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Pro-Government Forces Charge Opposition wants to Discredit Upcoming Local Vote

Venezuelan NGO Súmate and political parties in opposition to President Hugo Chávez are worried that automated voting mechanisms for the upcoming municipal council and congressional elections will not guarantee a secret ballot for voters. MVR candidates assure automated process will increase fairness and transparency.

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Hitmen Attempt to Assasinate Venezuelan Land Reform Leader

Land reform leader Braulio Alvarez barely escaped an assassination attempt last Thursday, after receiving three gunshot wounds. Violence against peasant activists has increased dramatically since a Land Reform law was passed in 2001. Human Rights groups charge that inadequate progress has been made in investigations.

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Venezuela’s Chavez Announces Second Stage of Food Distribution Network

With to an additional investment of $295 million, Mission Mercal will reach 15 million Venezuelans by the end of the year, up from 10 million now. 1,000 soup kitchens were inaugurated yesterday, bringing the total to over 5,000 and expanding the network’s capacity to provide over 900,000 poor with free food every day.

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Venezuela Creates New State-Owned Petrochemical Company

President Chavez announced the creation of a new state-owned petrochemical company, which will double the production of petrochemicals in Venezuela and would supply fertilizer, building materials, and other products for Venezuela’s internal market.

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Environment Ministry Presents Venezuela’s Strategy on Climate Change

Venezuela's Environment Ministry says that climate change has affected Venezuela with higher average temperatures, more erratic rainfall, and less rainfall in some areas. The government's strategy for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions will involve an education campaign and a reforestation program.

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Venezuela Courts US Investment for Upcoming Business Roundtable

Venezuela is preparing for a business roundtable to be held in Caracas, June 30 to July 1, at which U.S. investors will learn about investment opportunities in Venezuela. Plastics, agriculture, and fisheries are of particular interest to Venezuela.

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16th Worldwide Festival of Youth and Students to be Held in Venezuela

During a press conference held today representatives from the Worldwide Federation of Democratic Youth announced that 15,000 young people from over one hundred countries will meet in Caracas for the 16th Worldwide Festival of Youth and Students between the 7th and the 15th of August.

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Venezuela’s Interior Minister Says he has Evidence of Assassination Plot

In a press conference yesterday Venezuelan Minister of Justice and the Interior confirmed that there is an assassination plot underway against President Hugo Chávez. Chacón revealed that Venezuelan intelligence has obtained photographs, and video and audio recordings of meetings between Venezuelans and Colombian paramilitaries.

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Venezuela’s Chavez Prioritizes Cooperation over Competition at Mercosur Summit

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said at the 28th Mercosur Summit that if Latin America does not begin to prioritize cooperation over competition, the region will never be able to achieve true integration. Chávez explained several initiatives such as a gas line project, a Bank of the South and a University of the South.

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Venezuela Pushes Mercosur Summit Toward Stronger Integration

The 28th summit of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) ended on Monday, with Chavez making several proposals that would integrate member countries more tightly, such as an "energy ring" that would create a grid of gas, oil, and electricity lines throughout the continent.

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Venezuela’s Intelligence Service To Be Restructured

President Chavez appointed a new director for Venezuela's intelligence service, the DISIP, and has authorized a thorough restructuring of the service in the wake of the discovery of high-level corruption and complicity in the recent escape of a notorious drug trafficker.

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Venezuelan Government Wins Victory at ILO in Geneva

A request to hold sanctions against the Venezuelan government for alleged labor violations, co-sponsored by the country’s employers’ association and the traditional labor federation was rejected this week at the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) meetings being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Minister: Narco-Trafficker Escaped from Venezuelan Prison with Police Complicity

A Colombian drug-trafficker, wanted by the US, escaped from a Venezuelan prison over the weekend, allegedly with police complicity. Agents of Venezuela’s military and intelligence police, the DISIP, are being investigated for reportedly accepting bribes of $1-2 million to facilitate the accused’s escape.

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Venezuela’s President Says Assassination Plot Means Fewer Public Appearances

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez confirmed the existence of plans to assassinate him and explained that this conspiracy comes “from outside the country,” and has in no way altered his faith in the Venezuelan military.

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Venezuela Formally Submits Extradition Request to U.S.

Venezuela's embassy in the US announced that today it submitted all the necessary papers for requesting the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, who is accused of terrorist activity in Latin America. This completes the steps the Venezuelan government needs to take. Now the U.S. must make a decision.

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