Latin America

Mission Culture, a social program that aims to transform cultural education in Venezuela, celebrated its seventh anniversary on July 10, the state-run Venezuelan News Agency (AVN) said.

The program was created on July 10, 2005, by the government of President Hugo Chavez. It has since trained more than 12,000 people in different areas of the arts to foster a renewal of popular creativity.

Paraguay’s new government, which came to power in a “parliamentary coup” that removed elected President Fernando Lugo, has cut relations with Venezuela after accusing it of meddling in Paraguay’s internal affairs.

However, several Latin American diplomats and media sources have cast doubt on the allegations.

Paraguay's foreign ministry announced the withdrawal of its ambassador to Venezuela and declared Venezuela’s envoy to Asuncion a “persona non grata” due to “serious evidence of intervention … in the internal affairs of the Republic of Paraguay” by Venezuelan officials.

The final official results in Mexico's July 1 presidential election were published in the early hours of July 4, claiming Enrique Pena Nieto had won. However, his victory had been proclaimed within just a few hours of the voting centres being closed and 1% of the ballots counted.

Pena Nieto, the candidate from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was declared the winner with a 6.5% margin over progressive candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Venezuela suspended oil shipments and withdrew its ambassador from Paraguay as part of a regional wave of condemnation against the ouster of leftist Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo on June 22.

“We are absolutely not going to support this state coup, not directly, neither indirectly,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on June 24.

The recent coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population that supported President Fernando Lugo.

The Paraguayan poor see Lugo as abulwark against the wealthy elite who have dominated the country for decades.

The United States mainstream media and politicians are not calling the events in Paraguay a coup, since the president is being “legally impeached” by the elite-dominated Paraguayan Congress.

“Under Raul Castro, Cuba has begun the journey towards capitalism. But it will take a decade and a big political battle to complete, writes Michael Reid”. So began the lead article of the London Economist magazine’s March 24 special issue on Cuba, under the heading “Revolution in retreat”.

It is a familiar refrain, but how much truth is there to it? Unfortunately for the credibility of The Economist, authoritative mouthpiece of the Anglo-imperialist ruling class, it’s a dog’s breakfast of factual errors, illogical arguments and wishful thinking.

The governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador strongly condemned on June 21 a parliamentary coup by the Paraguayan Congress against President Fernando Lugo.

BBC news said on June 22 that, after both houses of Congress voted to impeach Lugo, the president was forced to step down. The vice-president, Federico Franco, was sworn in as president on June 22, as supporters of Lugo massed on the streets, The Guardian said that day.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange went to the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19 to apply for asylum, after losing his final appeal in British courts against extradition to Sweden.

The extradition to Sweden is nominally over allegations of sexual assault, for which Swedish authorities wish to question Assange ― who has not been charged. But WikiLeaks supporters point to evidence released by the whistleblowing site this year that the United States government has prepared a secret sealed indictment against him.

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum on June 19, the question many supporters asked was: “Why the Ecuadorian embassy?”

The simple answer is because the Ecuadorian government has been one of the strongest supporters of WikiLeaks, which reflects its strong stance in defence of media and information freedom.

Much has been made in the media about supposed abuses of media freedom in Ecuador.

You can sign an online petition to the government of Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa in support of Julian Assange's extradition request.

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To:

Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado
President of the Republic of Ecuador

Ricardo Armando Patiño Aroca
Minister of Foreign Relations, Republic of Ecuador

CC:

Raúl Gangotena
Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador in Australia

Luis Felipe Valencia
Consul General of the Republic of Ecuador in Australia

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