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Venezuela and Brazil Strengthen Economic Ties

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva during a meeting in Caracas last week (Miraflores)
The Venezuelan President and his Brazilian counterpart signed nine cooperative agreements last week in Caracas. Both countries agreed to strengthen ties in the areas of health and agriculture, as well as the joint construction of an oil refinery, a bilateral development fund, and cooperation in the petrochemical sector.

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Venezuela, Argentina Accuse US of Smear Campaign

Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez, Venezuelan-American Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (AFP)
Venezuela and Argentina accused the United States of carrying out a smear campaign against them yesterday after US officials arrested four individuals in Miami. The individuals were accused of trying to cover up an "international scandal" between Venezuela and Argentina, but both countries have rejected the claims.

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Venezuelan Authorities Reject Editor's Claim of Censorship

Correo del Caroni's final print edition on December 11 (VTV)
Venezuelan Finance Minister, Rodrigo Cabezas and Communications Minister William Lara, have rejected as "slander", claims by editor and publisher David Natera, that his regional daily, Correo del Caroni, is being forced out of print.

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Arrest Warrant Issued for Venezuelan Ex-Governor Enrique Mendoza

Ex-governor of Miranda and opposition leader Enrique Mendoza (Flash JC)
Venezuela's Attorney General's office ordered the arrest of opposition leader and Ex-Governor of the state of Miranda Enrique Mendoza last week for his involvement in the 2002 coup attempt. Opposition parties rallied to his defense, but authorities have yet to find and capture him.

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Chavez Calls For a Battle of Ideas to Combat U.S. Interference in Latin America

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a meeting with Argentinean businessmen (ABN)
Speaking at the Cultural Encounter for the Integration of the Peoples of Our America, in Buenos Aires on Monday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for increased Latin American integration and a "battle of ideas" to combat United States interference in the region.

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South American Leaders Launch Bank of the South

Leaders from Six South American nations celebrate after signing the founding act for the Bank of the South (AP)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and five other South American leaders officially launched the regional development bank, Banco del Sur which is to permit the nations of the region to use their reserves for development and investment in the region.

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Yale Holds Conference On Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuela and its President Hugo Chavez may be confusing to those only following the mainstream media's reporting of recent events.  In an attempt to overcome such mystification, last week Yale University's Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies hosted a conference focused on Venezuela and its so-called Bolivarian Revolution.

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Venezuela and Belarus Strengthen Strategic Alliance

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez together with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential palace (Presna Presidencial)
President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, made an official visit to Venezuela this weekend, where he signed several biliateral agreements to provide Venezuela with industry and technology from Belarus and the two countries formed a joint company to extract oil from Venezuela's Orinoco River Delta.

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Pro-Chavez Leaders Examine Reasons for Venezuelan Referendum Loss

Former Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente Rangel presented his interpretation for why the constitutional reform referendum was defeated. (AP)
In the aftermath of Sunday's constitutional reform referendum, various pro-Chavez leaders examined the reasons for their failure to win the referendum last Sunday. Most leaders agreed that there was doubt and confusion among the population.

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Venezuela's Electoral Council Dispels Myths Surrounding Referendum

One of the five directors of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) Vicente Diaz at a press conference on Tuesday (CNE)
One of the five directors of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), Vicente Diaz, held a press conference on Tuesday to dispel any myths surrounding Sunday's electoral results. Diaz called the elections a "triumph of democracy" that demonstrated the country's willingness to peacefully resolve political conflicts.

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Chavez: Venezuelan People Can Present New Reform Proposal

The political commentary and satire show "The Razorblade" on Venezuelan state TV.
The Venezuelan people have the capacity to modify and newly present the constitutional reform proposal defeated in the referendum on December 2, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday.

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Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Double Standard over Constitutional Reform Referendum

George Bush speaking at White House press conference (AFP)
The United States government cheered the outcome of Venezuelan's constitutional reform referendum of December 2, which prompted Venezuela's Ambassador to the U.S. to accuse the Bush administration of a "double standard"because of its criticsms of the referendum shortly before the vote.

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Latin American Leaders Praise Chavez for 'Democratic Posture'

Chavez supporters mourn the loss of the national referendum outside the Presidential Palace on Monday morning (Reuters)
Leaders from various countries and political parties around Latin America congratulated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his "democratic posture" in accepting defeat in the referendum on Sunday. Meanwhile, Chavez assured yesterday that nothing had been lost and that it simply wasn't the right moment for the proposed changes.

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Chavez: Defeat in Venezuelan Constitutional Reform is “For Now”

President Chavez holds up a copy of the 1999 constitutiona, which he wanted to reform (Alfonso Ocando/Prensa Presidencial)
Venezuela's President Chavez gave a historic concession speech Sunday night. For the first time in nine years, after winning twelve nation-wide electoral contests, Chavez had to concede defeat, using his trademark phrase "for now."

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Chavez Concedes Venezuela's Constitutional Reform Lost in "Photo Finish"

Venezuela's National Electoral Council Announced at 1:15am that the No vote against the President's constitutional reform proposal lost 49.3% to 50.7%, with 45% abstention. Chavez conceded that the reform proposal lost "for now."

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