Venezuela

At a summit of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas, or ALBA) this past weekend in Caracas, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, ALBA’s founder, backed Argentina’s claims for sovereignty of the Malvinas (or Falklands) Islands.

Venezuelan opposition candidate Leopoldo López of Voluntad Popular pulled out of the presidential primary race on Tuesday to form an alliance with current opposition frontrunner Henrique Capriles Radonski of Primero Justicia .

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez this weekend announced his country’s intention to withdraw from the World Bank’s Washington DC-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Venezuela yesterday afternoon to kick off his four-country tour of Latin America that will also include stops in Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.

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.

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