VIO News Blog

August 29, 2008

Venezuela’s Aid Abroad Not “Anti-American”

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 10:44 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Three years after Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans, the still struggling survivors are asking for assistance from Venezuela. The New Orleans Survivor Council is seeking $45,000 to build new homes. The AP reports that Venezuelan Congressman Francisco Torrealba has said that the Venezuelan government will seek to donate those funds.

President Chavez will visit China in two weeks to renew a fund for to finance joint development programs allowing for investment in areas including oil. Bloomberg reports that President Chavez said, “It’s very likely that we will renew the fund for another $6 billion.”

In other economic news, Venezuelan officials say they will create measures to boost the country’s banking sector after a 6.5 percent decline in bank activity during the first half of 2008. The AP reports that the measures will be announced soon. According to Bloomberg, officials also say that new reforms — such as the removal of price caps and taxes on financial transactions — are expected to reduce inflation by the end of this year.

A Wall Street Journal op-ed today claims that Russia, Iran, and Venezuela are a new “axis of evil,” drawing misguided comparisons between the countries and inaccurate parallels with earlier periods in world history. It calls Venezuela a “dictatorship,” when in fact democratic institutions, open debate, and free and fair elections have flourished under President Chavez. Colombia’s war between the military, paramilitaries, and the FARC is highly misrepresented as the fault of Venezuela, when in fact the 60-year internal conflict is fueled by U.S. military strategy in the region. The claim that Venezuela is trying to expand its power beyond its borders to become like the 1930s era Axis powers could not be more wrong; hemispheric cooperation, security, and self-determination are the values Venezuela represents.

Finally, Ecuador has asked Colombia to send troops and international observers to its border to contain its armed conflict, according to the Los Angeles Times.  “Ecuador is doing its part to impede the entry of narcos and armed irregulars and Colombia should do more to impede their departure,” the Foreign Minister said.

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