VIO News Blog

July 10, 2008

Venezuela “Willing to Help” Bring Peace to Colombia

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

“We are willing to help” with hostage negotiations and peace talks in Colombia, President Chavez said yesterday. According to the AP, Chavez spoke with Ingrid Betancourt and discussed her role in pushing for peace as well as that of Venezuela. El Universal reports that Chavez stressed unity, saying: “We, Colombia and Venezuela, are the same fatherland.”

Tomorrow, President Chavez will host Colombia’s Uribe in Caracas for their first meeting since Colombia angered Latin countries by bombing a FARC camp in Ecuador. The AFP reports that both leaders have expressed interest in mending ties. Though Uribe has been bolstered by the military’s recent rescue of 15 hostages, a political analyst explains: “This is not Chavez with his back to the wall, just him being ready to speak with Uribe.” Media attention has focused on allegations against President Chavez by Uribe and others who claim he supported the FARC, and meanwhile downplayed the Venezuelan leader’s frequent calls for peace and disarmament. For example, an editorial in the Rocky Mountain News today repeats the unproven allegations against Chavez.

In economic news, retail sales in Venezuela have risen by 38% over last year, according to Bloomberg. This reflects the increased consumer activity that has accompanied high rates of economic growth. Total GDP growth in 2007 was 8.4%, higher than estimates.

In oil, Bloomberg reports that OPEC reserves have recently been bolstered by new discoveries in Venezuela and Libya. Venezuela’s crude reserves rose by 14 percent last year to reach 99.4 billion barrels. Pending certifications promise to push this amount higher. Finally, Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm PDVSA is helping Bolivia to access its oil reserves by providing that country with an oil rig, according to Dow Jones.


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