Stories written by Estrella Gutiérrez

RIGHTS-VENEZUELA: Indigenous Conquest in Jeopardy

A recent historic victory by Venezuela's indigenous peoples, the direct selection of three representatives to sit on a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the constitution, is in jeopardy of being distorted by "maneuvres by the 'white man'," activists warned this week.

DRUGS-VENEZUELA: Gov’t Refuses Permission for US Overflights

The U.S. government's search for a "new home" for military bases given Panama's "no" to the continued use of the Howard airbase has run up against a new hurdle: Venezuela's refusal to give permission for foreign military planes to overfly its national territory.

POLITICS-VENEZUELA: Overwhelming Support for Constituent Assembly

An overwhelming 92 percent of those who voted in Sunday's referendum in Venezuela approved the creation of a Constituent Assembly to politically "refound" the country. Some analysts argued, however, that the record low voter turnout of 40 percent weakened the process.

COMMODITIES: NATO Attacks Strengthen Oil Prices

Cent by cent, oil spot prices have been rising this month - to two dollars above last year's average - and last week's prices on the futures market were the highest seen in a year, partly due to the conflict between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Yugoslavia.

WEEKLY SELECTION-VENEZUELA: Patent Battle Over Sex Pill

A legal battle between local and transnational drug companies over the anti-impotency pill "Viagra" has moved into Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice.

CULTURE: The Protector of Venezuela’s Indigenous Languages

There are 65 indigenous languages spoken in Venezuela and the care of their phonetic and grammatical structure is pretty much in the hands of one man - 70-years-old Pedro Juan Krisologo.

HEALTH-RIGHTS: Patent Battle Over Sex Pill

A legal battle between local and transnational drug companies over the anti-impotency pill "Viagra" has moved into Venezuala's Supreme Court of Justice.

POLITICS: Preventing Spread of Colombian Conflict

Venezuela's active role in the Colombian peace process is meant to prevent the conflict in that country "from becoming an excuse to internationalize the war," according to minister without portfolio, Jose Vicente Rangel.

COMMODITIES: Venezuela Terms New Agreed Oil Cutback a Success

Without production having been cut yet by a single barrel, oil prices have already risen around 20 percent due to the announcement of a new cutback, Venezuelan Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez remarked Tuesday.

WEEKLY SELECTION-VENEZUELA: Human Rights Keystone of Foreign Policy

Venezuela will play a lead role in consolidating a world culture of respect for human rights through the international forums it belongs to, Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel said.

VENEZUELA: Chavez Announces All-Powerful Constituent Assembly

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that the Constituent Assembly which is to draft a new constitution will have sweeping powers.

POLITICS-VENEZUELA: Human Rights the Keystone of Foreign Policy

Venezuela will play a lead role in consolidating a world culture of respect for human rights through the international forums it belongs to, revealed Foreign Minister, Jose Vicente Rangel.

WEEKLY SELECTION/RIGHTS-VENEZUELA: Sterilisation Workshops Spark Controversy

Nearly 700 women asked to be sterilised in just one Venezuelan hospital during the first day of the civic- military social emergency plan, but only 22 of them fulfilled all the necessary requisites and actually had the operation.

RIGHTS-VENEZUELA: Sterilisation Workshops Spark Controversy

Nearly 700 women asked to be sterilised in just one Venezuelan hospital during the first day of the civic- military social emergency plan, but only 22 of them fulfilled all the necessary requisites and actually had the operation.

VENEZUELA: Armed with Shovels, Army Launches Social Rescue Plan

Armed with shovels and other tools, tens of thousands of army troops, civil servants and volunteers in Venezuela began to repair schools, clear up a backlog of patients awaiting operations, and attend homeless persons and street children as part of a six-month social emergency plan.

DEVELOPMENT-VENEZUELA: Chavez Launches Military-Led Social Plan

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched his grand civic-military plan, involving around 150,000 troops and public employees and a similar number of volunteers, and designed to tackle the country's social emergency.

POLITICS-VENEZUELA: Chavez Celebrates Anniversary of Uprising

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated Thursday the seventh anniversary of a military uprising he led, the failure of which paved the way for his democratic political triumph, which culminated in his inauguration Tuesday.

POLITICS-VENEZUELA: Chavez Promises to Defuse Time Bomb

Venezuela's new president, Hugo Chavez, said at his inauguration Tuesday that he was being handed a fast- ticking time bomb that he would defuse through a peaceful revolution that would get a grip on Venezuela's severe internal crises and revive the country.

WEEKLY SELECTION/Oil Spot Prices on the Up but Giving Mixed Signals

Oil Prices rose slightly during the second week of the year in a market hypersensitive to any annoucement of real or psychological impact on the chances of limiting the surplus.

COMMODITIES-OIL: Spot Prices on the Up but Giving Mixed Signals

Oil Prices rose slightly during the second week of the year in a market hypersensitive to any annoucement of real or psychological impact on the chances of limiting the surplus.

COMMODITIES: 1998, a Year of Crisis for Producers

Average oil prices plunged more than six dollars on the global market in 1998, the third shock for the petroleum industry after the crises of 1973 and 1979 - with the difference that the latest one has hit producers.

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