[OPE] News & Analysis from the Venezuelan Frontlines

From: GERALD LEVY <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
Date: Wed May 25 2011 - 23:12:17 EDT

We haven't talked about it lately, but there have been plenty of recent developments
re Venezuela.
In solidarity, Jerry

Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 19:33:14 -0700
From: venanalysis@listen.jpberlin.de
Subject: [venanalysis] News & Analysis from the Venezuelan Frontlines

Dear Readers,

Venezuelanalysis.com is pleased to bring you another important week of news and analysis from the frontlines of Venezuela's struggle for social change and justice.

This week's newsletter is filled with a diverse array of news headlines covering everything from the US State Department decision to sanction Venezuela's PDVSA, a recent decision by the Colombian Supreme Court to throw out as evidence the so-called "FARC Files" repeatedly used to demonize Venezuela, the struggles of Venezuelan workers to secure greater control of their workplace and the progress made on the mass housing mission currently underway in this country.

In analysis, readers will find a recently released 'Declaration of Rejection' to the US-imposed sanctions on PDVSA [available in both English and Spanish (with US-based readers encouraged to sign)], a new VA analysis on the struggle for socialism within a consumerist society like Venezuela's, reflections on the Venezuelan struggle for food sovereignty, the fight to end impunity in the countryside and much much more.

In addition, we are excited to share another recently published image gallery titled 'A Glimpse at the Bolivarian Revolution,' by U.S. social documentary photographer Bill Hackwell who was in Caracas early last month for the April 11-13 anniversary celebrations to commemorate Venezuela's consolidation of participatory democracy.

In Struggle and Solidarity,
Juan for the VA Team

News ~

Venezuela Condemns U.S. “Imperialist” Sanctions
The Venezuelan government criticised the Obama administration’s move to impose sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company Pdvsa, calling the sanctions an “imperialist attack” against Venezuela.

First National Meeting of Socialist Workers’ Councils Takes Place in Bolivar, Venezuela
Over the weekend, mora than 900 workers’ council delegates from across Venezuela met at the SIDOR steel plant in Puerto Ordaz in order to advance the organisation of Socialist Workers’ Councils and analyse progress, strengths and weaknesses of worker control in Venezuela.

Venezuelan Government Helps Successfully Mediate Honduras Agreement
Venezuela’s President Chavez applauded the signing of an agreement in Colombia, which will allow Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras overthrown in a coup in 2009, to return there.

Chávez Assigns Additional Funding to States
During his weekly show Sunday, President Hugo Chavez announced an additional 3 billion bolivars (US$ 607 million) to be assigned to state governments.

Bauxilum Workers Peacefully Recover Access to their Company
Workers at the state-run bauxite and aluminium company Bauxilum in Ciudad Guayana, peacefully recovered the main access doors at the plant after it was violently and illegally closed by a right-wing union last Thursday.

President Chavez Expresses Solidarity with Syrian People "Facing Imperialist Attacks"
The President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez held a telephone conversation with the President of Syria Bashar Al Assad to give him a personal message of affection and hope at a time when imperialist forces are violently attacking the Syrian people.

Venezuelan Minister says FARC Files Evidence “Finally Coming to an End”
On Thursday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro welcomed a decision by the Colombian Supreme Court to dismiss evidence said to be from the laptop computers of slain rebel leader Luis Edgar Devía Silva (aka Raúl Reyes).

Bank of the South to Initiate Operations this Year
The Bank of the South (Banco del Sur) will begin operations this year, even before its formal constitution, the head of Ecuador’s presidential commission to design the new regional financial architecture, Pedro Paez, informed last Tuesday from Quito.

Colombian Supreme Court Dismisses Reyes 'FARC Files' as Evidence
Documents found on computers of slain FARC commander "Raul Reyes" are inadmissible as evidence in court as the material is illegally obtained and provides no evidence, Colombia's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

Nearly 500,000 Families Register with Venezuela's Mass Housing Program
In just under three weeks since its launch, nearly half a million families in five states across Venezuela have answered the national government’s call to register for its massive new public housing program which seeks to build two million new homes by the year 2017.

Fugitive Venezuelan Banker Granted Asylum in U.S.
18 months after he fled Venezuela to avoid criminal prosecution for what authorities claim were $27 million dollars in illegal currency transactions, a U.S. court granted political asylum to fugitive Venezuelan banker Eligio Cedeño.

