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“Media Plot:” The hegemony’s permanent excuse

Last week, the government organized a high-profile conference about what they like to call “the media plot against Venezuela.” This was the usual blame-it-all-on-the-Evil-Empire gig, with a few minor power players and so-called international pundits on hand to bash the usual enemies. It also pointed to a heightened interest in clamping down whatever freedoms are left…

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Postcards from El Rodeo III

  A few days ago 18-year-old Clider Martínez was taken in by the National Guard while protesting in Los Palos Grandes. After being processed he was sent to El Rodeo III, one of Latin America’s most dangerous prisons. Allegedly, Clider got the book thrown at him because he had been caught a few days earlier in one of…

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Power, impunity, and hacks

If there is one arm of the Venezuelan state apparatus that comes out looking like royal crap in the Human RIghts Watch report, it is the public prosecutors. In example after example, they are portrayed as being either complicit, or grossly incompetent. Routinely, charges are pressed on dubious evidence, possible misconduct is ignored, and a…

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Ramo Verde To You

Please press play, and read.   Today, Leopoldo López is celebrating – if that’s the right word – his 43rd birthday from solitary confinement in Ramo Verde military prison, which he has called home for 70 days now as he awaits trial for charges of arson and criminal instigation. His cell, where he spends 22 hours a day,…

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Massiel

We’ve been meaning to write about the sad case of Massiel Pacheco for a while, but … así estarán las cosas … things are so bad that the case has gotten lost in the shuffle of news coming out of Venezuela. Massiel Pacheco is a working class food vendor in Caracas’ Parque del Este. A…

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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…