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Brazil Concerned with Venezuela’s Restlessness But Not Too Much

Venezuela studentsBrazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, speaking in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, confirmed there is concern with the wave of protests taking place in Venezuelan cities, along with a series of resignations of high government officials in the Hugo Chavez adminstration.

However, Amorim declared he considered the events a passing moment of instability in the neighboring country. He pointed out that in the second half of this year there will be legislative elections in Venezuela so things should calm down by then.

According to official reports from Venezuela, two people have died in recent protests and eleven people were injured. The ire of the masses was aroused when no less than six TV broadcasters were shut down, including RCTV, one of the most popular in the country, but which has long had a difficult relationship with president Chavez because it has been so openly opposed to his government.

In 2007, after RCTV had a license renewal request denied the station simply went off the air as an open TV channel, became a cable broadcaster and moved its headquarters to Miami.

Authorities in the telecommunications sector of the government say that all TV broadcasters must comply with rules that include mandatory transmission of all speeches by the president, Hugo Chavez. RCTV cut off a Chavez speech transmission and returned to regular programming a few weeks ago.

Along with the street protests by university students, journalists, teachers and activists in social movements because of the suspension of the TV broadcasters, there has been a sudden wave of resignations in the administration.

The vice president and minister of Defense, a general, was the first to step down, followed by his wife who is also a minister (Environment). After that, the president of the Central  Bank resigned.

Chavez quickly filled the empty posts (vice president and two ministers) with people he can trust, but the position at the Central Bank remains vacant.

It should be noted that Venezuela is also having trouble with electricity and water due to a severe drought. There have been rolling blackouts across the country and Chavez has joked about the water shortage, telling people to take quickie showers.

ABr

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