VIO News Blog

October 3, 2008

Venezuela May Develop Energy Project with France

Yesterday, France announced its willingness to help Venezuela build civilian nuclear energy facilities, the AP reports. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (pictured here with his French counterpart) said that his country is interested in developing peaceful nuclear energy projects. The offer by France follows comes a week after Russian officials said they would help Venezuela build its nuclear energy industry.

On Thursday, just a day after Julio Soto, a leader of a Copei-aligned student group was murdered, investigators had already carried out raids and questioned several people. It remains unclear what the killers’ motives were.  AP coverage provides little context around the murder.

A Miami Herald article discusses the banning of Chacao Mayor Leopoldo López from running in the upcoming elections, but fails to report that he was banned due to criminal charges. The article alludes that criminal charges against opposition candidates are political, but in fact, many of the 250 candidates affected by these charges are Chavez supporters. The article also portrays López as a martyr, mentioning the death of his bodyguard, but no evidence to has suggested that his bodyguard’s murder was political in nature.

The Washington Times reports on an ‘angry’ letter sent by a group of U.S. Congressmen to President Chavez, which states their outrage over the expulsion of two high-level Human Rights Watch personnel. The letter and the article do not recognize that the Human Rights Watch report on Venezuela had serious methodological flaws which led to its gross omissions and biased conclusions.

A Sun-Sentinel op-ed on Venezuela falsely states that Venezuela purchased $4 billion in Russian military equipment over the past few weeks. Meanwhile, Bloomberg correctly reports that Venezuela purchased $4.4 billion worth of arms from Russia from 2005-2007. Venezuela’s military purchases from Russia have indeed increased since a U.S. imposed military embargo on the country.

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