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Chávez Increases Corn Prices, Announces Shift From Oil to Food in Venezuela

President Chavez drives a tractor during his announcement about the increase in Venezuelan food production. (Foto: Feliciano Sequera)
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, announced Thursday that the regulated prices of corn and sorghum will be raised by 30% and that a new Socialist Agricultural Development Fund (FONDAS) has been launched to promote national food production.

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Chavez Swears In New Venezuelan Minister for Women’s Affairs

Newly appointed Minister of Women's Affairs, Maria Leon with President Hugo Chavez (ABN)
Life long fighter for women’s rights and former Communist Party member, María León, was sworn in by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, as the first minister for the newly created Ministry of Women’s Affairs on Thursday.

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Venezuelan Governor of Guarico State Accused of Assaulting a Mayor

Guarico state governor Eduardo Manuitt (VTV/Archive)
Venezuela’s Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Diaz, filed a petition with the country’s Supreme Court last Tuesday, to allow her to prosecute the governor of the state of Guarico, Eduardo Manuitt, who has been accused of starting a fistfight against a Mayor.

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Venezuelan Opposition Student Leader to Receive $500,000 Award from U.S. NGO

Venezuelan opposition student leader Yon Goicoechea to receive $500,000 Milton Friedman award from the libertarian Cato Institute.
The libertarian, U.S.-based Cato Institute awarded the $500,000 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty to Venezuelan opposition student leader Yon Goicoechea for his leadership in recent student protests. Critics say the award is a new source of opposition funding.

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ALBA Summit in Venezuela Responds to World Food Crisis and Bolivian Crisis

The presidents of (from right to left) Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Vice President of Cuba met in Caracas Wednesday morning to formulate a response to the world food crisis and discuss the political crisis in Bolivia. (Marcelo García/MinCI)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez convened an extraordinary meeting of member nations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) in Caracas early Wednesday morning to discuss the world food crisis and the political crisis in eastern Bolivia.

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Prisoner Rights Restored Following Venezuelan Supreme Court Decision

The President of the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Luisa Estela Morales (VTV)
Hunger striking prisoners in Venezuela obtained a legal tool to facilitate their reinsertion in society on Monday after the Supreme Court approved an injunction that could lead to a ruling that key articles of the penal code are unconstitutional.

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Venezuelan Oil Co. to Challenge Asset Freeze in Holland

Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez (MINCI)
Venezuela expects to appear in court in the Netherlands before the end of the month in order to challenge an asset freeze obtained by the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil Corp against state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.

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Venezuela’s Chavez Congratulates Paraguay’s New President Lugo

Former Bishop Fernando Lugo salutes to supporters during his first campaign appearance for the presidency of Paraguay (EFE).
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez congratulated Paraguay's President-elect, the progressive former bishop, Fernando Lugo, on his historic victory on Sunday night. Chavez also denied accusations of Venezuelan interference in the election, calling these expressions of fear.

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Negotiation of Steel Plant Nationalization Continues in Venezuela

The Venezuelan government and Argentine steel company Ternium formed a joint commission in Caracas Thursday to negotiate indemnity for the nationalization of Ternium Sidor, which is controlled by the Argentine conglomerate Techint and is the largest steel company in Latin America.

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United Socialist Party of Venezuela Registers Officially as a New Party

PSUV Spokesperson Willian Lara speaks to the media (Aporrea/Archive)
More than one year on since Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez first called for the formation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) as "a political instrument that puts itself at the service of the people ... at the service of socialism," the new party has officially registered with the National Electoral Council in time for the regional elections in November.

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Venezuelan Labor Minister Dismissed

Newly appointed Labor Minister, Roberto Henández (VTV)
In a decision announced late Tuesday night, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed Labor Minister José Ramón Rivero and replaced him with the former Communist Party member and vice-president of the National Assembly, Roberto Manuel Hernández.

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Pro-Chavez Labor Leaders Call for Formation of New Venezuelan Union Federation

National Assembly deputy Oswaldo Vera speaks to the press while Labor Minister José Ramon Rivero (center) looks on. (Prensa MINPPTRASS)
In a joint press conference with Venezuela's Labor Minister Jose Ramon Rivero on Sunday, National Assembly Deputy and coordinator of the Bolivarian Socialist Workers Force (FSBT) announced the formation of a new national union federation and called on unions to disaffiliate from the UNT.

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Venezuela and Brazil Advance on South American Defense Council

President Hugo Chávez and Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim (Prensa Presidencial)
A South American defense council to mediate regional conflicts and defend South America from foreign intervention could be concretized this year, the Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said after meeting with President Hugo Chávez in Caracas Monday.

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Venezuela to Launch New Anti-Poverty Mission

President Chavez discusses community projects with recipients during a public event (VTV).
The Chavez government will launch a new social program, known as the “April 13 Mission,” to help eliminate poverty in Venezuela. The mission will be dedicated towards the improvement of living standards in poor neighborhoods, known as Barrios, and to the strengthening of communal councils.

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Massive Show Of Support For Venezuelan President Chavez On Coup Anniversary

President Chavez celebrating the defeat of the coup with supporters on Sunday (ABN, Prensa Miraflores)
Under the banner, “Never again will the people be betrayed,” some three hundred thousand people rallied outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on Sunday in a massive show of support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

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