Tag Archives: Venezuela

Chávez Reduces Working Week From 44 to 40 Hours

Chávez announcing new labour regulations
Source: El Universal

The new labour law that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced today will reduce the working week for Venezuelans from 44 hours to 40 hours, among other measures. Chávez says that companies will have up to one year to comply with the new measures. The improvement of labour conditions is an obvious priority for Chávez as part of his vision of ‘Socialism of the 21st Century.’ Labour regulation across Latin America is generally weak, leaving workers open to abuse and some of the highest working hours in the world. With the Venezuelan economy struggling, however, now might not have been the best moment to impose new regulations.



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Chávez Accuses Opposition of Links to Drugs Trafficking

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles
Source: Gulf Daily

The Venezuelan government has announced that it has dismantled a network that was involved in laundering drugs money, and that several prominent members of the political opposition are implicated. According to the Minister of Justice Tareck El Aissami the group handled approximately $10 million and set up a number of front organisations to hide their activities. He said that investigators have suspicions that Enrique Salas, the governor of Carabobo, and Morel Rodríguez, the governor of Nueva Esparta, were involved in the network

Although it is difficult to know whether or not the accusations have any grounding, they come at a point when domestic criticism of the Chávez government is increasing. Recently Chávez has spent more time in Havana than in Caracas due to the treatment he is receiving for cancer. Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate for president, has criticised him for ruling the country through his twitter account. Accusations of government involvement in drugs trafficking and manipulation of the judicial system made by former judge Eladio Aponte last week also called into question the honesty of the Chávez administration. The whole thing smells suspiciously like an attempt to discredit the opposition before the upcoming presidential elections in October.




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Hugo Chávez: The Absent President

Source: Reuters

Hugo Chávez is again in Havana this week to receive treatment for the cancer that was first diagnosed in June 2011. During the last five weeks he has only spent ten days in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, and yet he has refused to delegate any responsibility to his vice-President, Elías Jaua. He has instead opted to run his government from his hospital bed in Havana using a phone calls and video conferencing. Chávez still has not revealed which type of cancer he is suffering from, nor what his prognosis is. Non-official sources claim that Chávez is very severely ill, but the government has dismissed those claims as efforts to discredit him before the elections in October. Chávez’s insistence on continuing to govern while seriously ill highlights his obsession with retaining power at any cost. Whether he recovers to retake the presidency or not, Venezuela’s short-term well-being depends on him delegating power while he makes a recovery.

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