Venezuela

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.

Venezuela’s electoral body, the Consejo Nacional Electoral, affirmed that the next presidential election will be held on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Venezuelan Health Minister Eugenia Sader announced during a televised news conference yesterday that the country’s private hospitals will not raise fees for the next three weeks.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez yesterday held his first cabinet meeting since making a surprise return to Venezuela earlier this week, only days after admitting in Cuba that he is battling cancer.

In the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ address yesterday evening from Cuba in which he confirmed rumors of a battle with cancer, Venezuela’s army chief, General Henry Rangel Silva, is reaffirming the continued stability of the country.

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