VIO News Blog

July 30, 2008

Cafe Venezuela Hits the US Market

Yesterday, the Citgo-Venezuela Coffee Program was launched outside a Philadelphia gas station and convenience store. The Citgo CEO, Venezuelan Ambassador, and Cafe Venezuela Program Director were on hand to announce the new venture which will provide Venezuelan coffee to the American consumer at an affordable price. The program aims to support sustainable development in rural Venezuela by distributing Cafe Venezuela, which is wholly produced by rural cooperatives, to the American market. For more history about the program visit our VenWorld blog post today.

Reuters takes a look at the opposition Mayor of Chacaou in Caracas as he attempts to circumvent an investigation against him – that has legally removed him as a candidate – and run for mayor of Caracas in November, anyway. The article portrays the investigation into nepotism and embezzlement of public funds that has barred more than 200 others from running, as politically motivated. Yet, Mayor Leopoldo Lopez’s former party endorsed the law in 2001 in a National Assembly vote and of the 260 people currently disqualified to run, the majority come from the government’s coalition, not the opposition.

In energy news, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez announced plans to contact Barbados to discuss reports that they plan to grant offshore drilling licenses to international companies within waters claimed by Venezuela. “Things are put back in place by conversing directly,” Ramirez said Tuesday. In regards to recent OPEC moves, the Minister said it would be a “mistake to inundate the market with oil” since the recent drop in oil prices shows the problem is caused by speculation, not a lack of volume, he told reporters. Finally, an LA Times blog post reports that some Venezuelans residing in towns along the Colombian border are crossing over to sell gasoline at increased prices. Gas in Venezuela is sold at record low prices making it easy to turn a profit in nearby Colombia.

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