VIO News Blog

December 11, 2008

Venezuela to Harness the Power of Wind

Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, is beginning to invest in renewable energy. A deal was signed yesterday with the Spanish company Gamesa for the purchase of 76 wind turbines that will be Venezuela’s first experience with using wind power. Reuters reports that the turbines cost $150 million and will generate 100 megawatts from a site located in the state of Falcon.

There are about 30,000 Cuban health workers participating in the “Barrio Adentro” social mission that provides free treatments to the poor in Venezuela, according to the country’s Health Minister Jesus Mantilla. AFP reports that Mantilla said Barrio Adentro has 6,571 clinics throughout Venezuela. Cuba provides doctors in exchange for Venezuelan goods such as discounted oil.

Sources report that Cuban President Raul Castro will make his first overseas trip on Saturday to visit President Chavez in Caracas. According to the AP, Castro’s trip was planned to coincide with an ALBA summit that has now been postponed.

The Christian Science Monitor asks whether any action will come of Ingrid Betancourt’s recent tour of countries including Venezuela to drum up support for further efforts to free hostages held by the FARC. The Chavez government is not, as the Monitor suggests, “ideologically akin” to the FARC. The Venezuelan government is a democratic one that does not adhere to the Marxism of the FARC, nor does it endorse armed political struggles. Chavez said as much earlier this year when he declared: “the guerrilla war is history.”

In cultural news today, the AFP reports that the three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone is making a film he says is “about President Chavez and the South American revolution.” According to AFP, “Stone has already with met with Chavez, who is reviled by the outgoing Bush administration.” Finally, see a review of a Venezuelan music ensemble in the San Francisco Chronicle and a review of a South Florida Venezuelan restaurant in the Miami Herald.

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