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Venezuelan Socialist Party Gains One Million Members and Opposition Forms New Alliance

PSUV Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz (VTV)

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has announced that the party grew by more than one million new members during a month-long registration drive in May. Meanwhile, most of the principal opposition parties in Venezuela have formed a new alliance called the "Democratic Unity Roundtable" (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática).

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82% of Venezuelans Use Public Health System

According to a National Statistics Institute (INE) study, 81.8% of Venezuelans, or 22 million people, are using the public health system, and of these 75.4% said they were satisfied with the service.

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Venezuelan Government Forms Multi-Institutional Council Against Crime

Tarek El Aissami, far right, at the formal founding of the security council (ABN/Henry Tesara).
The Minister for Justice and Internal Affairs, Tarek El Aissami, established a new National Council of Prevention and Citizen Security yesterday.

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Venezuelan Opposition Intellectuals Reject Chávez’s Invitation to Debate

Fernando Buen Abad speaking to press while waiting for the debate on Saturday (VTV).
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez invited participants from a right wing conference taking place in Caracas, four times, to a live debate on the show. After initially accepting, the right wing intellectuals refused to participate.

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Latin America’s Pro-Capitalist Elite Hold Anti-Chávez Conference in Venezuela

Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa at the CEDICE conference in Caracas (El Nacional)
Hundreds of right-wing political leaders and representatives of pro-capitalist think tanks from across the world gathered in Venezuela's luxurious Caracas Palace Hotel this week for an exclusive event titled "International Conference for Freedom and Democracy: The Latin American Challenge."

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Venezuela Celebrates 10 Years of "Hello President" Show with 4 Day Long Program

President Hugo Chavez marking 10 years of “Hello President” (MINCI)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's live Sunday TV show where he launches government initiatives, analyses topical international and national issues, and talks with Venezuelans around the country, is currently celebrating ten years of broadcasting with a four day marathon show.

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University Administrators and Students March, Debate Budget with Venezuelan Education Ministry

Cecilia Garcia and opposition students (left), Luis Acuña (center), and pro-government students (right), debating (ABN)
A group of Venezuelan university students and administrators, opposition political party officials, and employees of the opposition television station Globovision marched to the Higher Education Ministry on Wednesday to protest the government's 6% cut in university budgets as part of an overall government spending reduction amidst the world economic crisis.

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Polls Show Economic Optimism and Strong Support for Venezuelan President

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's approval rating remains above 60%, according to recent polls by Datanalisis, which is considered to be sympathetic to the opposition and private business interests, and Social Investigation Group XXI (GIS), which is considered to be sympathetic to the government.

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Venezuela Rejects Inter-American Human Rights Commission Report

The headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Telesur)
On Saturday, the Venezuelan government rejected the annual report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which categorized Venezuela as one of four countries in the hemisphere where human rights are particularly threatened. President Hugo Chávez said Venezuela will consider withdrawing from the Organization of American States (OAS) and forming a separate regional organization with its allies.

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Venezuelan Police Discover Large Arms Cache

Sophisticated weaponry that was confiscated on Friday (ABN)
Venezuelan police arrested four men and confiscated a large quantity of sophisticated weaponry that government officials speculate could have been part of an assassination plan against President Chávez. This discovery occurred in the context of a wave of apparently politically motivated violence.

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