VIO News Blog

January 23, 2009

Chavez Renews Demands for Extradition of Accused Terrorist Posada Carriles

President Chavez will step down at the end of his term in 2013 if a constitutional amendment allowing reelection of presidents, mayors and local and national assembly officials is not approved on February 15 through national referendum, reports the Associated Press.

In other news, the Venezuelan Government will soon press the Obama administration to hand over Luis Posada Carriles, wanted by the Venezuelan and Cuban governments for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner which killed 73 people. The New York Times reports that Mr. Posada lives freely in Miami, and that the Bush administration would not extradite him due to its close ties with anti-Castro Cuban hardliners in Miami. Both countries accuse the United States government of hypocrisy in its fight against terror.

Venezuela’s oil minister Rafael Ramirez denied on Thursday that there was a conflict with Brazil over a joint $4 billion refinery project. Earlier reports cited an official from Brazil’s state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA as saying that there was a dispute in how much Brazil should pay for Venezuelan oil, and that Brazil was prepared to build the refinery on its own. According to the Associated Press, Mr. Ramirez called the comments “the opinion of a low-level official.”

The AP reports that Venezuela and Argentina signed a dozen agreements on Thursday, across a spectrum of sectors, including energy, industry, agriculture, and airlines. The two countries have also agreed to a joint development project of oil fields in eastern Venezuela.

The New York Times reports on Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan music director described as a “rising star,” and a “product of El Sistema, Venezuela’s music education system.” Mr. Dudamel will be directing the prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.

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