VIO News Blog

June 19, 2008

Venezuela Aims to Increase Oil Ouput by 8%

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 9:56 am
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Venezuela’s state oil company is upping investments in oil production, and plans to increase output by 8% this year. The AP reports that investments in oil for 2008 will be $15 billion, a 50% increase over last year. Official estimates put current oil output at 3.2 billion barrels per day. The goal is to reach 3.4 million — rising to 4 million barrels in 2010 and 5.8 million barrels in 2021. About 70 new oil rigs have been imported — many from China — and are now operating.

In a bid to reduce crime, the government placed National Guard troops on Caracas city buses yesterday. According to Bloomberg, an army general said: “We’re protecting the cross-town, urban and suburban routes.” Homicide rates have risen dramatically over the last decade, causing crime to become a leading concern among Venezuelans. President Chavez made crime reduction a key policy issue for 2008.

Sources report today that the Bush administration froze the assets of two Lebanese-born Venezuelan men it accuses of having ties to Hezbolla. The move prevents them from doing business with Americans. One of the accused men told the AP: “That’s pure lies… I don’t know the group, don’t know anyone.”

Yesterday, Paraguay’s incoming President Fernando Lugo met with President Chavez. The AP reports that the Paraguayan leader — whose election broke 60 years of one-party rule — seeks to “strengthen fraternal ties” with Chavez. Finally, a ZNet article analyzes freedom of expression in Venezuela. It concludes that the claim made in the U.S. press that Chavez “silenced” the media “raises more questions about the legitimacy of the major English-language media than about the situation in Venezuela.”

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