VIO News Blog

July 15, 2008

Chavez Acts as Peacemaker in Colombia-Ecuador Rift

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 8:45 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

President Chavez is in Ecuador today to sign oil agreements with President Correa (pictured at right) and attempt to restore ties between his country and Colombia, according to the Caracas newspaper El Universal. A deadly raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador by the Colombian air force has soured relations since March. After President Chavez met Colombia’s Uribe last week, he vowed to attempt to reunite the neighboring countries. In related news, Chavez will join Brazil’s Lula da Silva in Bolivia on Friday. El Universal reports that the leaders of the three countries will inaugurate a shared gas plant.

The Los Angeles Times offers a debate on the future of Central America and the influence of Venezuela, after the energy assistance program Petrocaribe was expanded to include Guatemala this week. One commentator posits that new elected governments in Latin America are not influential, and dismisses them as “folkloric leftist authoritarianism.” Another writer explains that the Venezuelan model is catching on after the “colossal failure of neoliberalism. He states: “In Venezuela, we are convinced that the only way to promote growth and development is through participatory democracy and by empowering our people.”

Finally, the AP reports that Venezuela has become a “powerhouse for producing musicians.” The youth orchestra program called ‘El Sistema’ is credited with providing education to children from low-income families and lifting them out of poverty. Musicians bred in El Sistema now perform all over the world, from L.A. to Berlin.

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