Edward Snowdonwww.venezuelanalysis.com

'This guy, [Edward] Snowden... has surprised the world in order to ...improve humanity...this youth deserves humanitarian protection,' Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday at a press conference in Port-au-Prince after meeting with Haiti’s president.

Snowden leaked information about the U.S’s PRISM spy program, which uses data from large internet companies to carry out mass surveillance of people inside and outside the U.S. After The Guardian published a series of exposes based on Snowden’s disclosures this month, U.S. federal prosecutors charged him with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information, and wilful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorised person.

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Green Left Weekly Ewan Robertson, Merida, Venezuela

Siezed foodstuffs in the battle against hoarding Following the implementation of measures to tackle shortages in some basic food and household items, both private Venezuelan media and the government report that the level of shortages is now decreasing.

Shortages hit their highest level in five years in April, provoking a flurry of international media criticism of the government and affecting the popularity of president Nicolas Maduro in the lead-up to the 14 April election.

Economists and Venezuela’s conservative opposition attribute the spike in shortages to the effects of government price controls and a lack of state-granted dollars given to companies for food imports and production.

Meanwhile, Maduro has blamed the private sector for engaging in an “economic war” against the government, causing scarcity through hoarding products and lowering production to hurt the government’s popularity and destabilise the country.

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Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 233 June/July 2013Mayday 2013

The snap April presidential elections following the death of Hugo Chavez have provided the pretext for a sharpening of the class struggle and political polarisation in the battle over Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution. Winning by a narrow margin of 1.5%, Nicolas Maduro represents a commitment to socialism and the deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution. His opponent Henrique Capriles, who facilitated a brutal attack on the Cuban embassy in the bloodstained 2002 coup, represents a continuation of the interests of finance capital that have orchestrated violence and unrest over the last decade. The accusations of election fraud are part of pre-meditated plan to destabilise the country. Sam McGill reports.

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Correo del Orinoco International

The election result has been widely recognised with the exception of the US

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) is expected to successfully ?nish the audit of April’s presidential vote this Saturday June 8th.

The audit seeks to check 100% of the votes cast on April 14th, when Chavista candidate Nicolas Maduro beat conservative candidate Henrique Capriles by 50.61% to 49.12% of the vote.

70% of votes were subject to random sample checks on voting day itself, with the other 30% being audited in a widened “phase II” exercise from April 29th to June 8th.

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Below we reproduce a letter from the Venezuelan ambassador thanking Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! for the actions of its supporters in defending the embassy against a mob of counter-revolutionaries on 20 April (Protest to defend the Venezuelan embassy)

Letter from the Venezuelan embassy

Since the 14 April election the opposition in Venezuela have continued to contest the election results, first demanding a full 100% audit of the results, then when this was agreed to, demanding a full recount and boycotting the audit process. The defeated Presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, has since called a counter demonstration on 1 May to clash with the traditional half a million strong international workers' day march and a US national has been arrested on suspicion of a plot to destabilise the country

Timothy Hallet Tracy- US national suspected of destabilisation plot

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www.venezuelanalysis.com

Maduro announces a new cycle of the revolutionSpeaking last night during the swearing-in of the new ministerial cabinet, President Nicolas Maduro argued that the “new cycle of the revolution” should be focused on “building peace, security, and coexistence”.

“We’re aware that we are beginning a new cycle of the Bolivarian revolution. We need a new cycle of renewal so that all its philosophical, political, organisational, and structural forces...can be reinvigorated,” Maduro said.

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Joe Emersberger zcommunicationsAmnesty USA attacks Venezuelan democracy

Amnesty USA called on the Venezuelan government to eliminate post-election violence. The small matter that the violence has been directed at government supporters was comically evaded.  

Showing off its command of the obvious, Amnesty USA stated 

"Violent incidents around Venezuela following last Sunday’s presidential elections are only likely to increase unless the authorities carry out prompt, effective investigations and bring those responsible to justice"

That recent deaths strongly implicate opposition supporters should have been impossible to miss, even for Amnesty USA, given statements put out by Henrique Capriles, the candidate who lost the presidential election to Maduro. Reuters reported that Capriles said

"To all my followers ... this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with me,…. It is doing me harm."

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Defending the Venezuelan embassyRight-wing Capriles supporters who planned a demonstration outside the Venezuelan embassy in South Kensington, London, to oppose the democratically-elected government of Venezuela were thwarted today, Saturday 20 April, by solidarity protesters. Numerous Latin-American and socialist groups agreed the previous night to defend the embassy from reactionaries who refuse to accept the election of Nicolas Maduro as President on Sunday 14 April. Even the British government has now recognised Maduro’s victory.

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The call for an emergency demonstration was made during a meeting called by Hands off Venezuela on Friday afternoon. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) activists were among those who responded to news of a second protest planned by the Venezuelan right-wing since the election by calling for a solidarity protest to defend the embassy. On Tuesday 16 April, around 300 supporters of the neo-liberal Capriles surrounded the Venezuelan consulate near Warren Street harassing diplomatic staff and blocking their exit. An embassy statement said: ‘The Diplomatic Police had to intervene to prevent the crowd from attacking a local employee of the Embassy, who they insulted…’ FRFI and other activists were determined to prevent a repeat of this attack on Venezuela’s sovereignty. 
 
Unfortunately the call for solidarity was not supported by various groups who were not prepared to confront the Venezuelan opposition - those who would destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and reverse the gains made by the Venezuelan working class since 1999. This reticence meant that some 80 supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution were significantly outnumbered by aggressive opposition forces which peaked at 400. However, by arriving two hours earlier, the solidarity protesters were able to claim the space in front of the embassy and protect it from the opposition. This infuriated the opposition. With banners from Cuba and other Latin American countries stuck on the wall as a backdrop, the solidarity protest exposed and opposed the right-wing reactionaries, who arrived in force at 2pm and gave up at 5pm. The walls of the embassy vibrated with our chants in defence of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez, Maduro and socialism. FRFI activists made a vital contribution to today’s protest and the arrival of our sound-system tipped the balance in favour of those supporting democracy and revolution in Latin America.
 
We have no illusions that the Venezuelan bourgeoisie will stop their machinations to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution. When they return to the streets of London, however, we will be ready to defend the struggle for socialism in Venezuela and throughout the world.

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