Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is pushing the National Assembly to pass tough new legislation that would “regulate the freedom of expression” and stipulates prison terms for journalists—ranging from 6 months to 4 years—for disseminating news “that causes serious public disorder, fear and anxiety among the population, or damages to state institutions.”

Commerce Minister Eduardo Samán announced on Saturday that “patents have become a barrier to production” and stymie access to medicine, placing the interests of multinational pharmaceutical companies ahead of the welfare and needs of the Venezuelan people.


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