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Chavez Hopeful about FARC Negotiations in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a press conference at the presidential palace in Caracas on Tuesday (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hopes to have good news about the French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt upon his visit to France next week. As principal mediator in negotiations with the Colombian FARC guerrilla, Chavez is trying to get proof that Betancourt is alive, and has insisted that a meeting with FARC leader Manuel Marulanda might be necessary.

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Momentum Builds in Support of Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform

A "sea of red" is support of the reforms, in the streets of Barcelona (CZA).
Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his proposed constitutional reform in the regional city of Barcelona, Anzoátegui on Wednesday, as the countdown to the December 2 constitutional referendum continues.

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Chavez: Reform Strengthens Venezuelan State in Fight against Neo-Liberalism

Chavez speaking at press conference in Miraflores Presidential Palace (Alex Guzman/ABN)
Speaking to national and international media at a press conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denied opposition claims that proposed constitutional reforms are aimed at increasing personal power, rather, he explained, they are necessary to strengthen the independence of the Venezuelan state and transfer power to the people.

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Spanish-Venezuelan Spat Continues As Both Try to Calm Issue

Venezuelan President speaks to reporters at the airport upon his return to Venezuela (Prensa Presidencial)
While officials from Venezuela, Spain, and other countries continued to argue over who was right in the diplomatic spat between Spain and Venezuela last weekend, Spain's President Zapatero tried to calm the waters by saying that he is confident relations will be normalized soon.

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Venezuelan President Clashes with the King of Spain at Latin American Summit

King of Spain Juan Carlos, sitting next to Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, tells the Venezuelan president to shut up (YVKE Mundial)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez clashed verbally with King of Spain Juan Carlos at the Latin American Summit in Chile on Saturday. The Spanish King told the Venezuelan president to "shut up," causing a sharp response from the Venezuelan leader.

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Chavez: “Latin America Is Waking Up, and No One Can Stop It”

Venezuelan President Chavez arriving at Latin American Summit (ABN)
"Latin America is waking up and no one can stop it" Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said in a brief statement to the media as he arrived in Chile for the 17th Latin American Summit, Friday.

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Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Instigating Student Violence

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro responds to recent statements from the US State Department (Juan Vargas/MRE)
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rejected statements from the US State Department yesterday, and accused the government of the United States of being involved in the violent events in Caracas.

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Pro-Chavez Students Blame Opposition Students for Violence at University

Opposition student throwing tear gas bomb at government supporters trapped inside the School of Social Work UCV (ABN)
Violent clashes erupted between pro-government and opposition student groups on Venezuela's Central University (UCV) campus Wednesday after a march of approximately 10,000 opposition students against proposed constitutional reforms returned to the campus.

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Venezuela and China Form Bilateral Development Fund

Minister of Planning and Development Jorge Giordani and representative of China, Zhang Xiaoqiang (Prensa Pres/Daniel Galli)
The governments of China and Venezuela signed several new bilateral agreements, including a bilateral development fund in Caracas on Tuesday. The two countries plan to deepen cooperation in the areas of energy, technology, and financing, and increase the supply of Venezuelan oil to the Asian country.

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Chavez Urges Supporters to Campaign Non-Stop for Venezuelan Constitutional Reform

Chavez speaking to supporters in Poliedro Stadium (ABN)
The campaign in support of the constitutional reforms, which will be voted on by referendum on December 2, "is the most important battle" of the Bolivarian revolution so far, and "destabilization, abstention and the ‘No' vote, are the three principle adversaries we have to defeat," said Chavez at the swearing-in of his campaign team.

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Former Venezuelan Defense Minister Baduel Denounces Constitutional Reform

Former Defense Minister Raul Isaias Baduel (Archive)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's former Defense Minister, Raul Isaias Baduel, came out against the president's proposed constitutional reforms saying they represent a "constitutional coup" and that people should vote against them in the referendum. Chavez accused Baduel of betraying his own ideals with his new hard-line opposition.

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Representatives Colombian Guerrilla Arrive in Venezuela for Humanitarian Accords

FARC leader Raul Reyes meeting with Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba in the Colombian jungle (AFP)
Representatives from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have arrived in Venezuela to meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, according to an announcement made by Chavez yesterday.

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Over Hundred Thousand Venezuelans March in Support of Constitutional Reform

Over a hundred thousand Venezuelans marched in support of President Chavez and of his constitutional reform on Sunday, which Chavez described as the most important referendum of his presidency.

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Opposition Kicks off Campaign against Venezuelan Constitutional Reform

Venezuela’s opposition kicked off their campaign today against the Venezuelan Constitutional Reform, in a demonstration of thousands on Victoria Avenue in Caracas.

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Venezuela's Oil Industry Signs New Labor Contract

PDVSA President and Minister of Energy and Petroleum Rafael Ramirez (Archive)
Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, signed a new collective contract this week with its various labor unions. In addition to improved wages and benefits, the contract involved the joining together of the various labor unions into one United Confederation of Energy Workers (FUTEV).

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