VIO News Blog

June 25, 2008

Chavez Urges Respect for Democratic Institutions

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , , ,

President Chavez defended a top corruption official’s decision to bar 400 individuals from competing in local elections in November because of pending investigations. Some opposition leaders claim that the measure is meant to threaten their chances at the polls. However, the AP reports that Chavez called on all Venezuelans to respect democratic institutions — including the one conducting the corruption probe. “He makes decisions in accordance with the law and they attack him,” Chavez said of Comptroller General Clodosbaldo Russian.

Yesterday was National Armed Forces Day in Venezuela. President Chavez stressed the importance of Venezuela’s purchase of military equipment from Russia due to a U.S. embargo since 2006. Bloomberg reports that Chavez said Venezuela would otherwise have been prevented from modernizing its military. The AP takes a comment by Chavez out of context, reporting that he touted Venezuela’s “armed revolution,” when in fact, Venezuela’s political process is known to state officials and citizens alike as a “peaceful and democratic revolution.”

In regional news, Wired Magazine writes about the success of Venezuela’s youth music programs and the glowing reception they have received in the U.S. In the Andes, Colombia again avoided restoring diplomatic relations with Ecuador, a country it bombed on March 1st, killing two dozen in an unauthorized raid on a FARC camp. The AP reports that Colombia’s foreign minister said he would not restart talks with the neighboring country, although former U.S. President Carter has offered mediation. Ecuador’s foreign minister said trade restrictions will last longer than expected.

On the economy, Venezuela’s Environment Ministry will reconsider a decision to deny a mining permit to a Canadian company. That firm and others had been barred from extracting minerals in a national reserve because of concerns about the impact on the environment and Indigenous communities. Bloomberg reports that the company’s permit may simply be modified. Finally, OPEC leaders say there is no need to raise the global supply of oil, according to the AP. The New York Times reports that U.S. lawmakers have criticized OPEC, but are now exploring the role played by market speculators in driving up oil prices.

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