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Venezuela Graduates 6,700 Professionals from Low-Income Backgrounds

President Chavez during the graduation of the second group of university students. (VTV)
Almost 6,000 Venezuelan university students recently graduated through the government's scholarship program, and a further 700 doctors will graduate at the end of this year, significantly filling the shortage of professionals previously experienced by Venezuela.

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Venezuela Proposes More Inclusive World Assembly on Economic Crisis

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez (ABN)
Venezuela proposed an assembly of all world governments to discuss the financial crisis, as an alternative to the meeting of the world’s 20 richest nations organized by French President Nicolás Sarkozy.

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Venezuela’s 2009 Budget Plans Increased Social Spending and Stable Growth

Finance Minister Ali Rodríguez presents the 2009 budget to the National Assembly.
On Tuesday, Venezuela’s Finance Minister Alí Rodríguez presented a national budget proposal for 2009 that will increase social spending and is based on predictions of 6% economic growth, a stable national currency, and oil exports at a price of $60 per barrel.

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Venezuelan Steel Workers End Strike

Workers at the Sidor plant. (Tamara Pearson)
Almost 8,000 contract workers of the Venezuelan recently nationalized Sidor Steel plant ceased strikes and protests that they had maintained for more than 90 hours, after the Venezuelan vice president Ramon Carrizalez promised to provide a response to their demands.

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Venezuelan Government Investigates Possible Sabotage in Massive Power Outage

An "erroneous adjustment of the security system" in Venezuela's electricity grid caused a power outage in 11 of Venezuela's 23 states on Sunday, from 10:40 in the morning until the evening, according to the president of the National Electricity Corporation (CORPOELEC), Hipólito Izquierdo.

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Venezuela to Propose Reduced Oil Production at OPEC Meeting

President Chavez inspects gas production facilities (PP/Feliciano Sequera)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced Sunday that Venezuela will propose that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduce oil production to maintain oil prices amidst a drop in demand caused by the world financial crisis.

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Half Of Venezuela’s Budget Goes To Social Spending

: A communal council in the community of Andres Eloy Blanco, state of Zulia.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced on Friday that around 48% of the national budget for 2009 would go towards social investment. This includes food programs, health, education, and the various social missions. Chavez also provided BsF. 509 million (US$ 237 million) to the communal councils that day.

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Six Suspects in Murder of Venezuelan Student Leader Detained

Venezuelan authorities detained six suspects in the case of the October 1st murder of Julio Soto, the student government president at the University of Zulia, according to Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz.

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Venezuelan Newspaper Editor Investigated for Inciting President’s Assassination

Newspaper editor Rafael Poleo, who is accused of inciting the assassination of President Hugo Chavez. (VTV/Globovisión)
On Wednesday, the Venezuelan government launched an investigation of newspaper editor Rafael Poleo after Poleo made televised declarations that sectors of the government considered to be a call to assassinate of President Hugo Chávez.

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Venezuelan Day Of Indigenous Marked With Launch Of Services

Hugo Chavez speaking on the Day of Indigenous Resistance. (VTV)
In honor of Indigenous Resistance Day, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez called on Europe to recognize the genocide which occurred, and delivered a number of resources to indigenous communities including land titles, funding, a roaming hospital, a school and an aqueduct.

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Zulia Governor is Planning New Coup, Says Venezuelan President

President Hugo Chávez at a United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) event Sunday. (VTV)
During a campaign event for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the western state of Zulia on Sunday, President Hugo Chávez declared that the current governor of Zulia, Manuel Rosales, is behind a plot to overthrow the national government.

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Chavez Clashes with Communist Party of Venezuela over Candidacies

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez threatened to "sweep off the map" the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) and fellow leftist party Patria Para Todos (PPT), both of which have launched alternative candidacies to those of Chávez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the upcoming November 23rd regional and local elections

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Minister Calls on Venezuelans to Repatriate Their Investments in the U.S.

Haiman El Troudi speaking at the International Conference of Political Economy (VTV)
As world stock markets tumble, a range of economic experts met in Caracas to discuss alternative solutions to the crisis. Venezuela's Minister for Planning and Development, Haiman El Troudi, highlighted the relative strength of the Venezuelan economy and called for Venezuelan resources invested in the United States to be repatriated.

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Venezuelan Police Dismantle Major Secret Bullet Factory

Minister for the Interior Tarek El Aissami at the clandestine munitions factory (ABN)
This Monday the Metropolitan Police of Caracas (PM) discovered and dismantled a secret bullet factory in an important step in the struggle against organized crime, according to the Minister for the Interior, Tarek El Aissami.

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Sexual Assault Victim Protests Vatican’s Asylum for Venezuelan Student Leader

Former police officer Sofia Aguilar, who was stripped, beaten, and nearly raped during violent student protests in 2006 (VTV).
Venezuelan police officer Sofia Aguilar denounced the Vatican Tuesday for granting asylum to Nixon Moreno, the leader of a violent opposition student group called March 13th Movement (M13) that waged violent protests in 2006, during which Aguilar was assaulted and nearly raped, and Aguilar's police partner was left in a coma.

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