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Latest News from Venezuela

By Sol Maria Castro,

Updates on Verification Process of Presidential Recall Referendum Petition after 54 days.

§ Two days away from deadline, the CNE directorate is to decide today what to do to with the petition forms filled out by itinerant collectors, and table members, therefore, showing same handwriting.

§ Today, Director Rodríguez, said the Superior Technical Committee is processing 8,000 to 15,000 signatures a day. Since it has to revise and decide on 268,000 petition forms (98,000 of which are presidential), i.e., 2,680,000 signatures, the real finishing date would be in 179 days or 6 months. It is just a coincidence that this would be in August when no presidential recall referendum could be convoked according to the Constitution, since the Vice-president would finish the term if the President were not in office by August 20.

Opposition march to CNE headquarters on Saturday.

Miranda State Governor, and opposition umbrella CD coordinator, Enrique Mendoza announced that a march of opposition supporters will protest in front of the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Saturday, February 14, one day after the deadline chosen by National Electoral Council authorities, is up.

Minister of Defense denies doctors at military facilities will be replaced by Cubans.

General Jorge Luis García Carneiro, Minister of Defense, denied that the 27 assimilated medical doctors who were transferred from the two military hospitals in Caracas to hospitals near the border in different states as part of the Into the Slums program, will be replaced by Cuban doctors. “The decisions of the superiors must not be subjected to giving explanations, that do not deserve to be given,” responded the general. The doctors, who hold the rank of colonels, were notified by a platoon of Military Police officers.

Accusations against Súmate for receiving American funds continue.

According to Venprés, the State news agency, the American non-profit organization Venezuelan Solidarity Network has been investigating the monetary support (over $800,000) the American government gives the Venezuelan opposition to oust President Hugo Chávez through different organizations. The NGO indicates that Súmate and its representative, María Corina Machado have been the recipients who have got the most money. The evidence, as referred to by the President in his Sunday show, is shown in this page.

National Assembly to pass 77 laws in the first semester.

The National Assembly intends to pass 80% of the 96 laws presented by the permanent commissions during the first semester of this year, according to MVR legislator Nicolás Maduro. The polemic TSJ Law and the Social Responsibility in Radio and Television or Gag Law will be discussed once the new reform to the Internal Debate Rules is passed, said Maduro.

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