Gov't rebuts the claims of consumption mostly based on import
In the first half of 2012, the production of tomato and onion surged 20%-25%, among others, according to the Vice-Minister of Agricultural Economy
"I categorically refuse that 80% of what we consume in Venezuela is imported," Kassen said during the discussion of the 20013 budget at the National Assembly Finance Committee.
The senior officer contended that under the government of President Hugo Chávez, food production has grown.
He added that in 1988-1998 the domestic output barely went from 15 million tons to 17 million tons, compared to up to 24 million tons in the past 12 years.
Kassen underscored that the agricultural policy undertaken by the Executive Office has helped to recover the production of several items, such as sunflower and cotton.
According to him, in the first half of 2012, the production of tomato and onion jumped 20%-25%.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.