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Venezuela

The long-running debate over how to deal with the irrational and impulsive strongman, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, has reached feverish pitch this winter.

Venezuela’s National Assembly announced this morning that it is prepared to pass the Enabling Law, (Ley Habilitante) that will award President Hugo Chávez the power to legislate by executive decree once the new Congress convenes on January 5.

Paraguay’s Senate is expected next week to vote in favor of Venezuela’s bid to join Mercosur—Mercado Común del Sur or Southern Common Market.

According to the Social Panorama of Latin America 2010 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released today, poverty in Latin America has fallen in 2010 to levels not seen since 2008.

Venezuela’s National Assembly last week passed the Ley de la Bolsa Pública de Valores Bicentenaria, which will allow for the creation of a new stock exchange geared toward both public and private-sector entities wishing to undertake stock exchange operations.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez traveled to Iran on Tuesday to meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and discuss energy cooperation.

At least 10 inmates died in an armed battle between rival gangs in a Venezuelan prison on Wednesday.

Franklin Brito, a farmer in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar, died Monday night while protesting the government sanctioned takeover of his farm in 2000 under President Hugo Chávez’s land reform policies.

Carlos Molina Tamayo, former national security advisor to President Hugo Chávez, told Miami’s El Nuevo Herald today that the Venezuelan military has, in the past, supplied arms to the Colombian Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

South America’s Mercosur trade bloc on Tuesday concluded in San Juan, Argentina what Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva called “the best summit” in 15 years.

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