VIO News Blog

August 13, 2008

Venezuela Prepares for Elections, Promotes Food Security

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 11:07 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Registration closed yesterday for candidates in Venezuela’s regional elections this November. According to the AP, nearly 7,000 people threw their names in the hat for mayoral and gubernatorial seats across the country. A law dating back to the 1970s that prevents individuals facing corruption charges from running for public office has stirred controversy. Opposition members claim they are unfairly barred from competing in elections, but Venezuela’s Supreme Court recently found that the law is indeed constitutional.

Venezuela’s energy assistance program for the Caribbean, Petrocaribe, is helping to provide food security in its 18 member countries. According to Reuters, it was announced yesterday that the countries will be eligible for $2 million-dollar grants for agricultural development. A rep from the Dominican Republic said: “President Chavez’s initiative to provide these funds provides us with some tranquility and a way we can together tackle the great challenges poor countries face.” Assistance from Venezuela has also been welcomed by poor people in Peru after last year’s major earthquake, Reuters reports.

Also in economic news, Venezuelan government continues to loosen controls on food prices. Price caps on basic goods such as meat and bread were lifted yesterday to boost supply and address the concerns of producers. The controls were designed to help Venezuela’s consumers, though, and their removal has already caused price hikes of 20-50%, according to the AP. The BBC reports that inflation is a continuing problem.

Finally, a Washington Post op-ed examines what is seen as “the rise of a multi-power, non-Western-dominated planet.” It recalls prior U.S. interventions abroad in Cuba and Nicaragua, and more recently when the Bush administration “green-lighted an attempted coup against Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 2002.”

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