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Venezuela News Review 12.04.06

By Aleksander Boyd

• A Venezuelan airplane carrying 5˝ tons of cocaine is seized by the Mexican police. One of Hugo Chavez's first measures was to forbid DEA planes to enter Venezuelan airspace. That was followed, years later, by his administration firm rejection to collaborate with the DEA.

• Financial consultant Arturo Ehrlich Romero was assassinated last Saturday in Chuao, Caracas. Local sources report that Ehrlich Romero had business interests with Martin Lusgarten Acherman, found to be the creative mind behind the killing of Yvonne Milanes (February 21) and partner Antonio José Moros Cacique (February 17). It is believed that the killing spree has to do with millions of dollars that close associates to the Chavez regime invested, and lost, in REFCO.

• Chavez's controlled media claimed yesterday that a Venezuelan army official informed from Caracas that the contract to purchase military planes and patrol ships to EADS-Casa is a done deal. Spanish officials or EADS-Casa representatives have yet to confirm the veracity of the information.

• Venezuelan Ambassador to the USA, Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, stated yesterday that US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield is a "bum," that lacks common sense. Alvarez Herrera explained that Brownfield needs to inform Venezuelan authorities about his activities -as he does in the USA?

• Hugo Chavez will invest between $800 million and $1 billion in revamping the Cienfuegos refinery in Cuba. 70.000 BPD will be refined at Cienfuegos, additional to the 98.000 BPD already granted to Fidel Castro, according to official numbers.

• Hugo Chavez has been accused by Leonel Téller, spokesman of the Liberal Party, of financing members of the Sandinista front in Nicaragua.

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