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BRICS–Unasur alliance will prove helpful for mutual growth, Maduro says

Caracas, 16 Jul. AVN.- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, said Wednesday that the alliance between the countries that make up the BRICS block (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) will prove helpful for growth of parties.

"All this alliance is for peace, for prosperity, for the whole growth. It is a win-win alliance," he said from Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, where the Venezuelan leader participates in a meeting between these blocks.

Speaking to state media, he stressed the fact that 6th BRICS Summit is being held in Brazil. "It's a historic moment for the summit to occur in Brazil, which has led in recent years the creation of Unasur, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the BRICS," he said.

"It is extraordinary how political, economic, financial, material, cultural foundations of a new world have been developing," said the president, who added: "We are now countries and emerging areas."

Unasur, created in 2008, consists of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The BRICS is a block that accounts for about 25% of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is expected that by 2030, the BRICS will represent 50% of the world GDP, according to the Center for International Economic Exchanges of China.

According to the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook for 2013, China ranks second, Brazil is seventh, Russia is ninth, India the tenth and South Africa ranks 29th place.

The BRICS countries constitute around 27% of world territory, with 39,744, 591 square kilometers in America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

They also have 43% of the total population of the planet, with 2,992,221,736 people, according to the latest census of these five countries.


Venezuela in Motion, two days of New Venezuelan Cinema



July 25th - 26th

For the first time, Vancouverites will enjoy two days of New Venezuelan Cinema. Five shows presented by the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the city, including four feature films, one documentary, five shorts and a Gala. Discover the booming cinematic industry of this dynamic Latin American nation, while celebrating Venezuela's Independence Day (July 5th) and the Birthday of Simón Bolívar “El Libertador” (July 24th).

All the screenings are open to the public and completely FREE!

Choose from biopics, animated motion films or first time cinema and experience drama, irony, wit and meaningful silent movies. Partake of this appealing showcase of a country that is moving forward and whose current cinema is the outcome of a film history spanning 117 years and promoted by the present day comprehensive cultural policies of its Government.

Although admission to the entire program is 100% free, we recommend you reserve your seat by e-mailing Remember to point out which screening or screenings you are attending. Seats will be reserved until 20 minutes before the show starts. Join us!


Friday July 25th

6:00 pm

DesPechoTrucción (DesPiteTruction), director María Ruiz

Venezuela / 2013 / Short film / 11 min. / Spanish with English subtitles

She wants to forget Gabriel. Then, destruction starts: click-click (a lighter starts a fire that burns precious objects) crashhhh / boooom / kaploom. She wrecks whatever reminds her of him: books, music, movies, their house... her very own clitoris –everything. "In order to forget Gabriel I would have to cry my eyes out, cry him so much as to drain him out of me, turned into salt and mucus blown into a napkin,” she says, before heading towards the ultimate destruction stage. And there, amid the ruins, she finds something, a mind-changer… a secret.

Diario de Bucaramanga (Diary of Bucaramanga), director Carlos Fung

Venezuela / 2012 / Biopic / 129 min. / Spanish & French with English subtitles

It’s 1828 and conflicts surround the consolidation of independence in South America. Simón Bolívar “El Libertador”(1783-1830) and his political advisers are in the city of Bucaramanga awaiting news of the Ocaña Convention, which is expected to generate a Constitution for a large South American nation –Gran Colombia. In dramatic days marked by intrigue and treachery at the hands of Colombian General Francisco de Paula Santander, the future of this larger initiative is decided as Bolívar recalls key moments in his life. The film is based on the homonymous 19th century memoirs by Luis Perú de Lacroix, a French general who fought in the army of Napoleon I and then joined Bolívar’s army in 1823. It will also celebrate Venezuela’s Independence Day (July 5th) and the Birthday of Simón Bolívar “El Libertador” (July 24th).

8:30 pm – Gala

Venezuelan music, food and drinks will complete the appealing experience of plunging into two full days of the latest cinema from this vibrant and resourceful nation. Please come on in, everyone’s gladly invited!

