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Venezuela and Brazil Strengthen Cooperation via Refinery and 7 Other Agreements

Chávez and Lula visit the construction site for the Abreu e Lima refinery.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez signed eight bilateral cooperation accords in the areas of energy, education, and agriculture Wednesday, including a preliminary agreement for the new José Inacio Abreu e Lima oil refinery.

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Chávez Emphasizes Global Context of Venezuelan Food Shortages

In an international press conference Tuesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez expressed concern for a potential world food crisis and criticized the diversion of food supplies for biofuel, while Venezuela and other Global South countries struggle with food shortages.

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Venezuela-Colombia Tensions Rise Again After Colombian Defense Minister’s Remarks

President Chavez at a press conference with foreign journalists on Tuesday (Winston Bravo, ABN)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez classified Colombia's Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, as a "spokesperson for war" and accused him of renewing tensions after he made comments justifying Colombia's illegal March 1 military raid on rebel camp in Ecuador which triggered a regional crisis.

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New Venezuelan Oil Tax to Fund Public Health Care Programs

President Chavez announces an expansion of the medical care program in the city of Maracaibo.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced a new tax on extraordinary oil profits Monday, the revenue of which will help fund the expansion of health care programs known as the Barrio Adentro “missions,” which bring health care to marginalized communities with the help of Cuban doctors.

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Venezuela to Host Latin American Meeting Against Media Terrorism

Minister of Communication and Information Andrés Izarra (Archive)
Andrés Izarra, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, announced that a Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism will examine the media war waged by domestic and foreign private media against the Venezuelan and other like-minded leftist governments.

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Chavez Consolidates United Socialist Party of Venezuela by Naming Party Vice-Presidents

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (Archive)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez moved to consolidate the formation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on Friday by appointing a total of nine territorial vice-presidents and seven national commissions for the new party.

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Exxon Must Undo False Accusations Against Venezuelan Oil Company

The Orinoco Oil Belt is located in Venezuela's Orinoci river basin. It is estimated that Venezuela has about 250 billion barrels of extra-heavy oil.
Thursday marked the deadline for ExxonMobil to undo the damage it had done to the international reputation of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA by pursuing a $12 billion freeze of PDVSA assets in early February during international arbitration in a dispute over a nationalized Orinoco Oil Belt project.

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Venezuela Slams US in UN Terrorism Debate

Venezuela slammed the U.S. government's "double standard" on combating terrorism during a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, for its failure to prosecute former CIA operative and international terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles. The criticism comes amidst U.S. President George W. Bush's renewed accusations that Venezuela has ties to Colombian rebels.

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OAS Rejects Colombia’s Military Incursion into Ecuador

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador

The March 17 meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS), rejected Colombia's military incursion into Ecuador on March 1 which killed 25 people, including Raul Reyes, second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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London Court Rules in Favor of Venezuela in Dispute with Exxon

Oil Minister and PDVSA President Rafael Ramírez (Archive)
A British Judge declared today that the freezing of $12 billion in assets of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA shall be revoked. The decision is a major defeat for the world's largest oil company, ExxonMobil, which had won the temporary asset freeze in a dispute with PDVSA over the nationalization of an Exxon project.

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Venezuela Launches New Mission for Health of the Disabled

Dr. José Gregorio Hernandez, known as the "People's Doctor", who is treated almost as a saint among many Venezuelans.
President Hugo Chávez inaugurated a new social program known as the Dr. José Gregorio Hernandez Mission on Saturday, which focuses exclusively on the health of Venezuelans who have disabilities. The main goal of the Mission is to carry out a nation-wide census of disability needs.

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Chavez Calls For Strengthening of “People’s Power” in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during his talk show on Sunday (ABN)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the country to strengthen so-called “people’s power” on his Sunday talk show Aló Presidente yesterday. The president focused on government efforts to promote popular participation in community organizations.

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More than Fifty Arrested in Steel Worker Strike Clashes

Injured Sidor worker (Allianza Sindical)
Unionists have rejected the actions of 120 functionaries of the National Guard and 60 police who attacked and broke up a protest of workers from the Argentine -controlled Ternium Sidor steel plant, who were blocking the principle avenue of Cuidad Guayana, early Friday.

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Venezuela: National University Council Approves New Admissions Policy

Students signing up to the national admissions registry
Last week, the National University Council (CNU), approved the elimination of internal admissions tests in public universities, opening the way for the initiation of a universal access policy.

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Venezuelan Steel Workers Extend Sidor Strike

SUTISS leader José Melendez amidst sriking steel workers (Apporea)
Thousands of workers at Venezuela's largest steelmaker, Argentine-controlled Ternium Sidor, extended a 48-hour strike that started late Wednesday to 80 hours today, as part of a dispute for a collective contract that has dragged out for 13 months.

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