Chris Carlson

Nicolas Maduro, the candidate for the Unitede Socialist Party of Venezuela, has won the Venezuelan presidential election with 50.66 percent of the vote against 49.07 percent for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Maduro gave a victory speech immediately after, while Capriles initially refused to recognize the results.

The “first bulletin” results were announced by the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, at around 11:20 p.m. Venezuelan time, with 99.12 percent of the votes totaled, enough to give Maduro an irreversible victory.

Venezuelan officials announced on Wednesday that they are breaking off talks with US diplomats, accusing the United States government of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs ahead of next month’s elections.

“This line of communication is now suspended, postponed until the United States gives a clear message about what kind of relationship they want,” announced Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elías Jaua on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of supporters gathered in Caracas today for a huge rally in support of Venezuela's ill President Hugo Chavez. The gathering was in response to the controversy surrounding his absence on January 10, the date set for his inauguration day after he was re-elected for a new six-year term in October.

Late on November 21, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe put an end to the efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to achieve a humanitarian agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for the release of FARC-held hostages in exchange for the freeing of FARC prisoners, Ingrid Betancourt, Senator Cordoba Piedad, Manuel Marulanda,

The International Labor Organization (ILO) denounced the Venezuelan government on Thursday, accusing it of abusing the rights of business owners to freely organise. At the same time, Colombia was praised for its progress in the protection of labour leaders. Venezuelan authorities rejected the statements, accusing the ILO of manipulating the truth for political reasons.

Various leaders of Venezuela’s primary pro-government labour union, the National Workers Union (UNT), have called on all sectors of the organisation to join together and hold elections later this year. At a press conference on July 17, labour leaders Marcela Maspero and Orlando Chirino invited all sectors of the UNT to a general meeting on July 26 to organise general elections and, in that way, unite the principal labour union of the country that has remained divided in recent years.

In front of more than 2000 “promoters” for the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) on March 24, President Hugo Chavez called for all the political parties that support him to unite behind the new party. These “promoters” will carry out the first stage in the formation of a united pro-government party by the end of the year. Chavez emphasised that a united party is vital for the success of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.

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