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The war on journalists gets worse

Yesterday, during the violent rampage by pro-government thugs inside the Universidad Central de Venezuela, several journalists were harrassed, and saw their equipment stolen. Since last month, attacks against journalists have shown no sign of decreasing. According to the SNTP (National Press Workers’ Union), there have been at least 170 cases of aggression against press workers since…

PUBLICIDAD POLÍTICA A UN DÍA DE ELECCIONES PRIMARIAS EN VENEZUELA

Political rape

Last night, Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal said that, indeed, Maria Corina Machado’s expulsion from the National Assembly could stand. On its own, this shouldn’t seem so shocking - chavismo has created a habit of kicking people out of Parliament, out of city hall, and out of politics altogether. But Maria Corina is no Richard Mardo, and she…

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Don’t trust your gut

Some people say that the best way to make decisions is to “trust your gut.” As political advice goes, we can do a lot worse. However, the danger for Venezuelans of both clans is that our gut is frequently wrong. As we face a rash of political persecution, now is a good time for a gut-check of…

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Censorship and Rebellion at Cadena Capriles

Cadena Capriles, the largest newspaper group in Venezuela is in turmoil after a special report on the Altamira Square protests was cut from the Sunday edition of its flagship newspaper, Ultimas Noticias. The article titled “What’s behind the guarimbas?” by veteran journalist (and friend-of-the-blog) Laura Weffer can be read here in Spanish. If you’re interested in downloading it…

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Tal Cual goes to court… again

Missing from the news cycle last week was the decision of a Caracas lower court deciding to hear a lawsuit brought by National Assembly Chairman Diosdado Cabello against the owners of Caracas tabloid Tal Cual (including the paper’s founder and editor, the legendary Teodoro Petkoff and former Science & Technology Minister Carlos Genatios) for defamation. The judge banned Genatios…

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Francesca’s story

The case of Italian photographer Francesca Commissari has already been reported on this blog, but her ordeal didn’t quite stop after she was freed without charges last week. The full story can be read in full detail in this extense but excellent report from ABC Color, a major newspaper from Asuncion, Paraguay. Commisari tells about…

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Making repression backfire, but is it ethical?

Over at Foreign Policy, Srdja Popovic (of the Center for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies, or CANVAS) and Mladen Joksic discuss how to turn repression into a strength, something Gene Sharp has called “political ju-jitsu.” Here is the money quote: Finally, a movement should be ready to capitalize on oppression. Following a repressive act, it’s…

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State of Surveilance

Beyond the never ending tear gas and rubber buckshot, it turns out the security forces have a second line of defense against the protests. Both the National Guard and the Bolivarian National Police (under orders of the Defense and Interior Ministries) are using spying tactics to infiltrate protests and identify its leaders. This excellent report…

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Notes on the Venezuelan Media Blackout

In a recent nationwide broadcast of a Peace Summit between the Government and some opposition people (none of the actors involved in the current crisis attended), Venevisión’s Carlos Bardasano, speaking on behalf of private media, gave a brief speech: “I believe everything has been said, you can count on the private media to help build…

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The ongoing war on journalists

Much has been said about the enormous pressure the government has applied on both domestic and foreign media in the current crisis, but that’s not the entire story. Many journalists on the ground have become direct targets of violence over the last few days According to this list released on Sunday by the National Press Workers’…

Plaza Altamira, February 15

Torture, Rape and Ransom

As the student protests continue, shocking stories of the detained are hitting social media and some news outlets. Detainees are not allowed to see their family members, some students have been beaten, shocked with electricity, doused with gasoline and threatened to be set on fire. There are personal accounts of detained students being stripped of their clothing…