Venezuela: Latest News
By Sol Maria Castro, veninvestor.com
Pro-government groups claim they collected 2.4 million signatures
Once the National Electoral Council, CNE, authorized the public report of figures, the pro-government Ayacucho Command gave a press conference yesterday to announce they had collected over 4, from 2, 669,684 people no one saw at the signature collection stations. Elías Jaua, electoral coordinator of the Command indicated the number of signatures collected was around 2.4 million while the estimates from the opposition ranged from 700,000 announced by Antonio Ledesma, from the opposition umbrella group Democratic Coordinator to the 987,047 signatures Bernabé Gutiérrez, opposition leader from the Democratic Action party acknowledged as a total number collected with 58% of the signers to be ruled out by the CNE later this month since they belong to minors, foreigners not registered in the REP, deceased and electors from different circumscriptions.
Pro-government group postpones signature submittal
The national coordinator of the pro-government Ayacucho Command, Ismael García, announced the forms in which the signatures to petition recall referenda were collected, will be submitted to the National Electoral Council this Thursday at 2 pm with the presence of the Vice-president of the Republic, and not Wednesday as he had previously informed during yesterday’s press conference. García, accompanied by MVR William Lara went to the CNE to denounce RCTV and VV for not accepting pro-government ads, and the civil organization Súmate for organizing the opposition signature drive which they will not accept.
G-5 met with the diplomatic corps this morning
The opposition umbrella Democratic Coordinator’s Group of 5, G-5, met with the diplomatic corps in Venezuela this Wednesday to inform them of the plans, expectations, and scope of the signature drive scheduled for next weekend to collect the necessary signatures to petition a recall referendum of the President’s mandate. The US Ambassador to Venezuela, Charles Shapiro congratulated the Venezuelan people for the way the pro-government signature drive developed and expressed his hope that the same will be true of this weekend.
PM indicted for April 11 events to preliminary audience today
The 8 Metropolitan Police agents charged with homicide, and frustrated homicide, aggravated assault, inadequate use of war weapons and civil rebellion as a result of their performance in Puente Llaguno on April 11, 2002, will attend a preliminary audience in Maracay this Wednesday after it was suspended Monday. The four civilians shown in videos shooting from Puente Llaguno were acquitted over two months ago.
Evictions at oil camps suspended until next year
Alí Rodríguez, president of PDVSA, informed the National Assembly Commission on Family, Women and Youth that the evictions against the former workers of the oil industry had been suspended until January next year to give the fired employees some time to leave the residences voluntarily. PDVSA has been evicting former oil workers who participated in a strike in December-January using judicial orders and the Armed Forces, while former workers defend their right to stay in their residences until the dismissals announced by the oil corporation are legally completed.
President Chávez threatens to withdraw from FTAA
President Chávez described the FTAA as “an incredibly giant waste of time” during a speech to a group of Latin American parliamentarians gathered in Caracas. “Be it ALCA (FTAA in Spanish), Alcón or Alcota, light ALCA, Alquita, in whatever version you present to me, I do not want to discuss that subject,” said Chávez. He for Venezuela being relegated from the negotiations and added that these are “a mechanism for disintegration.” He defended once again his proposal, ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) which is inspired in Venezuelan hero Bolivar’s teachings according to him.
Venezuela and Dominican Republic to renew oil agreement
Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will renew the San José agreement on oil supply which expired last August in the middle of the impasse between the two governments. The Dominican Chancellor, Francisco Guerrero Prats announced the bilateral relations are back to normal after the meeting of both presidents during the summit in Bolivia.
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