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Ecuador to stay out of Chávez-Uribe debate

Ecuador is keeping out of a controversy ignited by President Hugo Chávez's proposal to recognize the belligerent status of the Colombian guerrillas groups, Tuesday said Defense Minister Wellington Sandoval.

"Colombia is a sovereign country we must respect, and we should not get involved in the things happening there. Therefore, we should not take sides with any of the parties," the official told Quito radio station, when asked about a bitter exchange of words between Chávez and his Colombian counterpart Álvaro Uribe.

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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.

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