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CARACAS, Wednesday November 05, 2008 | Update
 
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Politics
Chávez reasserts interest in restoring dialogue with the US
Newspapers in the region highlighted Obama's overwhelming victory (Photo: AP)
  EL UNIVERSAL
Wednesday November 05, 2008  12:44 PM


Venezuela's President, Hugo Chávez, congratulated Barack Obama for his "historic election" on Tuesday and confirmed his desire to establish "new relations" with the United States and re-launch "a constructive bilateral agenda" for the wellbeing of the two peoples.

"In this day of hope for Americans, President Hugo Chávez, on behalf of the people of Venezuela, congratulates the people of the United States and the president-elect Barack Obama for his important victory," reads a statement of the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as reported by AFP.

Chávez, who expelled US ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy in mid-September, is a major critic of the United States and of the outgoing president George W. Bush. The Venezuelan president trusted that "the historic election of an Afro-American is a sign that the change of an era in South America may be knocking on the doors of the United States."

"From the homeland of Simón Bolívar (the South American independence leader), we are convinced that the time has come to establish a new relation between our countries and with our region based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, equality and real cooperation," read the statement.

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Gagging Twitter users

Pablo Jiménez Guaricuco was summarily dismissed from his Clerk III job at the Autonomous Service of Public Registries and Notaries' Offices (Saren). He read a notice published in a newspaper on November 5 informing the public that he was no longer employed to the Saren. He was sacked despite the fact that he was taking a leave of absence from work due to a work-related accident, and that he enjoyed security of employment under the parental job-immunity privilege. Most probably, the decision was influenced by his role as a union organizer. But what did he do, besides leading protests, to deserve the sack? Well, he allegedly sent off a series of tweets that definitely hurt the sensitivity of the Saren Directorate.

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