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Uribe Terminates Chavez's Mediation Efforts for a Colombian Hostage Swap

President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe at a speech in Bogota on Wednesday (AP)
Late last night, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe put an end to the efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to achieve a humanitarian agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Following several months of negotiations, Uribe announced the end of the mediation efforts after Chavez made direct contact with the Colombian military command.

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Massive Student Demonstration In Support Of Constitutional Reforms

Chavez addresses a student demonstration in front of the Miraflores presidential palace. (Prensa Presidencial)
In a massive demonstration that dwarfed violent opposition student protests two weeks ago against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's proposed constitutional reforms, more than 50,000 students marched in favor of the reforms in Caracas on Thursday.

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Chavez in France to Discuss Colombian Hostage Swap and Oil Deal

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Tuesday (Henry Tesara, ABN)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Paris on Monday to meet with his counterpart French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two leaders met to discuss joint projects in the energy sector as well as Chavez' mediation for a humanitarian exchange in Colombia, to which the French government gave their full support.

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Venezuela and Iran Strengthen "Anti-Imperialist" Alliance

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receives Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez upon his arrival to Tehran on Monday. (Reuters)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed on Monday to form a strategic alliance between their countries to defend common interests and ideals. During a brief meeting in Tehran, the two leaders signed four more bilateral agreements.

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Venezuelan Electoral Council Pulls Ads For and Against Constitutional Reform

CNE President Tibisay Lucena during the press conference where she announced the ban on ads for and against the constitutional reform. (El Nacional)
The Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE), has suspended a number of campaign advertisements, both for and against the proposed constitutional reform of the Venezuelan President and the National Assembly, in the lead up to the reform referendum on December 2, saying that they violate electoral regulations.

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Venezuela: OPEC Should Become a Political Actor against Imperialism

Venezuela's President Chavez, Iran's President Amadinejad, and Saudia Arabia's King Abdullah at the 3rd OPEC Summit in Riadh. (AP)
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should reclaim its "anti colonial roots" and "convert itself into a geopolitical actor" in the fight against imperialism and exploitation, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez argued at the 3rd OPEC summit in Riyadh.

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International Labor Organization Criticizes Venezuela, Praises Colombia

Labor Minister José Rivero
The International Labor Organization (ILO) denounced the Venezuelan government on Thursday, accusing it of abusing the rights of business owners to freely organize. At the same time, Colombia was praised for its progress in the protection of labor leaders.

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Venezuelan Legislator: Opposition Distributes Lies about Constitutional Reform

Vice-president Jorge Rodriguez: campaign of misinformation is biggest threat to the reforms (VTV)
Venezuelan National Assembly Deputy Mario Isea accused that an "ex-presidential candidate, together with other people from the opposition" are reproducing and distributing bogus examples of the proposed constitutional reforms.

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Chavez Hopeful about FARC Negotiations in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a press conference at the presidential palace in Caracas on Tuesday (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hopes to have good news about the French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt upon his visit to France next week. As principal mediator in negotiations with the Colombian FARC guerrilla, Chavez is trying to get proof that Betancourt is alive, and has insisted that a meeting with FARC leader Manuel Marulanda might be necessary.

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Momentum Builds in Support of Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform

A "sea of red" is support of the reforms, in the streets of Barcelona (CZA).
Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his proposed constitutional reform in the regional city of Barcelona, Anzoátegui on Wednesday, as the countdown to the December 2 constitutional referendum continues.

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Chavez: Reform Strengthens Venezuelan State in Fight against Neo-Liberalism

Chavez speaking at press conference in Miraflores Presidential Palace (Alex Guzman/ABN)
Speaking to national and international media at a press conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denied opposition claims that proposed constitutional reforms are aimed at increasing personal power, rather, he explained, they are necessary to strengthen the independence of the Venezuelan state and transfer power to the people.

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Spanish-Venezuelan Spat Continues As Both Try to Calm Issue

Venezuelan President speaks to reporters at the airport upon his return to Venezuela (Prensa Presidencial)
While officials from Venezuela, Spain, and other countries continued to argue over who was right in the diplomatic spat between Spain and Venezuela last weekend, Spain's President Zapatero tried to calm the waters by saying that he is confident relations will be normalized soon.

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Venezuelan President Clashes with the King of Spain at Latin American Summit

King of Spain Juan Carlos, sitting next to Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, tells the Venezuelan president to shut up (YVKE Mundial)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez clashed verbally with King of Spain Juan Carlos at the Latin American Summit in Chile on Saturday. The Spanish King told the Venezuelan president to "shut up," causing a sharp response from the Venezuelan leader.

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Chavez: “Latin America Is Waking Up, and No One Can Stop It”

Venezuelan President Chavez arriving at Latin American Summit (ABN)
"Latin America is waking up and no one can stop it" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said in a brief statement to the media as he arrived in Chile for the 17th Latin American Summit, Friday.

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Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Instigating Student Violence

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro responds to recent statements from the US State Department (Juan Vargas/MRE)
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rejected statements from the US State Department yesterday, and accused the government of the United States of being involved in the violent events in Caracas.

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