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Chávez avoided talking about "gag law," Spanish senator claims

Iñaki Anasagasti, a senator for the Bask Nationalist Party (PNV), Tuesday rejected the fact that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez introduced changes in his visit to the Spanish Senate, "thus avoiding questions about the 'media gag law'".

Anasagasti showed news agency Efe Chávez' original scheduled visit to the Senate, which included meetings with the members of the Foreign Affairs and Iberoamerican Affairs committees. But "in the last minute" Chávez' visit was rescheduled and said meetings were eliminated.

Anasagasti showed unease at this decision and is to complain before the Senate because, according to him, this move has prevented "Chávez from being asked about a regulation that restricts freedom of speech in Venezuela."

Chávez' visit to the Spanish Senate was included in a two-day official visit he is paying to Spain, and that is to conclude on Tuesday with a meeting with Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

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Venezuelan government gives aid to farmers hit by rains

02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.