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Tag Archives: Chavez

Chavez Takes Up Twitter

This blog does not purport to cover all relevant news that takes place in Venezuela, but instead provides some insight into major issues. Now, however, if you wish to get the latest update straight from President Hugo Chávez you can do so by following his Twitter feed @chavezcandanga.
The move appears …

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Venezuela Celebrates Act of Independence Bicentennial

In Venezuela, the date April 19th is known as the “Signing of the Act of Independence”, a major move towards separation from Spain. The full declaration of independence came the next year, on July 5, 1811. This was followed by a decade of bloody battles in which Simón Bolívar rose …

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Putin Travels to Venezuela

In another sign of strengthened ties between Venezuela and Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Hugo Chávez on Friday. Together they toured the Kruzenshtern, a Russian ship docked at the Venezuelan port city of La Guiara, and spent time in Miraflores, the equivalent of Venezuela’s White House. While in Caracas …

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Energy Crisis Leads to Extended Semana Santa Vacation

This coming Monday Venezuelans will enjoy an entire week off to celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week) instead of the normal Thursday-Friday break. One might think that in a country where more than 90% of the population is Catholic this would be cause for greater attendance at church. In reality, …

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Internet Restrictions in Venezuela?

President Hugo Chávez wants to place restrictions on the Internet in Venezuela after he criticized negative coverage from Noticiero Digital, a website generally opposing the government. The site had incorrectly reported the assassination of a top government official.
Frustration with a false report is understandable. Any broader move to limit news …

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Chavez and Uribe Trade Barbs

A private meeting between the Venezuelan and Colombian leaders apparently ended in a shouting match on Monday. They were both attending a Latin American summit in Cancun, Mexico.
An already tense discussion appeared to blow up when Chávez raised the issue of Colombian paramilitaries.
The explanation of the words used is critical, …

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Government Open to New Contracts with Foreign Oil Companies

Likely a further sign of his government’s economic woes, President Hugo Chávez’s administration is offering oil contracts to foreign companies. The response to the bidding for concessions was not as strong as it has been in the past, as many companies have been burned by Chávez’s expropriation of assets. Still, …

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Cuban Minister Consults Venezuelan Government

Ramiro Valdes, a Cuban revolutionary closely tied to Fidel Castro for decades, is now working with the Venezuelan government in Caracas. Valdes currently serves as Cuba’s Minister in communications and information.
The Venezuelan opposition is incensed, pointing out Valdes’ previous role as Interior Minister in Cuba, where he was in charge …

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RCTV Closure Leads to Student Protests

Last week the Venezuelan government cut off six cable TV stations, citing a failure to comply with regulations. These stations included Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), a channel known for opposing the administration of Hugo Chávez. RCTV had already lost its ability to broadcast on a public channel in 2007, but …

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CIA Factbook Draws Chavez's Ire

President Hugo Chávez is a fan of some books, and an opponent of others. In April of last year he made a very public presentation of Eduardo Galleano’s Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, gifting it to President Barack Obama at the Summit …

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Venezuelan Government Blinks, Devaluing Currency

The Venezuelan government finally blinked when it came to financial pressures by devaluing its currency on January 8th. The rate of the Bolivar Fuerte had been pegged at 2.15 to the dollar and is now 2.6 for essential supplies and 4.3 for luxury goods. Last week the value of the …

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Cuban Doctors Pay Bribes to Flee Venezuela

Some say that Venezuelan democracy is under assault, with Hugo Chávez and his cronies consolidating power. The populace may vote, but there is strong pressure to support the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PVUV in Spanish), and a penalty for those who support the opposition (e.g. being black-listed from government …

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Former President Caldera Dies

Rafael Caldera, the last Venezuelan president to serve in office prior to the administration of Hugo Chávez, passed away on Thursday. Interestingly, Caldera’s terms seem to have book-ended the more democratic period of the country’s history.
In 1946 Caldera founded COPEI, a Social-Christian political party. In 1958 he played an instrumental …

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Santa Spotted in Venezuela?

On Monday, Hugo Chávez accused Colombia of using a US-manufactured spy plane to over-fly its airspace. Colombian officials denied not only that this happened, but stated that their military did not have such the required military technology. The retort from Bogotá via its Defense Minister, Gabriel Silva, included a little …

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Venezuela: Year in Review

Overview
This past year was another interesting one for Venezuela, and it is a country where one never knows what will happen next.
Overall, Chávez continued to advance his “Bolivarian revolution”. This effort included a number of laws passed by the National Assembly, a body that typically rubber stamps initiatives proposed by …

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