Venezuela Denies Presence of “Any Foreign Military Installations” while U.S. Media Repeats Accusations
On Wednesday Venezuelan Vice President Elías Jaua strongly rejected claims by a German publication that his government has allowed for an Iranian military presence in Venezuelan territory.

Venezuela Extends State of Emergency in 8 States as Rains Persist
The Venezuelan government has decided to extend the state of emergency by 90 days in 8 states due to the persistence of heavy rains.

Venezuelan GDP Grows 4.5% in First Quarter of 2011
The Venezuelan economy has continued to recover from recession, with GDP growing by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2011, according to statistics released by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) on Tuesday.

Venezuelan Government says U.S. “Classifies Some Terrorists as Good and Others as Bad”
Venezuela will continue demanding that the United States extradite Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for terrorism, after he was found “not guilty” in a trial in the U.S. on other charges, since his current legal status means there is “no argument” as to why he can’t be extradited.

Idle Land of Failed Banks to Go Towards Public Housing in Venezuela
As part of the solution to the country’s serious housing shortage, the Venezuelan government will take over 210,000 square meters of land as a first step to utilising idle land that belonged to collapsed banks of the 1970s and 1990s.

Analysis ~

Declaration of Rejection to US Sanctions Against Venezuela's PDVSA

In response to the US State Department's decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Venezuela's PDVSA this week, individuals and/or organizations within the United States are being asked to add their names to the following 'Declaration of Rejection' (available in both English and Spanish).

Venezuela’s 21st Century Socialism and the Difficult Journey from ‘Me’ to ‘Us’

The Venezuela of today is a nation mobilized in defense of a new ideal – a proposal for the future referred to simply as Socialismo del Siglo 21, or 21st Century Socialism. In this analysis, Rosales seeks to contextualize a few of the guiding principles being used by the Venezuelan people in their struggle to consolidate a socialist society, and takes a brief glimpse at the challenge faced by 21st Century Socialism in the fight against capital’s culture of consumption that remains quite present in the Venezuela of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Venezuela: Rural Killers Enjoy Impunity
Having arrived back in Caracas after more than two weeks visiting various rural communities, leaders from the National Campesino Front Ezequiel Zamora (FNCEZ) told us that the bodies of two of their comrades, missing since April 12, had been found.

Venezuela’s Battle for Food Sovereignty
Thanks to Prolesa, a milk processing co-operative in Tachira state, local milk farmers now have an alternative source to sell their milk to rather than being at the mercy of prices set by profit hungry multinationals that often exported the product for higher profits.

What Now for a Post-Coup Honduras?

Many Latin America watchers were thrown for a loop last month when a bilateral meeting in Cartagena, Colombia between Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia suddenly metamorphosed into a trilateral encounter that included Porfirio Lobo, the controversial president of Honduras.

Attorney Jose Pertierra: Evidence in El Paso Showed that Cuba is Right
Cuban-American Attorney Jose Pertierra spoke with Cuban and foreign journalists on Thursday at the office of the Cuban Journalists Association (UPEC) in Havana about his experiences in El Paso, Texas, during the trial against terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

Venezuelan Prisoners Find Expression through Film
Behind the walls of the Penitentiary Center Los Teques, in central Venezuela, the atmosphere is less unpleasant than usual. In a small room the sounds of a bongo, a piano, a bass guitar and a harmonized chorus tune up with a strong voice singing: “Trouble is being, being in jail, loneliness, and loneliness, what loneliness...”

Interview with Ignacio Vera: Why is the Process so Centered around Chavez?
Ignacio Vera looks just like Paulo Freire. He’s a patience-testing slow talker, and speaks as much with his hands as he does with his mouth. One evening we sat on his porch to consider some questions about the social and political changes taking place inVenezuela which are considered by many to be part of a Socialist Revolution.

Chávez and the Arab Dictators

In this critical look at Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's foreign policy towards the Middle East, writer Lance Selfa affirms that the Arab people's perception of Chávez has changed as a result of the Venezuelan leader's open support for Libya's Qaddafi and Syria's Assad, among others.

Venezuela: Dodgy Dossier’s Terror Links Claims Questioned

No sooner had the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released its dossier The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raul Reyes on May 10, the international media was once again claiming more proof that Venezuelan government links to terrorism had been uncovered.

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Received on Wed May 25 23:13:15 2011

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