9:30 pm

Azul y no tan Rosa (My Straight Son), director Miguel Ferrari

Venezuela – Spain / 2012 / Feature film / 120 min. / Spanish with English subtitles

Diego is a young and successful photographer who lives in the glamorous world of fashion, shallowness and excess. A tragic accident turns his world around: his partner is now in a coma. Unexpectedly, and right amidst these terrible events, Diego must take care of his son, Armando. Now, both of them have to adapt to each other: Armando to the unknown, homosexual world of his father, and Diego to the closed-minded attitude of his teenage son.

Saturday July 26th

4:00 pm

“D”, director Rafael Velásquez Stanbury

Venezuela / 2011 / Short film / Animation / 6:20 min. / No dialogues

The pen is mightier than the word in this clever, animated struggle between a heroic dot and a fearsome quill pen.

Tempo Adagio, director Alcione Guerrero

Venezuela / 2013 / Short film / 11 min. / No dialogues

The story portrays a magical journey undertaken by an elderly couple. In the midst of an inhospitable place, they begin a marvelous journey that is as short as both their long lives.

Tambores de Agua, un encuentro ancestral (Water Drums, an Ancestral Encounter), director Clarissa Duque

Venezuela – Cameroon / 2009 / Documentary / 72 min. / Spanish & French with English subtitles

This documentary attests for the permanence of African roots in Afro-Venezuelan musical expressions. The plot kicks off when the central character discovers the ‘water drums’, a stunning musical manifestation of Barlovento –north central Venezuela. The aquatic chimes of the water drums will call for the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to retrace the voyage of a people’s cultural traits and bring Africa and America together.Long distances come closer when the roots are strong enough to stumble upon time.

6:00 pm

Colmillo (Fang), director Albi De Abreu

Venezuela / 2010 / Short film / 18 min. / Spanish with English subtitles

An indomitable stray dog takes Mateo’s "home" as its territory. Mateo, a beggar immersed in solitude, is determined to regain his space at any cost, embarking in a great battle where loneliness and company will compete to attain the main role in this man’s life.

Reverón, director Diego Rísquez

Venezuela / 2011 / Biopic / 120 min. / Spanish with English subtitles

This film tells the story of classically trained Venezuelan painter Armando Reverón (1889-1954) who lived on the Caribbean coast with his partner and muse Juanita, from 1924 onwards. There, he erected a primitive, magical realm he called home: El Castillete (little castle), where he alternately engaged in games, ceremonies, and delusions in the ludic, sensitive and painful universe he inhabited. His painting became impressionistic as he tried to capture the blinding white tropical light. Reverón won Venezuela’s National Painting Prize the year before his depression and eccentricities resulted in confinement in a mental hospital, where he died. The film is a love story set within the artist’s creative struggle.

9:00 pm

La noche anuncia la aurora (Night Announces Dawn), director Gerard Uzcátegui

Venezuela / 2012 / Short film / 23 min. / No dialogues

Over the delta of the Catatumbo river, Venezuela, a palafito (pile dwelling) is home of a widow. She spends time on the water, navigating the streams of solitude. Reality intermingles with her thoughts, her dreams, her fears, desires and memories. One day, she decides to seek the unknown, briefly revealing the inner world of that mysterious being.

Taita Boves, director Luis Alberto Lamata

Venezuela / 2010 / Biopic / 100 min. / Spanish with English subtitles

The film chronicles a thirst for revenge that devastated a country. This is the true story of José Tomás Boves, a merciless man who became a legend during the Venezuelan War of Independence, the most violent in the Americas. He went from seafarer to pirate, horse smuggler to prosperous merchant, prisoner to military chief. Spanish by birth, Boves spearheaded a grassroots troop of slaves, mulattoes, Amerindians and mestizos that crushed Simón Bolívar and his patriot army. Respectfully called "Taita" by his people, he fought for the underprivileged and the poorest of the poor, and curtailed three centuries of order in this colonial region. The film is about his passions and power, his loves and misadventures, and a bloody saga that rocked Venezuela.

Mission Miracle: 10 years bringing light, happiness

Caracas, 08 Jul. AVN.- Mission Miracle meets ten years since its creation on July 8th, term through which three million people have been attended, as Venezuelans as citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean.

"10 years of Mission Miracle, bringing light and happiness to the humble of Our America," noted Venezuelan Vice-president Jorge Arreaza on Tuesday.

