Stories written by Estrella Gutiérrez

COMMODITIES: Cutback in Oil Production to Bury OPEC Quota System

The decision by leading OPEC and independent oil exporters to cut production will mean the burial - without funeral rites - of the quota system in force in the organisation since 1983.

LATIN AMERICA: Asian Breezes Cool off Economy

Fallout from the Asian crisis will bring reduced investor confidence, a slump in exports, uncertainty in financing and a drop in the prices of commodities, which will add up to a cooling off of Latin America's regional economy this year, SELA forecast Thursday in a new report released in Venezuela.

LATAM-TRADE: US Lack of Fast-Track – from Crisis to Opportunity

The fact that the US government will show up at the launching of the negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) without fast-track negotiating authority, initially seen with dismay in Latin America, is beginning to be interpreted as an opportunity for the region.

TRADE-AMERICAS: San Jose Declaration to Set FTAA Plan

Three years and three months of discussions will become reality next week, when the San Jose Declaration sets the legal and operational outline of negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

COMMODITIES-OIL: Venezuelan President Calls for Calm in Crisis

President of Venezuela, Rafael Caldera, said the nation is a firm defender of OPEC and is not responsible for the slump in oil prices on the world market.

WOMEN-VENEZUELA: Law Against Domestic Violence Key Objective

Angelica, age 52, does not want to report her 32-year-old son who cruelly beat her and threw her out of the house where she raised him. She is ashamed and only seeks to recuperate her home, her only property, and to stop the abuse.

FOOD-LATAM: FAO Urges Protection of Agricultural Sector

The director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jacques Diouf, urged Latin America Tuesday to protect agricultural production in order to improve food security in the region.

FOOD-VENEZUELA: The Head of FAO, a Missionary Against Hunger

The director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Jacques Diouf, is in Venezuela to kick off the Latin American leg of his worldwide "Food for All" campaign.

FINANCE: The Euro, not the Monetary Macho Man

The new European Union (EU) currency, the euro will not burst onto the scene as the new "monetary macho man showing its muscles to prove its strength," said Peter Bekx, the highest authority for the bloc in Venezuela.

SCIENCE-VENEZUELA: The Total Solar Eclipse ‘Happening’

Curiosity, myth, science, business, entertainment and technology have combined to draw thousands of visitors from all over the world to the northeastern coast of Venezuela to observe Thursday the last total solar eclipse visible this century in South America.

COMMODITIES-VENEZUELA: Sale of Aluminum Ends Privatisation Cycle

The countdown is on to next month's sale of Venezuela's complex of aluminum companies, which will end a cycle of privatisation that began in 1991, and bury the dream of state-led development of an alternative to the nationalised oil industry.

TRADE-AMERICAS: FTAA in the Slow Lane without Fast-Track

Formal negotiations on a future Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will be launched in April, but amidst the uncertainty brought by the U.S. administration's limited negotiating ability, the OAS and SELA said in Venezuela.

ENVIRONMENT-VENEZUELA: Excess Offer of Oil to Turn into Scarcity, Experts Say

The excess offer that has oil prices down is merely a passing phenomenon, a leading international expert on energy told a conference in Venezuela, and the mid to long-term outlook is of a scarcity of the fossil fuel.

DEVELOPMENT-FINANCE: North-South Dialogue Towrds a New Global System

The developing South is urging the industrialised North to engage in dialogue towards a new model for the international financial system, adapted to the needs of today's globalised world and designed to prevent the recurrence of crises such as the one sweeping Asia.

ENERGY: Excess Offer of Oil to Turn into Scarcity, Experts Say

The excess offer that has oil prices down is merely a passing phenomenon, a leading international expert on energy told a conference in Venezuela, and the mid to long-term outlook is of a scarcity of the fossil fuel.

LABOUR-VENEZUELA: Women’s Groups Split on Union for Prostitutes

Women's organizations in Venezuela are divided over the attempts of a group of male and female sex workers to form a trade union.

FINANCE: North-South Dialogue Towards a New Global System

The developing South is urging the industrialised North to engage in dialogue towards a new model for the international financial system, adapted to the needs of today's globalised world and designed to prevent the recurrence of crises such as the one sweeping Asia.

FINANCE: Financial WTO Seen as Essential in Wake of Asian Crisis

The crisis sweeping east Asia has highlighted the need for a global regime to oversee and regulate capital flows, as already exists in trade, top world economic authorities said here Saturday at the inauguration of a meeting of the Group of 24 (G-24) developing nations.

FINANCE: G-24 Alarmed over US Rejection of Rise in IMF Funds

The group of 24 developing nations (G-24) meeting this weekend in Venezuela will sound an alert on the negative impact on the global financial system of the U.S. Congress' rejection of the planned rise in funds for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

FINANCE-G24: Developing Nations Seek Common Stance on Asia

Ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 24 (G-24) develping nations meet here this weekend to hammer out a combined approach to the economic crisis in east Asia and the projected opening of capital markets.

POLITICS-CRIME: Cocktail of Violence in Latin America

Latin American cities are plagued by an explosive combination of urban sprawl, marginality, social inequalities, drugs and police brutality which is leading to ever- increasing incidents of violence and crime.

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