Wednesday, September 07, 2005

News Round Up: 

is getting off to a very good start and looks to be promising for the Pan Caribbean countries that have chosen to sign on to the alternative to US free trade agreements:

Chavez and the leaders of nine nations signed accords Tuesday that set out the details of the Venezuelan leader's Petrocaribe initiative, which could help some of the more fragile economies in the region survive the shock of higher fuel prices.

Those signing the accords included the Dominican Republic, which has already proposed a series of national measures aimed at curbing fuel consumption, along with smaller countries such as Antigua, Suriname and St. Kitts and Nevis.


Under the plan, Caribbean governments would pay market price for Venezuelan oil, but they would only be required to pay a portion of the cost up front and could finance the rest over 25 years at 1 percent interest, Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson told the gathering. Governments could also pay for part of the cost with services or goods such as rice, bananas or sugar while oil-rich Venezuela would provide assistance in expanding shipping and refining facilities.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said the Petrocaribe initiative may also be extended to any interested Central American nations.

Definitely a step in the right direction for Latin America and the Caribbean. Hopefully Central America will notice the success and join in before signing long term free trade agreements.


Venezuela to seize Heinz plant

CARACAS, Venezuela -- A state governor allied to leftist President Hugo Chavez has ordered Venezuelan troops to seize an abandoned tomato-processing plant owned by the H.J. Heinz Co., a state official said Monday.

The plant in the eastern state of Monagas still belongs to Heinz but hasn't been used for years, said Angelica Rivero, a spokeswoman for the governor.

"The governor decided to seize the plant so it can be protected from looters and later be put to use," Rivero said.

Monagas Gov. Jose Gregorio Briceno told the state-run Bolivarian News Agency the plant changed hands several times under previous governments before Heinz bought it in 1997 and later ceased operations.

Has taken assets of other firms
Debbie Foster, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh-based food company, said the plant had not been used for eight to 10 years but gave no other comment.


Venezuela's constitution says the government will respect private property but that the state may expropriate property if for public use or "social interest," as long as compensation is paid.

Sounds like its time to make it work for for the people. Ketchup anyone?


Venezuela August car sales up 71.6% on year, off 7.7% on month
(I know OW likes these, and so should you!)

CARACAS (MarketWatch) -- Venezuela's automobile industry sold 18,544 vehicles in August, up 71.64% from the same period last year but down 7.65% from July, the Cavenez automobile industry chamber reported Tuesday. Sales of imported cars have begun to climb in recent months as the economy continues its recovery, Cavenez data show.

Current car sales for the year now stand at 136,196 units, 82% higher than sales during the same eight months of 2004.

Last year, car dealerships sold a total of 134,357 vehicles, a considerable jump from 2003 when the economy experienced a deep economic slump.

Tax exemptions on cars assembled in Venezuela, economic growth of over 17% over last year, expected to gain another 5% this year, Gas at 0.17!!! Deme dos!


Lastly, a candid look inside the New Orleans Disaster
from someone who knows.


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