VIO News Blog

September 11, 2008

Venezuela Deports Drug Suspects, Greets Russian Fleet

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 11:03 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Venezuela is preparing to deport two suspected drug traffickers recently detained by the National Anti-Drug Agency. According to the AP, the Colombian men, Orozco Wilches and Aldo Alvarez Duran, may be extradited to the U.S. U.S. officials have criticized President Chavez on the issue of drugs, but INTERPOL praised Venezuela’s efforts to stop trafficking after the recent arrests.

Sources report today that Russian aircraft have landed in Venezuela for joint military exercises. According to the AP and Reuters, Russian officials said that the Tu-160 bombers are not carrying nuclear weapons. President Chavez called the exercises “training flights.” Also in international news, the AP reports that Venezuela is helping the small Caribbean nation of Dominica to build a new power plant to offset electricity shortages. The assistance comes through ALBA (the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas), a regional cooperation agreement that now comprises six member countries.

Bolivian President Evo Morales dismissed the U.S. Ambassador yesterday on suspicion that he was acting as an advocate for opposition groups. AP reports that this occurred shortly after fascist anti-government groups in Santa Cruz attacked a gas pipeline that cut exports to Brazil by 10 percent. “We don’t want separatists, divisionists,” Morales said. Anti-government groups also stormed local agriculture and treasury offices and took over media outlets which they used to promote more violence (image at right courtesy of the L.A. Times). Many of the tactics of this “civic coup” are similar to those in used the short-lived 2002 coup staged by the opposition in Venezuela.

Finally, the Los Angeles Times reports on that city’s new youth orchestra program, which was inspired by the Venezuelan system which educated the famous conductor Gustavo Dudamel. 150 young people from low-income families now participate in Youth Orchestra L.A., which makes music an “agent of change.” Venezuela’s Dudamel will begin conducting the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009.

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