VIO News Blog

August 11, 2008

Venezuela Congratulates Bolivia on Referendum

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 11:17 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

An opposition march in Caracas last Saturday voiced dissent over the package of 26 laws approved by President Chavez in late July. The AP reports that the government designed the new measures to strengthen democratic institutions. Meanwhile, Chavez supporters have rallied behind the policies they describe as “for the benefit of everybody — not for one group.”

Bolivia’s Evo Morales emerged victorious from a recall referendum on his presidency yesterday, winning with an unprecedented 63.5 percent of the vote. The nation-wide referendum was a landmark test of the legitimacy of the Morales government and its policies. The New York Times reports that support for opposition political parties that called for the referendum last May has eroded. According to AFP, Morales said after winning that he would move ahead with reforms including the nationalization of natural resources. President Chavez called to congratulate Morales and express support for “the democratic and cultural revolution undertaken by the brotherly Bolivian people.”

In economic news, Venezuela and Iran will provide assistance to help Bolivia build two cement factories. The amount of their investments has not yet been determined, according to Reuters. AFP reports that the countries are expected to give $225 million to the creation of Bolivia’s new state cement company.

Finally, 38 mysterious deaths among Venezuela’s Warao Indigneous community have been linked to rabies transmitted by bats, according to the AP. Indigenous leaders and US researchers submitted a report on the deaths to Venezuelan officials last week. Officials will distribute mosquito nets and send mobile health units to rural areas.

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