Venezuela

After a seven-month hiatus, President Hugo Chávez is set to return to the Venezuelan airwaves.

The forty-second summit of members of the Southern Common Market (Mercado Común del Sur, or Mercosur) begins today in Montevideo, where Uruguay will hand the six-month presidency of the trade bloc over to Argentina.

Venezuela froze prices on 18 key products as the Ley de Costos y Precios Justos (Law of Fair Costs and Prices) went into effect yesterday. The law was promoted by President Hugo Chávez as a necessary measure to “defend” the economy and curb the inflation rate, which was 26.9 percent last month and the highest figure in Latin America.

It is often said that the FARC is the oldest guerrilla group in the world.

Washington Nationals player Wilson Ramos was found alive and unharmed on Friday, two days after being kidnapped at gunpoint from a family home in the provincial city of Valencia.

Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister María Angela Holguín and her Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, agreed on Monday to a three-month extension of bilateral trade preferences in the hope that a permanent agreement will be concluded by the end of January 2012.

Although a Venezuelan Supreme Court ruling earlier this week barred him from holding elected office, Leopoldo López, a leading opposition candidate, pledged yesterday to continue his presidential campaign.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela announced on Wednesday that he is expecting a visit from his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this month.

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