VIO News Blog

July 1, 2008

Panama Reverses Pardon for Terrorist Posada Carriles

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 9:50 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

A judge in Panama reversed a criminal pardon for the known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, declaring it illegal, the Miami Herald reports. Posada Carriles was arrested in Panama after planning to kill Cuba’s Fidel Castro by bombing a school at which he was speaking. He escaped jail in Venezuela while serving time for masterminding an airplane bombing that killed 76 civilians in 1973, but the U.S. has ignored extradition requests.

The AP reports that the Reformist Catholic Church of Venezuela, founded several years ago, is angering conservative Catholics because it supports government-funded social programs that benefit the poor. With five sanctuaries and 2,000 parishioners, the church preaches equality and justice to working-class audiences. Meanwhile, critics say it is an attempt to “destroy” the Catholic hierarchy in Venezuela.

U.S. imports of Venezuelan oil fell 7.4 percent in the first months of 2008, according to the AP. However, that fact would seem to follow the trend: Venezuela sent 3% more oil to the U.S. last year, but in 2008, “U.S. crude imports are falling across the board.” Venezuela’s oil output is not “stagnating” as the AP reports — state-owned PDVSA invested $15 billion in production this year and plans to increase crude exports by nearly 8%. Venezuela is diversifying its exports by selling more oil to China, but President Chavez says the country will remain a stable supplier to the U.S.

In other oil news, the AP reports that a Venezuelan-owned refinery on the island of Curacao may be closed if it cannot reduce emissions. Finally, the Financial Times reports that low-cost gas in Venezuela is smuggled and sold illegally over the border in Colombia. Gas subsidies have a long history in Venezuela, and are considered a “birth right” by citizens in the oil-rich country, which sits on the largest petroleum deposits outside of the Middle East.

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