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Chávez' rival rejects use of Simón Bolívar's image in Rio Carnival

Presidential candidate for opposition Primero Justicia party Julio Borges branded as an outrage a series of donations Hugo Chávez' administration has made to other governments in the region, rather than investing state monies in Venezuela.

Borges made reference specifically to state-run oil holding Pdvsa's donation of USD 1 million to Brazilian samba school Vila Isabel. "In Rio de Janeiro, Vila Isabel samba school was given "a little gift" of USD 1 million for a parade that should not be a priority for any serious government. Obviously, the government continues to waste our money to post Pharaonic banners at the sambodrome and pay advertisements in Portuguese language in (regional TV network) Telesur."

"The worst thing here is the fact that Chávez' gifts exceeded USD 16 billion in 2005."

Borges also rejected the use of Bolívar's image in Vila Isabel samba school float this year in Rio de Janeiro carnival parade.

"We have to put up with Bolívar's image being used inappropriately in a carnival parade. Bolívar's image should rather be honored," Borged added.

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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.