In a series of messages posted to online social network Twitter, the Vice-president recalled that achievements of this program owe to the will of Bolivarian Revolution leader Hugo Chavez and Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro.

"Thanks commander Chavez, thanks commander Fidel," posted the Vice-president to his Twitter account @jaarreaza.

By June 15th this year, this social program had attended 3 million 476 thousand 206 people, informed Vice-president Arreaza during a meeting to welcome 77 patients from El Salvador, who would be given ophthalmology treatment in Venezuela.

Mission Miracle was born on July 8th, 2004 with a first flight of Venezuelans who traveled to Cuba, to be operated for free for cataract.

The initiative was repeated for over a year until 25th August 2005, when Cuban president Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez signed Commitment Sandino, to operate six million people – from Venezuela and abroad – in 10 years.

The most common diseases attended through Mission Miracle are cataract, glaucoma and strabismus, according to the program's national and international coordinator.

Besides surgery, this program provides prescription lenses. Mission Miracle's most common dynamic to attract patients is to carry out outdoor journeys nationwide. There, people are examined by ophthalmologists and optometrists, with professional equipment to determine whether a person needs lens or surgery.


New Armed Force officers committed to the homeland

Caracas, 08 Jul. AVN.- Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro pointed out Monday that the new 644 officers of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) are committed "with the homeland, with Simon Bolivar and the legacy of Hugo Chavez."

During the graduation ceremony, at Bolivarian Military University, in Caracas, president Maduro congratulated all new FANB members, "who become officers of the 21st century. Decent officers of this homeland."

President Maduro took the opportunity to recall the graduation of commander Hugo Chavez: "Today, I'd like to remember that man who graduated here 39 years ago, full of convictions. And on his behalf, I'm going to hand over the saber to each of you, for you to assume a commitment with the homeland, Bolivar and Chavez."

Hugo Chavez graduated from Venezuela's Military Academy on 5th July 1975 and since then he started an active military life for 17 years, through which he obtained plenty of academic achievements.

As a matter of fact, Maduro recalled that FANB officers in the eighties were full of uncertainty, but Hugo Chavez sowed values to fill the Republic with faith, "a resurrection of the homeland."

The President said that maybe "new officers wondered if those dreams of a generation that accompanied the Commander of the homeland, of building happiness for everyone, were possible."

Nevertheless, he said that Chavez, as military leader and then commander of the homeland, stood countless "campaigns full of lies to spread hatred among the youth and middle class, which lost their chance of recognizing one of the greatest men born in this land."

During the ceremony, president Maduro graduated 644 new officers; out of it, 26 are foreigners who were trained in the Bolivarian Military Academy and come from friend countries as Bolivia, Panama, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic.

There were also graduating six Venezuelan officials who had graduated as engineers specialized in command of tanks in Belarus.

Furthermore, president Maduro informed that officers who graduated in 1984 will be part of the active reserve of the Nation.


Prosecutor urges to create public policy to fight drug use

Caracas, 08 Jul. AVN.- Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz called on creating a public health policy aimed at giving comprehensive treatment for people who use drugs, which also covers social inclusion programs.

"The goal is to contribute with their social rehabilitation, which will have a positive impact collectively," commented the Prosecutor in her weekly opinion article at a local newspaper.

For it, Public Ministry is providing a Center of psychiatric and psychological attention for drug users, created last January 23rd, with a view to aid with investigations.

Public Ministry attorneys against the use of drugs carry out psychiatric and psychological tests on drug takers, so as to implement the corresponding procedure established on the organic law on drugs.

This Center is "aimed at carrying out studies, giving attention and comprehensive counseling to people caught red handed with small amounts of drugs for their own use. This is before taking them to court. Thus, one may confirm their addiction level or connection to drug trafficking networks," Ortega Diaz remarked.

The Prosecutor also reiterated that it is necessary to prevent drug users from being stigmatized on behalf of the penal system; otherwise, it would "make it more difficult to assume them as people who need medical care."

Nevertheless, Ortega Diaz said that "it does not mean that penal sanctions should be eliminated for those who commit crimes under the influence of these drugs. The idea is that non-problematic users are treated as ill people who need specialized attention instead of being treated as criminals."


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