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Venezuela Signs Energy Pacts with Portugal, Ecuador, and China for Orinoco Oil

Over the past week, the Venezuelan government signed agreements with Portugal, Ecuador, and China to jointly produce, refine, and market petroleum from Venezuela’s Orinoco Oil Belt. Planned projects will cost tens of billions of dollars and span over the next decade.

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Interpol Says it Found No Evidence of Tampering with Colombian Rebels' Computers

In a widely anticipated press conference, Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that the computer files found in a raid of a Colombian rebel camp in Ecuador last March 1st discovered no tampering of these. Venezuela’s Embassy in the U.S., though, says that the interpretation of these files has been manipulated by the Colombian and U.S. governments, even if the files themselves have not been altered.

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Collective Contract and Nationalization Finalized at Venezuela’s Steel Plant

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets with Sidor workers (ABN)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed a collective contract with workers at the Sidor steel plant yesterday, formalizing an agreement reached between workers and the government last week. Also, Chavez signed the law-decree for the nationalization of Sidor.

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Chávez Approval Rating 68.8%, Recent Venezuelan Poll Shows

A national poll conducted between April 24th and May 2nd by the Venezuelan Data Analysis Institute (IVAD) showed that 68.8% of Venezuelans believe the presidency of Hugo Chávez has been excellent, very good, or good. Opposition-sponsored polls, though, claim to show a completely different picture.

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United Socialist Party of Venezuela Presents Candidate Nomination Plan for Next Elections

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela will be the first political party in Venezuela to hold democratic internal elections in a three-and-a-half-week process, in which all members of the new party will be eligible to nominate and vote for candidates for the upcoming state and local elections.

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Attempts to Divide Venezuela Will Be Cause For War Says Chavez

President Chavez during the 311th edition of his weekly TV program Aló Presidente, broadcasting from Maracaibo, Zulia State. (Alfonso Ocando/Prensa Presidencial)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned opposition leaders against any attempts to break away from Venezuela on his weekly talk show Aló Presidente on Sunday and warned that any attempts at breaking away would be cause for war.

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Venezuelan “Missions” Celebrate Five Year Anniversary

President Chavez greets workers of the Mercal Mission during his Sunday telelvision program Alo Presidente (Juan Carlos Solórzano/Prensa Presidencial)
Last weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the national social programs known as “missions” in Venezuela, created by the administration of President Hugo Chávez. Chavez used the occasion to announce various expansions and successes of the programs.

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The Return of the Fourth Fleet

The U.S.S. George Washington is currently in Brazilian waters carrying out military exercises.
After 58 years, the United States Navy will reactivate the Fourth Fleet, which will be in charge of patrolling Latin American waters.

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Venezuela Increases Proven Oil Reserves by 30%

Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Rafael Ramirez (Archive)
Venezuela’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Rafael Ramirez, announced yesterday that the country’s proven oil reserves have been increased to 130 billion barrels, a 30% increase over previous official figures.

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Autonomy Proposed in State Legislature of Venezuelan Oil State Zulia

An autonomy initiative in Zulia, Venezuela could become a "half-moon" secessionist movement if the opposition prevails in upcoming state and local elections, President Chávez speculated Sunday. (VTV)
On Tuesday, state legislators from the opposition political party A New Time (Un Nuevo Tiempo) in the oil-rich state of Zulia, Venezuela, proposed a feasibility study for potential autonomy from the federal government, which they compared to the autonomy efforts in Bolivia’s wealthiest province.

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Uribe Would Be Involved in the “Final Offensive” Against Venezuela

Former Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez (Archive)
According to former Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez, the so-called “final offensive” against Venezuela is being planned presumably from Colombia, and would be executed by that country’s army, according to agreements between Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and US Ambassador William Brownfield.

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Venezuela Calls for Oil Profits to Fund Food in Latin America

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro proposed that Latin American countries create a food bank to counter food supply problems and that oil profits of the region go towards a new food fund. Maduro made the proposal during the Food summit held in Nicaragua on Wednesday.

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Venezuelan Inflation Holds Steady at 1.7% in April

Planning and Development Minister Haiman El Troudi (Archive)
Venezuelan Planning and Development Minister Haiman El Troudi announced on Tuesday that inflation closed at 1.7 percent for April, unchanged from the previous month.

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United Socialist Party of Venezuela to Determine Nomination Process Democratically

PSUV vice-president Muller Rojas (EFE)
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will hold a national assembly of party delegates on Friday to determine the methodology of selecting candidates for the upcoming state and local election party vice-president Alberto Müller Rojas said on Monday.

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Labor Contract Signed, Nationalization Process Continues at Venezuelan Steel Plant

After marathon negotiations, Steel workers in recently nationalized SIDOR achieved a collective contract agreement that union leader José Meléndez (second from Left) called "a great triumph." (Aporrea)

The United Steel Industry Workers Union at the recently nationalized SIDOR steel plant and the Venezuelan government finalized a collective labor contract early Sunday morning. Meanwhile, Sidor's former owner says it is still willing to negotiate the indemnity for the nationalization.

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