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Venezuela: "The Colombian Government has lied blatantly"

Venezuela Agriculture Minister Elias Jaua announces closure of Venezuelan border (VTV)
The diplomatic crisis sparked by Colombia's military incursion into Ecuador intensified today as Venezuela closed its border with Colombia in response to Colombian accusations that the Venezuelan government had funded the FARC.

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Latin American governments condemn Colombian attacks, defend territorial sovereignty

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa

Latin American governments and regional organizations declared support for Ecuadorian national sovereignty and regional unity, and widely condemned the assault by Colombian armed forces on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Ecuadorian territory on Saturday.

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Venezuela: troop deployments are preventative

Venezuelan Foregin Minister Nicholas Maduro (Prensa MPPRE)

Venezuelan Foreign Minister said Sunday night that Venezuelan troop deployments to the Colombian border are a preventative measure in response to Colombia's violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty.

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Chavez: “Colombia is the Israel of Latin America.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez orders troops to the Colombian border (Rueters)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez labeled Colombia the "Israel of Latin America" yesterday after the Colombian military made an illegal cross border attack in Ecuador. The Venezuelan leader called Colombia a "terrorist state," and gave orders to mobilize troops on the Venezuelan-Colombian border.

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Venezuelan National Assembly to debate more inclusive university admissions

Staff and students from the Bolivarian University support the reforms (ABN)

Venezuelan Vice President Ramón Carrizales this week proposed to the Venezuelan National Assembly a public debate over higher education admissions policies in the nation's state-funded universities.

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Chavez, freed FARC hostages call for political solution to Colombian conflict

Luis Eladio Pérez and Gloria Polanco  speaking at the press conference in Caracas (Reuters)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called for international mediation group to negotiate a humanitarian accord in neighboring Colombia, after a successful Venezuelan led humanitarian mission secured the release of four former legislators held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), on Wednesday.

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PDVSA in London courts to defend Venezuelan oil sovereignty in Exxon dispute

Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) initiated court proceedings today in London to overturn the freezing of $12 billion of its assets, which the U.S.-based Exxon Mobil Corporation won in British courts on February 7th.

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Venezuelan humanitarian mission secures release of four more FARC hostages

Former Colombian legislators reunited with their families at Simon Bolivar International Airport (YVKE Mundial)
Four former Colombian legislators, held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for years, were reunited with their families in the Simon Bolivar International airport near Caracas at 6.10 pm today after a successful Venezuelan led humanitarian mission.

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Sidor workers reject arbitration: continue industrial action

Sidor workers strike last Thursday (Aporrea)
Thousands of workers at Venezuela's largest steel plant, the Argentine-controlled Ternium Sidor, activated staggered strikes today as part of an ongoing dispute for a collective contract, which has dragged on for more than a year.

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Venezuela: Government and communities organize to ensure food distribution

PDVAL food distribution point
Over the course of last week, the Venezuelan government's subsidized food system, Mercal, along with the new PDVAL markets run by the state oil company PDVSA, distributed 3,300 tons of basic foods through special operations involving community participation.

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Chavez continues push to increase food production

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broadcasting his weekly talk show from the southern state of Apure on Sunday. (Prensa Miraflores)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continued to focus on the nation's agricultural production detailing the government policies that are resulting in higher national food production, during his Sunday TV and radio program Aló Presidente yesterday.

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Chávez orders immediate liberation of indigenous peoples fenced in by English corporation in Apure

Representative Cristóbal Jiménez alterted Chavez to the situation (YVKE Radio Mundial)
President Hugo Chávez ordered quick and decisive action Sunday in order to liberate 200 Yaruro indigenous people who have been encircled by fences built by Agroflora, an affiliate of the British Vestey Group.

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Venezuela : National Citizen Security Council created

Justice Minister, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín and President Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced Thursday the founding of the National Council of Citizen Security and Regional Citizen Security Coordination to supervise the construction of an integrated national police force.

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FARC set to release more hostages to Venezuela

Chavez, left, meets with French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) plan to release "within days or weeks" four Colombian ex-legislators the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner announced after meeting Wednesday evening with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in Caracas.

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Venezuelan health spending among highest in the Americas

Chvez inaugurates the Dr. Osío de Cúa Hospital in Miranda

"Venezuela is one of the countries that has the highest investment in health in the American continent," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday during the inauguration of the new Dr. Osío de Cúa Hospital in Miranda. The percentage of GDP invested in the health sector had increased from 2.8 % in 1997 to 6% in 2007, Chavez emphasized.

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