Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hit out at “mounting aggressions” against his government after it was confirmed that a US plane had twice violated Venezuelan airspace. The US Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry is reported to have illegally entered Venezuela’s national airspace on May 11 and 13. Both incursions were detected by Venezuela’s Bolivarian air force and have sparked rumours that the US might be conducting covert spying operations over Venezuela. “This plane has all the mechanisms to carry out electronic espionage,” said Maduro on his television program on May 17.

Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters on May 15 that to increase productivity and help alleviate scarcity of basic products facing the South American nation, all businesses and factories closed down by their owners would be seized and handed over to their workers so production could be restarted. “A stopped factory [is] a factory turned over to the people,” Maduro said. “The moment to do it has come, I'm ready to do it to radicalise the Revolution.”

Venezuela's right-wing opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), has officially launched its signature collection campaign to force a recall referendum this year against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.  Thousands of opposition supporters flocked to sign the petition in public squares across the country on April 27 after MUD spokespeople confirmed they had received the official go-ahead from Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE). 
Cuba joined a long list of Latin American countries lending assistance to Ecuador on April 18 by deploying a team of 53 health and rescue specialists to treat victims wounded in the devastating 7.8 earthquake that struck the Andean nation April 16, . The quake has killed at least 350 people and injuring thousands more.
Photo: Venezuelanalysis.com. Venezuelans took to the streets on April 14 to protest a new housing law proposed by the new right wing-controlled assembly that seeks to privatise public housing. TeleSUR correspondent in Caracas Iain Bruce reported: “Government supporters are protesting against a law passed by parliament to allow public housing to be sold.”
Photo: Albaciudad.org. The Venezuelan Supreme Court unanimously ruled on April 11 that a controversial “amnesty law” passed by the country's right-wing opposition-controlled parliament is unconstitutional, Venezuela Analysis said the next day.
Members of Commune Alberto Lovera in Anzoategui state taking part in their communal fishing enterprise. Photo from .
A recent poll conducted by Hinterlaces, a well-known and usually reliable Venezuelan pollster, showed that Venezuelans, by a substantial majority, oppose neoliberal solutions to their country’s crisis. The poll was based on 1200 interviews in the country as a whole between January 11 and 17. The poll has a 95% level of accuracy and a 2.7% margin of error.
United States President Barack Obama renewed an executive order, first issued a year ago, on March 3 that declares Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”, TeleSUR English said the next day. The order allows the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela. In protest, Venezuela has withdrawn its charge d'affaires, Maximilian Arvelaez, from the United States, TeleSUR English said on March 9.

Peace, unity and prosperity was the message on March 5, which marked the third anniversary of the death of Venezuela's late socialist president Hugo Chavez.

A 100-day Plan for urban agriculture started on February 28 in eight Venezuelan cities in a bid to provide about 1300 people with vegetables and fruits. Urban agriculture minister Lorena Freitez said one of the plan's objectives consists of teaching people how to cultivate and stir their interest for agriculture. In the long term, the products should be able to supply about 20% of the total food consumption of the residents living in the eight participating cities: Barcelona, Barquisimeto, Caracas, Los Teques, Maracaibo, Maracay, Mérida y Valencia.
On February 27, 1989, the poorest Venezuelans took over the streets in protest against price rises. Thousands of Venezuelans took the streets in February 1989 in a wave of protests that highlighted the right-wing misrule in the South American country. The protests came to be known as the Caracazo — an uprising that began in the capital Caracas — and ultimately shaped the country's future.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a National Productive Corporation on February 22, as part of a new socialist enterprise system aimed at coordinating efforts among existing state, communal and mixed firms. Speaking from the Ana Maria Campo Petrochemical Complex in Zulia state, the socialist leader said the new entity would be tasked with unifying the more than 1000 public enterprises in a “single vision of planning, management, productivity, and maximum efficiency”.
Protesters in working-class western Caracas hijacked trucks belonging to Venezuela’s number one private food chain, Polar, on February 18, demanding the company cease hoarding essential goods. The Polar food and beverage conglomerate is Venezuela’s largest private food provider, selling a range of products from beer to corn flour. But its owner, millionaire businessman Lorenzo Mendoza, has been consistently embroiled in scandal.
A whole packet of new economic initiatives are set to take effect in Venezuela after socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced a series of far-reaching measures in response to the country’s economic crisis on February 17. In a televised five hour address to the nation, Maduro explained the extent of the economic crisis afflicting the country as well as his government’s plan to tackle it. Economic initiatives include changes to the country’s multi-tiered exchange rate, an increase in domestic petrol prices, a new tax system and expansion of community control over food distribution.
The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador. CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

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