Intervention for Democracy in Veiled Threat Against Venezuela

Lobbying for the idea that the OAS should adopt a mechanism for monitoring the quality of democracy in member countries, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, emphasized the importance of "democracy promotion." President Chavez suggested that the US needs to be monitored.

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Venezuela’s Poor 33% Richer Thanks to Social Programs

A report released by Datos Information Resources earlier this week reveals that Venezuelans have gotten poorer over the past twenty years. But government programs providing subsidized food, free health care and education have made a difference to the tune of 33% in the poor’s purchasing power of the past year.

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Venezuela Dominates Preliminary Discussion at 35th General Assembly of the Organization of American States

The OAS is meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from Sunday-Tuesday to discuss how to “deliver the benefits of democracy,” to all the country’s of the hemisphere. One way to do so, say US and OAS officials is to give civil society groups a “voice.” Yet the OAS’ guardianship of Latin American democracy has long been criticized as inadequate, and it is not clear that incorporating NGOs into the organization’s structure will improve the situation.

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Venezuela Accuses US of Politicizing Human Rights Work

The US State Department released it’s annual Human Trafficking Report today, classifying Venezuela as one of fourteen “Tier 3” countries. In a communiqué, the Venezuelan government criticized the lack of objectivity of the report, denouncing it as a “demonstration of how the administration has politicized it’s work on human rights.”

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Venezuelan Opposition Leader’s Meeting With Bush Stirs up Controversy

A 15 minute meeting between President Bush and Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado was widely interpreted as a sign of thinly-veiled U.S. support for Venezuela’s opposition. U.S. Congressman José Serrano and foreign Minister Rodriguez condemned the meeting, while Bush spokespersons defended it.

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Venezuela’s Embassy in U.S. Says It Still Seeks Posada’s Extradition

Venezuela's Embassy in the U.S. released a communiqué that states that Venezuela will continue to seek the arrest of Cuban-Venezuelan Posada Carriles, who Venezuela and Cuba say is a terrorist. The communiqué says that Venezuela will provide further evidence of Posada's crimes so that he would be extradited to Venezuela.

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20,000 Graduate from First Round of New Venezuelan Educational Program

During the graduation ceremony, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez honored the 20,686 graduates and affirmed that the budget for the education missions would be increased to $50 million per month. Chávez acknowledged Cuba's solidarity and thanked Cuba for granting 10,000 scholarships for graduates to study holistic community medicine.

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Oil Transnationals in Venezuela Agree to Pay Back Taxes

The majority of the 22 petroleum transnationals working in Venezuela are going to pay back the billions of dollars they owe to the Venezuelan state. A meeting has been set for next Thursday to determine the method of payment.

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Venezuelans March for Petroleum Sovereignty, Against Bush

Venezuelans marched on Saturday in support of the petroleum sovereignty of the new PdVSA, Venezuela's state-owned petroleum company and in protest of the US's decision not to extradite Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. Vice President José Vicente Rangel affirmed that US terrorism goes beyond Posada and includes a network of government officials such as the Bush family.

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Mexico Supports Venezuelan Extradition Request

Mexican Foreign Minister Derbez affirmed that if the US deports Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles to Mexico, Mexican authorities will extradite him to Venezuela. The President of the Cuban National Assembly called upon the US to extradite Posada to Venezuela or to judge and punish him as though his name was Luis bin Posada or Osama Posada. Venezuelans marched on Saturday calling on the US to live up to its anti-terrorism rhetoric.

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U.S. Denies Venezuela's Detention Request of Terror Suspect Posada Carriles

The U.S. State Department denied today Venezuela's request for the preventive detention of former CIA operative and terror suspect Luis Posada Carriles.

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Venezuelan Extradition Request for Cuban Terrorist Still in Limbo

Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roger Noriega alleged on Wednesday that the US had yet to receive an "acceptable" extradition request from Venezuela for Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. The Venezuelan ambassador to the US, Bernardo Alvarez clarified that Venezuela had sent a formal verbal communiqué requesting Posada's extradition and questioned why the US was failing to fully cooperate with a fellow ally in the fight against crime and terrorism.

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Venezuela Holds Hearing on Human Trafficking, Calls on US to Lift Sanctions

The Foreign Affairs committee of Venezuela’s National Assembly held a hearing on human trafficking Wednesday. Last June, the US State Department listed Venezuela as one of only 10 countries in the world not seriously attempting to combat the global problem linked to sexual exploitation and forced labor. Venezuelan officials, however, argue that the country has taken concrete measures to fight trafficking, and accuse the US of using this “important global issue” as a political instrument.

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Venezuelan Economy Grew 7.9 percent in First Quarter of 2005

During the first quarter of 2005, Venezuela enjoyed a 7.9 percent growth rate. Government officials expect a growth of 10 percent for 2005, building on a 2004 high for the region of 17.3 percent.

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