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New laws to boost diversification in Venezuela's production

Caracas, 19 Nov. AVN.- A series of laws and reforms were enacted via enabling law by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro last Tuesday night, with a view to give a boost to agricultural, touristic and industrial development in the country.

Following, the list of some of the laws signed by the President at Miraflores Presidential Palace, in Caracas:

* Law on Integral Regionalization of Social Development in the Homeland.

* Reform to the Law on Foreign Investment.

* Law Against Monopoly.

* Reform to the Organic Law that Preserves to the State Activities of Gold Exploration and Exploitation and Related Activities.

* Reform to the Law on Fair Prices.

* Reform to the Law on Mission AgroVenezuela.

* Reform to the Law on National Agricultural System.

* Reform to the Law on Fishing and Aquaculture.

* Reform to the Law on Income Tax.

* Reform to the Law on Value-Added Tax.

* Reform to the Organic Tax Code.

* Reform to the Law on Cigars and Tobacco Manufacturing Tax.

* Reform to the Law on Alcohol and Alcoholic Species Tax.

* Reform to the Organic Law on Tourism.

* Reform to the Law on Credit and All Activities to Fund the Touristic Sector.

* Reform to the Law on the Promotion of Sustainable Tourism as Community and Social Activity.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister says Tour has being successful

Caracas, 17 Nov. AVN.- Venezuelan foreign minister Rafael Ramirez said his recent tour across Algeria, Qatar, Iran (all members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC) and Russia was rewarding, since ideas were exchanged to set up a joint action to balance oil prices, while bilateral relations were enhanced.

"Venezuela is in a privileged position because it is a country that may talk with all sister countries," said Ramirez after a meeting with Russian Energy minister Alexander Novak, reported Venezuela's foreign ministry.

A strategic policy in matters of energy has been created in Venezuela, making it one of the world's oil-exporting countries with the largest proved oil reserves, noted the Foreign Minister, in Moscow, Russia's capital city.

Venezuela enjoys "great prestige within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. We have relationships of fraternity and cooperation that are positive, which allow us to get closer, talk, dialog and listen any perspective to work in a common target, which is defending our oil prices and preserving our economies," Ramirez said.

In this connection, he Foreign Minister noted that southern countries and those which share the same political and social view should keep united to face imperial aggressions from the United States.

As the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are stronger, countries in the region will be able to protect economies and people from unilateral actions of the kind.

Ramirez's agenda started last November 12 in Algeria, where he met President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Petroleum minister Youcef Yousfi. There, he discussed bilateral cooperation programs and oil prices.

In Qatar, he met with Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani; Energy and Industries minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada; and Administrative. Control and Transparency Authority, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, seeking to foster alliances in matters of geo-energy.

Subsequently, in Iran, the Venezuelan foreign minister included a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hossein Kazempour.

Subversive plan “The Exit” released in the US months before its application

Caracas, 17 Nov. AVN.- Putschist plan "The Exit" was presented by Leopoldo Lopez in the United States on 31 October 2013, at El Arepazo restaurant, Florida state, at a meeting with the subversive organization VEPPEX, or Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile, reported local newspaper Ultimas Noticias in its website and posted by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in his Twitter account @NicolasMaduro.

The meeting was opened by Vicente Pugliese, VEPPEX director, who affirmed that laws and human rights are violated in Venezuela and that the Bolivarian Government is persecuting opponents linked to local and foreign extreme right activists.

Pugliese talks in that opportunity about a "Venezuela before and after," but his speech in the video released by the organization was cut off (minute 00:05:28). When the video restarts, someone behind the camera clearly refers to a coup d'état.

Through "The Exit" or "Solution," subversive groups used violence and terrorism to cause unrest in the country, resulting in 43 deaths, attempts against the life of children and workers, as well as hindered the right of free passage with mortal devices such as wires in major roads.

The plan was carried out between February and June 2014 simultaneously with an economic war characterized by smuggling, hoarding and overpricing of staple goods, with the open target of overthrowing the Nicolas Maduro Administration.

Though the Administration was elected democratically, Lopez affirms in the meeting that "on April 14 (2013), Nicolas Maduro stole the elections; on April 14, Nicolas Maduro, in connivance with the CNE (National Electoral Council) and TSJ (Supreme Tribunal of Justice), stole the elections."

Basing on his own statement, Lopez said there is not democracy in Venezuela so opponents should not act democratically to get rid of the Maduro Administration. "We have to advance the exit of the Government... Nicolas Maduro must go out sooner than later from the Venezuelan Government. Nicolas Maduro and all those who accompany him."

"It's not the same talking about a wounded democracy, than talking about a dictatorship that is consolidating itself or an anti-democratic system that has been consolidating," said Lopez, adding that "if we know that any characteristic of a democratic system is not met, then evidently we cannot assume the behavior of a democratic system."

Moreover, Lopez detailed that "the Constitution provides five vehicles. First of them, resignation; second, recall (referendum); third, amendment; fourth, reform; fifth, Constituent Assembly. Those are the vehicles embraced in the Constitution. Now, what do they have in common? People. Having the majority of a country that wants a change."

But he then explains the strategy to be used: "In my opinion, the vehicle is secondary to the determination of reaching what we have to reach," phrase which subsequently translated into four months of violent riots aimed at achieving president Maduro's resignation.

In his speech at the meeting in Florida, US, four months before the violent events, Lopez called on voting on municipal elections expected for December 2013. Particularly, he calls on avoiding abstentions because it was fruitless in the past. "There is not doubt that we have to vote on December 8, I'm sure because we already tried the medicine of not voting and it went bad."

