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Venezuela: Maduro calls for 'powerful, united' environment movement

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has approved Bs40 million (about $6.75 million) in funding for an environmental mission, and announced the creation of a national ecosocialist school.

During a meeting of Venezuela's environmental movement, Maduro called on students and young people to join in state-sponsored environment rehabilitation projects.

Venezuela: 'Colectivos' scare campaign demonises the poor

As they are prone to do, the private media have invented a new thing. In both English and Spanish, they are calling it the colectivos.

They are meant to be irrational, cruel, grotesque armed motorbike riders who “enforce” the revolution in Venezuela and are responsible for most of the violence afflicting the South American nation, which has left more than 30 people dead since February.

The opposition barricaders are presented as the innocent victims of these collectivos, who apparently work with the National Guard and have the support of President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Venezuela: Amnesty lets down human rights defenders

In a recent article, Amnesty International accused the Venezuelan government of a “witch hunt” when a right-wing opposition mayor Daniel Ceballos was arrested.

However, Amnesty has yet to use such strong language against the five weeks of human rights violations people in Venezuela have suffered at the hands of violent opposition sectors. The “witch hunt” term demonises the people’s right to bring such criminals to justice.

Venezuelans mark one year since Chavez's death

Venezuela has commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of former president Hugo Chavez with rallies across the country.

Supporters of the late socialist president turned out in hundreds of thousands for official commemoration services.

In a show of support for the revolutionary process Chavez led, in Caracas crowds in red flooded the city centre for military and civil parades. Supporters of social programs launched under Chavez, along with social movements aligned with the government of President Nicolas Maduro also rallied in the capital.

Venezuela: Workers demand car industry natonalisation

Venezuelan car workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country. The country's largest trade union federation has called for the industry to be nationalised.

Accusing multinational car companies of being “imperialist”, the National Workers' Union (UNT) has called on the government to place car factories under worker control.

The UNT said: “It's clear that building socialism relies on the working class, indeed the workers' control of the factories.”

Venezuela: Vandalism bill hits millions, Maduro proposes peace conference

Millions of dollars worth of damages to public property may have been caused by a wave of violence across Venezuela, according to government sources.

The assessment comes after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a “National Peace Conference” as a means of resolving the on-going violent opposition protests in Venezuela.

Protests began two weeks ago after opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez called supporters onto the streets to force the “exit” of President Nicolas Maduro. Lopez is currently in custody and being investigated for inciting violent acts.

Venezuela: Gov't applies new prices, profits law

The period allowed for businesses to adjust their prices to the government's new “fair prices” law ended on February 10. The government has a wave of inspections planned to ensure the measure is applied.

The Law for the Control of Fair Costs, Prices and Profits aims to stop price speculation, product hoarding and other activities that are destabilising the Venezuelan economy and contributing to its ongoing economic problems.

Further, a maximum profit margin of 30% has been established across the economy to stop companies over-charging.

Venezuela: Education mission celebrates 10 years of serving the poor

Venezuela’s Mission Sucre has reached 10 years of providing higher education to more 695,000 people, including 379,000 who have already graduated.

The government launched Mission Sucre in November 2003 to provide university education to those who previously didn’t have access to it. Many of its current students are people who have a low income and middle-aged mothers who weren’t able to continue their studies because they raised children.

Venezuela: 'Strengthen communal economy' says national conference

Representatives from 225 communes met over January 31 to February 1 in Barinas in western Venezuela to discuss strengthening the communal economy.

Communes are made up of elected representatives from the communal councils, grassroots bodies that bring together local neighbourhoods.

The conference was called and organised by the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ). The CRBZ is a current in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Venezuela: Maduro determined 'to make economic revolution'

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would take “the most radical measures to protect our people's economy” as a deadline for businesses to adhere to new price controls approaches.

“We will expropriate whatever needs to be expropriated,” Maduro said during a February 4 speech in Caracas amid commemorations of the 22nd anniversary of a 1992 failed military rebellion.

The coup was led by Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Although he was jailed for the insurrection, Chavez became a popular figure with the poor majority. He won the 1998 presidential elections by a landslide.

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