- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

VENEZUELA

Chavez sees victory over U.S. ‘empire’

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez contends Venezuela reached its objective at the United Nations by preventing Washington’s preferred candidate from winning a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Venezuela is trailing Guatemala after 35 rounds of secret balloting in which both countries have failed to garner the two-thirds majority required. The U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to resume voting tomorrow.

Despite falling behind Guatemala in the race for the contested seat, Caracas has mounted a successful challenge of U.S. interests, Mr. Chavez said. “We have taught ‘the empire’ a lesson,” he told thousands of supporters in Valencia, an industrial city about 65 miles west of Caracas.

CANADA

$26 million pledged to aid Afghan women

OTTAWA — Canada will give the equivalent of $26 million to build schools and help women’s microcredit projects in Afghanistan, International Cooperation Minister Josee Verner announced Sunday.

Nearly half the money is to help build schools and train 4,000 teachers for about 120,000 schoolchildren, 85 percent of them girls, in 11 provinces, she said. Mrs. Verner was in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit.

A second part of the project, worth $4.4 million, will help 1,500 women grow and sell fruits and vegetables. “Canada is proud to help Afghan women realize the promise of the country’s new constitution, which recognizes the rights of women,” she said.

BRAZIL

Lula holds leaddes pite ‘dossiergate’

SAO PAULO — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has a big lead over his rival before the final vote Sunday, but five days in Brazilian politics is a long time.

A third presidential debate was held last night, and the last one is scheduled for Friday.

Federal police said that they would issue new information this week on the “dossiergate” scandal that cost Mr. Lula da Silva a first-round win. The scandal broke two months ago when members of the president’s Workers’ Party were seized with the equivalent of $800,000 in illegal cash to pay for a dossier that would smear Lula da Silva’s rival, Geraldo Alckmin, and opposition candidates for other offices.

After photos of the money were shown on the front pages the day before the election, the vote showed Mr. Alckmin had trimmed Lula da Silva’s lead to seven percentage points, from 16 points three weeks earlier.

Weekly notes …

Deafening whoops greet Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega at discolike rallies as he cranks up his presidential election campaign and is boosted by a hefty lead that worries the United States. Mr. Ortega was met with near-religious fervor by screaming supporters when his caravan of lights, fireworks and music rolled into the tropical town of Chinandega this week. Hours before, a poll gave him 37.5 percent support before the Nov. 5 vote, 17 points ahead of his nearest rival…. Taxi driver Juan Geraldo in Santiago, Chile, has come up with a new way to fight assaults: Make your vehicle so conspicuous that nobody would try to rob you. After being held up several times, he covered every square inch of his car’s interior, including the steering wheel and ceiling, with black and white spotted cowhide. He then added stuffed toy cows and a horn that moos. “The effect was immediate. They haven’t robbed me since,” Mr. Geraldo said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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