The extremist leader took the opportunity to award a recognition to VEPPEX president Jose Colina on behalf of his political organization Voluntad Popular, given his labor "to defend human rights, as well as his priceless support and solidarity to prisoners and politically persecuted people."

Colina is fugitive from Venezuela's justice. He was involved in the April 2002 coup d'état against president Hugo Chavez. He has been charged of placing bombs in Colombia's and Spain's consulates in Caracas in 2003, as well as a building where the President would hold dialogs with opposition groups.

Nowadays, Lopez is under arrest and facing trial, accused by the Public Ministry of fostering violence in downtown Caracas, where even the office of the Prosecutor was attacked.

Simultaneously to "The Exit," intelligence corps found out a plan devised within right-wing leaders to attempt against Lopez, situation that made him surrender to the Public Ministry.

Climate Change commissioner praises Venezuela's environmentalist tradition

Caracas, 12 Nov. AVN.- Venezuela's Presidential High-Commissioner for Climate Change, Claudia Salerno, praised the environmentalist labor carried out by the country to fight effects of climate change through traditional oil extraction methods instead of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, used in the United States resulting in serious pollution.

Interviewed in local television on Tuesday, Salerno said encounters such as the Social PreCOP on Climate Change – held last week in northern Venezuela – raised the need of granting people more participation in the global debate on climate change and gather voices of worldwide organizations which support the concept fostered by then president Hugo Chavez in 2009, about changing the system, not climate.

In this connection, Salerno noted that Venezuela has a "sound environmentalist tradition, not only in legal matters but also in the practice."

As a matter of fact, she remarked that as oil-producing country, with the world's largest crude reserves, Venezuela "does not represent not even one percent of global pollution," contrary to other countries whose interests prevail in exploiting resources instead of preserving the environment.

"Venezuela, despite being an oil-producing country, has such a responsible behavior that allows us to tell the world, free from any complex neither reproach, that we are a highly environmentalist country."

Furthermore, Salerno commented that Venezuela has the world's largest amount of territory protected under some environmental legislation, almost 60 per cent of its territory.

"It's a figure known by a few and that is a contribution voluntarily made by Venezuela to the world. It's beautiful, it's green. It's enough to fly over that wonderful territory to see that we are more than oil," the High-Commissioner said.

Likewise, she underscored that the National Government, together with its ministries, has made efforts to take decisions about actions to face and solve climate change.

"We are and we will always be an oil-producing country, proudly oil-producing and proudly environmentalist," said Salerno comparing Venezuela's methods to extract crude oil, supported by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to hydraulic fracturing, which enables gas and oil extraction but with highly polluting consequences.

Investment plan 2015 aimed at strengthening domestic production

Caracas, 12 Nov. AVN.- In cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Executive branch of government discussed an investment plan in local currency for the year 2015, aimed at strengthening domestic production, the battle against speculation and replacing imports, informed Venezuelan vice-president Jorge Arreaza.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the Executive Vice-president said that vice-presidents of the economic area explained strategies to guide financial investment efforts to production.

In this connection, he said they are working on "a plan on foreign currency, with new institutionality, to ensure that every currency invested in Venezuelan economy results in production," with a view to balance the country's system of production and imports.

"That balance is crucial to achieve stability in production, supplying and prices in the country," added vice-president Arreaza.

Ministers also submitted a series of projects in matters of production, focused on agriculture and agroindustry, "to guarantee domestic production, increase it and decrease imports."

"A plan to replace imports for Venezuela's agricultural and agroindustrial sectors has been presented," Arreaza detailed.

Likewise, Cabinet praised the efforts made by the Superintendency of Fair Prices to fight speculation and tackled with the progress of a "first phase of dialog with the informal sector and a convened sale of foods and staples. Then, that plan will gradually develop and move to a second phase."

A series of draft bills to make procedures simpler was also analyzed to be submitted to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

The idea is to "attack corruption, favor the speed of the State, fight bureaucracy, economic war, give power to the people to face the economic war and overcome it, as well as to increase the efficiency of socialist missions," the Vice-president said.

Despite the economic war, Arreaza noted, "employment is a vital indicator that is guaranteed for Venezuelans." As a matter of fact, he said the Executive has managed to prevent the right-wing from increasing poverty rates from unsatisfied basic needs with their economic destabilization.

"President Maduro's recent announcement of increasing the minimum wage and the basis to calculate food stamps also prevent income poverty from being affected by the economic war," he stressed.

Furthermore, vice-president Arreaza refused the statements said by representatives of private federation Fedecamaras, who are against inspections carried out by the National Government on companies and stores to guarantee fair prices for the population.

"Those elitist groups are committed to corruption, to smugglers, which are the problems sought to be eliminated through the law on fair prices."

Happy holidays

Venezuelan vice-president Jorge Arreaza also underscored the plan Merry Christmas 2014, launched by the Bolivarian Government on November 1 through open-air markets nationwide to guarantee the offer of foods, textile, household appliances, toys, footwear and hardware.

"We were checking the arrival of containers with commodities and products for Christmas. We see stores and businesses selling not only ingredients for Ham and Olive Bread, Hallacas, for Christmas in family, but also toys and decoration," Arreaza said.

Vice-presidents and ministers also reviewed the implementation of security plan Safe Homeland, on the framework of the plan Safe Christmas 2014.

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