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Hugo Chavez

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  • CARACAS, Jan 21- There's a booming new profession in Venezuela: standing in line. As Venezuela's ailing economy spawns unprecedented shortages of basic goods, panic-buying and a rush to snap up subsidized food, demand is high and the pay is reasonable. Unemployed until he tried his new career late last year, Luis earns about 600 bolivars, a whopping $95 at...

  • SAN CRISTOBAL, Jan 16- Masked youths are once again blocking streets and burning tires in the Venezuelan city of San Cristobal, the epicenter of last year's massive anti-government protests. The groups are small and the unrest contained, but dissent is rising in this volatile Andean city, a barometer of frustration with nationwide shortages that are putting...

  • The forum, which also marked the first time China hosted the body, came at a time when Beijing is trying to step up its presence in the region as it clamours for more resources. Xi said in a speech that two-way trade between China and Latin America was estimated to rise to $500 billion within the next 10 years. "I believe that this meeting will achieve fruitful results,...

  • CARACAS, Dec 30- President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Tuesday to reform Venezuela's Byzantine currency controls in early 2015 as part of a six-month plan to shake Venezuela out of recession, but foes accused him of incompetence and inaction. After sitting on GDP data all year, the Central Bank announced that OPEC member Venezuela had entered recession, with the...

  • CARACAS, Dec 30- Venezuela confirmed on Tuesday it had entered a recession while inflation remained the highest in the Americas, and President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government blamed political foes for the dismal data. The Central Bank said GDP contracted in each of the first three quarters: 4.8 percent, 4.9 percent and 2.3 percent. Economists, banks and...

  • CARACAS, Dec 30- Venezuela entered a recession in 2014, with the economy shrinking in the first three quarters, the Central Bank said on Tuesday, blaming political opponents for the dismal figures. Venezuela's socialist government blames political opponents, who protested in the streets for four months earlier this year, for damaging the South American OPEC...

  • CARACAS, Dec 29- Venezuela's Tourism Ministry denied on Monday that a famous ice-cream store had closed due to lack of milk, the latest quirky twist in the bitter national debate over who is to blame for the nation's economic problems. An article on the ministry's website said Coromoto's Portuguese owner was on holiday in his homeland while other ice-cream...

  • CARACAS, Dec 23- Venezuelan shoppers line up outside a Caracas liquor store to buy bottles of Buchanan's 12- year Scotch whisky at half the usual cost, a deal made possible by a state subsidy that gave cheap dollars to import them. The same subsidy, provided under the country's three-tiered exchange control system, helps a Caracas merchant do thriving business in...

  • Dec 16- Citgo Petroleum Corp, Venezuela's U.S. oil refining unit, has received revised bids from at least four bidders, some which have valued the company at more than $10 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter. The companies that made bids in December include Marathon Petroleum Corp, Valero Energy Corp, HollyFrontier Corp and a consortium of...

  • CARACAS, Dec 10- Packing potatoes at his vegetable stand on a sun-baked street in Caracas's hillside Catia slum, Jesus Jimenez fondly recounts voting for late president Hugo Chavez. Like millions in Venezuela's poor "barrios," the chatty father of 14 worshipped the larger-than-life Chavez and benefited from his welfare programs, especially Cuban-staffed...

  • CARACAS, Dec 9- Venezuela's economy shrank by 4.2 percent in the first three quarters of 2014, an adviser to the country's main opposition group said on Tuesday, after almost a year of official silence about the state of the OPEC nation's economy. The central bank has not published any GDP data for this year and has not revealed inflation figures since August's...

  • CARACAS, Dec 8- President Nicolas Maduro again fumed against Venezuela's poor credit rating on Monday, saying the OPEC nation needed external financing to help it cope with oil price declines. In near-daily speeches, Maduro, the successor to the late Hugo Chavez, insists that despite the oil slump, Venezuela has sufficient funds to cover all its external debt...

  • CARACAS, Dec 2- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's approval rating dropped to 24.5 percent in November, according to a poll by respected local firm Datanalisis, down 5.7 points from September as economic problems put more pressure on the socialist leader. Venezuela is struggling with a combination of recession, inflation that topped 63 percent earlier...

  • CARACAS, Dec 2- The World Bank's international arbitration panel will not decide this year whether to take up Venezuela's request for a revision of an award that ordered it to pay Exxon Mobil Corp in compensation for oil projects nationalized in 2007, a lawyer for the country told Reuters on Tuesday. The International Center for Settlement of Investment...

  • Robert Hanson's holding company last year acquired Venezuela's best-selling newspaper, Ultimas Noticias, despite its worsening financial results and stringent currency controls that have frequently left foreign companies unable to repatriate profits. Ultimas Noticias has named two ruling Socialist Party members to key posts, including former...

  • Critics, though, say Venezuela's endemic inflation problem is evidence of the failure of 15 years of socialist economics under Maduro and his late predecessor Hugo Chavez. The wage hike planned for December would put Venezuela's minimum salary at 4,889 bolivars. In the last data available, Venezuela's annualized inflation rate reached 63.4 percent in...

  • CARACAS, Oct 23- President Nicolas Maduro's government said on Thursday it had taken over warehouses around Venezuela crammed with medical goods and food that "bourgeois criminals" were hoarding for speculation and contraband. The socialist government says businessmen and wealthy opponents are trying to sabotage the economy to bring Maduro down, while...

  • CARACAS, Oct 20- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's approval rating dropped to 30.2 percent in September from 35.4 percent in July, according to a survey by pollster Datanalisis, amid an ongoing economic crisis that has weighed on his popularity. The OPEC nation faces the highest annual inflation in the Western Hemisphere at 63.4 percent, chronic...

  • CARACAS, Oct 16- The slump in global oil prices has heightened pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to enact politically risky reforms to bolster Venezuela's weak public finances and its ability to pay down debt. Crude prices under $85 have given new voice to reformers within Maduro's government, and critics outside, who say he needs to make urgent changes.

  • CARACAS, Oct 15- After three weeks trapped inside their home, Natalie Pereira and her family made a final decision: they must leave Venezuela. Pereira, a 33- year-old dentist now living in Texas, is not alone in making that decision. Having largely but unsuccessfully voted against socialist leader Hugo Chavez during his 14- year presidency, they hoped for a change...