Ewan Robertson

Venezuela: 30 officers charged over new coup plot, people commemorate 2002 coup defeat

Thirty Venezuelan military officers, including several generals, have been arrested for alleged conspiracy to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, a leading national newspaper has reported.

The information, reported by Ultimas Noticias, was attributed to “high level sources” in Miraflores presidential palace. Most arrested were from the Venezuelan Air Force, however a few officers from the National Guard, Navy and Armed Forces were included.

Venezuela: OAS defies US to send gov't solidarity, Maduro calls for fresh dialogue amid new violence

The Organization of American States (OAS) approved a statement on March 7 expressing solidarity and support for the Venezuelan government in light of recent events.

After two full days of heated debate at its summit, 29 states of the OAS voted in favor of a declaration lamenting the victims of protest-related violence in Venezuela, detailing the need for ongoing dialogue, and decidedly rejecting any intervention into, or sanctions against, Venezuela’s democratically elected government.

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: Commune members denounce rural killings

Communes and social movements have demanded the Venezuelan government combat the assassination of rural activists in the mountains of western Venezuela, which they say is undermining communal organising in the region.

The assassinations are taking place in the mountains of the western state of Lara. In response to the latest murder of an activist in the region, a group of 21 communes and more than 20 social movements, human rights groups and community media outlets released a statement on January 18 denouncing the situation of growing insecurity in the area.

Venezuela: Land reform push in campaign for 'agrarian socialism'

The Venezuelan government plans to continue its land expropriations this year in its push to move towards what it terms “agrarian socialism”.

In the 2014 national budget, the government’s National Land Institute (INTI) sets its aim to expropriate 350,000 hectares of land this year.

This compares with the goals of 350,000 and 397,000 hectares of land the government sought to expropriate in 2012 and last year respectively. The government began to increase the pace of land expropriations in 2011.

Australian solidarity activists visit Venezuela, witness ongoing revolution, municipal elections

A group of Australian solidarity activists visited Venezuela during the December municipal elections in order to find out more about the Bolivarian revolution and strengthen solidarity between the peoples of the two countries.

The visit was organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) and was the 14th solidarity brigade the organisation has conducted to Venezuela since 2005. The brigade was also the AVSN’s first since former president Hugo Chavez passed away last March.

Venezuela: More than 500,000 new homes built, 2014 to be year of 'more revolution'

More than 500,000 houses have been built since mid 2011 under the Venezuelan government’s mass housing building construction program.

Launched by former president Hugo Chavez to tackle the South American country’s shortage of affordable housing, the program has the ambitious aim of building three million new homes by 2019.

Venezuela: Chavistas celebrate key win in elections

Supporters of the Venezuelan government celebrated their victory in the municipal elections held on December 8. Analysts have commented that results indicate President Nicolas Maduro has “reconnected” with the social base of the Chavista movement.

The first results announced gave the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) victory in 58% of the country’s municipalities. The PSUV and its allies gained more than 49% of the total vote share versus 43% for the opposition.

Venezuela: Fresh moves against 'parasitic capitalists'

Venezuelan President has Nicolas Maduro announced a raft of new regulatory measures as part of his ongoing “offensive” to deal with the country’s economic problems.

In a television interview on December 1, Maduro said the government’s economic policies were aimed at “stabilising” the economy in order to be able to develop a “productive” economic model.

This year, Venezuela has experienced shortages in several basic food and household goods, a black market dollar worth ten times the government-set exchange rate, and annual inflation of 54%.

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