Friends, Chavez, with the overwhelming support of the people of Venezuela, has clearly become the most progressive actor on today's world stage. There are even more articles available on BBC: VENEZUELA UNDER CHAVEZ KEY STORIES Chavez to eject US preachers Venezuela speeds up land reform Chavez revokes agent immunity Venezuela to seize 'idle' firms Caribbean oil initiative launched Chavez creates new loyal reserve FEATURES AND ANALYSIS Democracy at work President Chavez wants workers to help decide how factories are run Chavez: Charming provocateur Venezuela sets up 'CNN rival' Chavez's 'citizen militias' Land reform gets going US wrestles with Venezuela policy BACKGROUND Profile: Hugo Chavez Timeline: From Columbus on rkm -------------------------------------------------------- Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/4636067.stm Caribbean oil initiative launched The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has launched a regional oil initiative to provide fuel at cheaper prices to 15 Caribbean nations. Mr Chavez announced the Petrocaribe plan at a regional summit in Venezuela's city of Puerto La Cruz. He said the region had suffered centuries of imperialism and needed to strike out on its own. Critics say Mr Chavez is using Venezuela's oil to secure diplomatic influence in the Caribbean. Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter, producing 3.1 million barrels a day. It is a leading oil supplier to the US, but Mr Chavez is seeking to develop diversified energy ties with the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. The Petrocaribe initiative aims to further cut the preferential prices Venezuela gives to communist Cuba and other nations. 'Regional solidarity' "Today I propose to the Caribbean that we form an energy alliance," Mr Chavez said at the opening of the summit. He said that Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA had already created an affiliate, PDV Caribe, to implement the initiative. Mr Chavez pledged highly preferential oil prices, with Caracas picking up 40% of the cost if oil was selling at more than $50 a barrel, as it is now. He promised further concessions to the Petrocaribe signatories if prices hit the $100 a barrel mark. Venezuela is putting $50m into a fund to kick-start the plan, and Mr Chavez said Caracas would pay for oil shipments and help with setting up storage facilities across the region. But he insisted all this new business must be between governments, saying that the region could not hand any more over to Texaco and other private companies. This condition may alarm international oil companies. Cuban President Fidel Castro - who is also attending the summit - hailed the initiative as an important step toward greater regional solidarity. Mr Castro said it was "the only method of survival for our countries". The summit is also attended by delegations from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago. Published: 2005/06/30 02:11:01 GMT © BBC MMV -------------------------------------------------------- Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/4282672.stm Venezuela to speed up land reform Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has vowed to accelerate his controversial programme of land redistribution. Broadcasting his weekly Sunday TV programme from a recently-seized farm, Mr Chavez called on ranch owners to negotiate with the government. "We are not carrying out expropriation, this belongs to the nation, to the state," he said at the Marquesena farm. Mr Chavez's opponents have argued that plans for land reform violate property rights enshrined in the constitution. 'No claim' Under President Chavez's administration, new laws have been passed to allow the state to seize underused ranches without compensation. The 8,490-hectare (20,978-acre) Marquesena ranch is one of about 20 so far claimed by Venezuela's left-wing government. Mr Chavez said the family who had run the farm for decades had no legal claim to it. But he said he was willing to offer the Azpurua family 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of the ranch. The rest, the president said, would be used to establish a state farming co-operative. "We can't stop with the Marquesena, we have to accelerate all of this," said Mr Chavez, who was accompanied by members of Brazil's Landless Movement. "I extend my hand to the supposed landowners to find a constructive solution," he added. Mr Chavez has said he aims to reclaim 500,000 hectares (1,235,000 acres) of farm land this year. Landowners have said they will challenge the land reform programme in the courts. Published: 2005/09/26 12:48:27 GMT © BBC MMV -------------------------------------------------------- Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/4692165.stm Venezuela to seize 'idle' firms By Iain Bruce BBC News in Caracas The Venezuelan government has warned it will confiscate hundreds of private companies that are lying idle if they fail to re-open. President Hugo Chavez said the firms' workers would be given help to set up co-operatives and re-start production for the benefit of the community. He said the move was needed to fight poverty and end Venezuela's dependence on "the perverse model of capitalism". Some business leaders fear it may lead to a wider attack on private property. 'Perfectly productive' Speaking on his weekly television programme, Mr Chavez said the measures were necessary. Either capitalism, which is the road to hell, or socialism, for those who want to build the kingdom of God here on Earth President Hugo Chavez "It's against our constitution," he said. "Just as we cannot permit good land to lie uncultivated, so we cannot allow perfectly productive factories to stay closed." The Venezuelan leader said that more than 700 companies in the country were idle. Of these, 136 were being examined for possible expropriation and a small number were already in the process of being taken over, he said. The president's TV show was broadcast from a cocoa-processing plant in eastern Venezuela, which is re-opening as a workers' co-operative after shutting down nine years ago. 'Dictatorial powers' But Mr Chavez did hold out an olive branch to employers. He said more than 1,000 firms in Venezuela had partially closed down simply because of economic difficulties. "We want to work with you to help restore your production," he told company owners. Venezuelan business leaders have expressed concern that government policies on land reform and co-management in industry could signal the beginning of a wider attack on private property. Earlier on Sunday, Venezuela's most senior Roman Catholic Cardinal, Rosalio Castillo, accused the president of acquiring dictatorial powers. But in his broadcast, Mr Chavez again insisted that Venezuelans have a clear choice. "Either capitalism, which is the road to hell, or socialism, for those who want to build the kingdom of God here on Earth," he said. Published: 2005/07/18 07:51:59 GMT © BBC MMV -------------------------------------------------------- Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/4443727.stm Chavez creates new loyal reserve By Iain Bruce BBC, Caracas Venezuela has sworn in commanders of a new military reserve which President Hugo Chavez says is meant to deter aggression against his country. Twenty-thousand reservists paraded before Mr Chavez at the main military barracks in Caracas. The new formation, which the president wants to become a two million-strong force in the near future, will be directly under his command. The move comes amid growing tension between Venezuela and the US. The parade marked the first part of a day of events marking the anniversary of a failed attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan leader in April 2002. Defending sovereignty The new reserve force is an initial step towards what the Venezuelan government is calling its new military doctrine, which is also expected to involve training larger numbers of civilians to take part in local militia. Making what is now an unusual appearance in his military uniform and familiar red beret, President Chavez said the aim of the reserve was to defend Venezuelan sovereignty against what he called imperialist aggression. In recent months the Venezuelan authorities have repeatedly accused the US government of planning to destabilise Venezuela, and even to assassinate Mr Chavez. The US ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield, has dismissed as ridiculous the suggestion that Washington might consider invading Venezuela. However, the government in Washington has expressed concern about Venezuela's plans to buy 100,000 rifles and ammunition from Russia. Published: 2005/04/14 09:37:25 GMT © BBC MMV -- -------------------------------------------------------- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?date=01Jan2006&batch=25&lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• ___________________________________________ In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. 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