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Frank + Laura + Tamoa’s Special Day (Updated)

Three Caracas-based journalists were honored at the Columbia Journalism School’s Cabot Prizes this year: the AP’s legendary Frank Bajak takes a prize, while one time Ultimas Noticias investigative power duo Laura Weffer and Tamoa Calzadilla get a special citation. Their awards are richly deserved. Three of their highlights: Bayak’s story on the colectivos in Venezuela (co-authored with Fabiola…

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TSJ to citizens: the State’s too busy to be accountable

As Venezuela currently faces a major shortage of medicines (with, literally, deadly consequences), a related case of corruption involving the purchase of large amounts of medicine from Cuba moves ahead. The case was the reason behind a controversial, little known decision by the TSJ’s (Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice) Administrative Chamber last week. A few years…

Violacion DDHH

Paging Miss Marple

A few weeks ago I was researching all the material I could find about Venezuela’s human rights violations, both pre- and post-Chávez. Lo and behold, I came across this report put out by the People’s Ombudsperson, the main human rights protection agency of the Venezuelan state, also known as the place where the “talented” Gabriela del…

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Happy 88th, Fidel!

Actual caption under this photo in the VTV piece celebrating this joyous occasion: “Chávez y Fidel: La amistad de dos pueblos.” Check back in five years from now, when VTV will probably be running things like: Caracas, August 13th, 2019, VTV – Today the nation celebrates the 93rd birthday of Fidel Castro, the Cuban-born doctor and revolutionary…

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Out of the closet

It must be frustrating to cover Venezuela for international news organizations. The country is crappy enough to make it burdensome to live there, but not nearly crappy enough for you to earn journalistic prestige points for covering it as opposed to, say, Iraq. Add to that the notorious lack of transparency of the “no comment revolution,” and…