Dec. 9 News Brief South America

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CARACAS, Venezuela – Students end hunger strike after meeting with OAS: Dozens of Venezuelan students called off a hunger strike after meeting with representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Caracas. Describing the meeting as “a gift of hope for all Venezuelans,” student leader Julio Rivas said that the strike, which began on Nov. 20, had achieved its goal of calling attention to human rights violations in Venezuela, where many demonstrators have been detained without trial.

[El Universal, EFE]

Quito, Ecuador – Ecuador promotes tourist attractions in New York: Representatives of Ecuador’s government and its tourism sector traveled to New York for a series of events promoting the country’s tourist attractions. Ecuador wants to persuade Ecuadorian families living in the U.S. to take a trip back home and also hopes to position itself as a safe and pleasant destination for U.S. tourists. The country’s Tourism Marketing Plan will invest US$20 million in promotion between 2010 and 2014 and hopes to attract 1.5 million foreign visitors.

[El Comercio, EFE]

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Chávez promises Mujica energy and trade cooperation: At his first meeting with Jose Mujica since he was elected Uruguay’s next president, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez offered increased cooperation in energy and trade. Acknowledging at the Mercosur summit in Montevideo that cooperation between Venezuela and Uruguay will depend on what the new government wants, Chavez paraphrased Cuban poet Jose Marti, saying, “Let the Uruguayans tell the Venezuelans how we can serve them and they will find us loyal sons.”

[El País, EFE]

ASUNCION, Paraguay – Arms seizure near Brazilian border: Paraguay’s National Antidrug Secretariat announced the seizure of arms and machine gun ammunition found hidden at a grain warehouse in Amambay department, near the country’s northeastern border with Brazil. The arms stash included 2,800 bullets, three shotguns, a rifle, a revolver, three grenades and four detonators. The seized arms belonged to drug traffickers operating in the region, which is a major center for marijuana growing and cocaine smuggling.

[ABC Color, EFE]

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