Robert Serra, a 27-year-old legislator of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the National Assembly's (AN) youngest parliamentarian, was found dead in his Caracas home yesterday.
Authorities confirmed last night that Serra and his partner Maria Herrera had been murdered in their residence. According to daily newspaper Ultimas Noticias, unofficial reports say that Serra’s body showed signs of torture before he was killed.
Across Venezuela, commune activists are creating regional Presidential Councils of Communal Governance in order to play an greater role in the management of local and regional affairs in conjunction with national authorities.
Communes in Venezuela are made up of representatives of groups of smaller communal councils. These councils are direct participatory organisations that help manage community affairs. Communes cover a larger territorial area than communal councils and can receive public funds for larger scale projects and responsibilities.
At the G77 plus China Summit held in Bolivia that ended on June 15, several Latin American presidents gave public backing to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. They called for regional unity against an bid for “conservative restoration” under way in the South American country.
The summit, held in Santa Cruz, eastern Bolivia, brought together 133 countries, about two-thirds of the member states of the United Nations.
The Venezuelan government and the commune movement are taking steps to move towards the creation of what is referred to as a “communal state”, which involves community groups assuming collective control of local production and decision making.
Communes in Venezuela are formed out of groups of community councils, which are small neighbourhood groups representing 250 to 400 families. In communal councils, local residents organise to develop their local community and run community affairs. They can also receive public funds to undertake social projects in their area.
Venezuela and Palestine have signed fresh agreements on oil, taxation and diplomatic cooperation, Venezuela Analysis said on May 19. The agreements were made during a visit by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to Venezuela.
In a key agreement, Venezuela created a new corporation, Petro-Palestina, through which Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will send oil to Palestine at a subsidised price. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro committed to sending an initial shipment of 240,000 barrels of oil.
In his May Day speech at a large rally in Caracas, President Nicolas Maduro announced the extension of social programs and benefits to workers and the population in general. The opposition held its own march to criticise the state of the economy.
Some of Maduo's announcements to thousands of workers included: a new fund to protect and increase the value of workers’ social security savings, the extension of social programs to workplaces, and the introduction of free wifi in many public parks and urban spaces.
Hard-line opposition protests continued over the Easter weekend in Venezuela. However, a recent poll found most Venezuelans support the peace talks occurring between the government and moderate opposition.
Opposition student groups and several hard-line opposition leaders led a march on April 20 to the United Nations office in Caracas, where they demanded that the UN send a delegation to assess the situation in the country.
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.
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.
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