Political nature

XXIst Century Eco-socialism

A few days ago Miguel Rodríguez, the Environment Minister, leading a march toward Miraflores, said this: “Let’s put on a great national demonstration to show the indignation that is felt at this moment in the Venezuelan environmental movement because of what is happening (…) A demonstration of what we are going to do for our nature,…

Incendio-San-Josecito-Daniel-Ceballos

One man’s trash is another man’s…trash

Heres a piece of news that got buried under the week’s turmoil - the San Josecito dumping ground has been ablaze since the beginning of February (yet again) causing the collapse of solid waste collection in the city of San Cristobal and 10 other municipalities (yet again). Meanwhile, Vielma Mora, the state’s Governor seems to have his…

Malaria is back with a vengeance

Since we reported about it back in June, the return of malaria (a disease that Venezuela had erradicated) has now reached a historical high. The latest official numbers from the Health Ministry show 56,291 cases of malaria have reported so far in 2013, a number unseen in the last 70 years. An NGO has hinted…

Tap Water Chronicles

The people of Valencia have been drinking water with elevated levels of aluminum for the last 29 months now. Aluminum in drinking water has been linked with nerve damage, leading to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But that’s not the only thing found in the water: in recent years, stuff like platinum, cobalt, iron, plankton and…

Wildfires on the rise

For a week, a massive wildfire has caused serious damage in Canaima National Park. This recent photograph from the newspaper Correo del Caroní shows how the fire has now reached the Auyán-tepui. The news report indicate authorities on the ground lack the elements needed to fight it and the Venezuelan air force doesn’t have in…

When the levee breaks

Earlier this year, we reported on Lake Valencia’s rising waters, which by some estimates could flood parts of South Maracay by August. Now we’re in the end of such month and the zone is still close to disaster according to this video from earlier this week: That’s the protection levee located in Mata Redonda, one of the…

The smell of concrete is in the air

People living in Caracas face multiple struggles in their everyday lives. Now, they can add one more: Breathing. Suddenly, concrete plants, spreading all over the city. According to some estimates, between six and ten concrete plants are now active inside the Caracas metropolitan area. The construction boom, driven mostly by the government’s big new housing program, which…

Chavismo Ruins Paradise

All through the last 13 years, I’d had this – in retrospect, rather complacent – feeling that, try as they might, chavismo would never be able to ruin the very best part of Venezuela: the knee-weakeningly beautiful Canaima National Park. Turns out I was wrong. Fuel shortages have brought tourism operators to a grinding halt…

Clear as Ditchwater

We’re now on week four or five of a relentless national debate about drinking water quality in Venezuela. Everybody, but everybody, has heard the stories about drinking water being unsafe not only in Monagas but throughout the Lago de Valencia watershed. Now, ask yourself this: Can you describe what, specifically, is wrong with the water in…

South Maracay is sinking and they don’t want to swim

Two neighbourhoods in Maracay, La Punta and Mata Redonda, are under constant threat of flooding due to the fast rising water levels of Valencia Lake. The folk who live there went to the Supreme Tribunal to appeal against an eviction order, and they won. However, the government refuses to comply with the compensation awarded in the decision and the…