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Tag Archives: Venezuela

Chavez and the Jews

At a party last year, an acquaintance asked me why Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, was so anti-Israel. How were Israel and Jews a threat to him? Since Chavez has been president, anti-Semitic behavior in Venezuela (not known as a hotbed of anti-Semitism) has increased noticeably with attacks on synagogues and against the tiny […]

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Blackouts in Venezuela – What Gives?

How is it that Venezuela, awash in energy resources, experiences blackouts? Although it is a global leader in oil production, most of the country’s power comes from hydroelectric dams, including one of the word’s largest, Guri. Unfortunately a combination of drought and failing infrastructure has severely reduced capacity for power-generation. A NYT article gives a […]

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Wag the Dog? Venezuelan Troops to the Border, Again

The Venezuelan government is, once again, moving soldiers to the border region with Colombia. The 15,000 troops are intended to “increase security, combat drug trafficking and root out paramilitary groups”. It seems like déjà vu, as Chávez sent 6,000 soldiers there in March 2008, after Raul Reyes of the FARC was killed on Ecuadorian territory. […]

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Who Dunnit Along the Venezuelan-Colombian Border

The kidnapping and murder of at least nine Colombians along Venezuela’s border region during late October once again increased tensions between the two countries, which are already on shaky diplomatic terms. An article within El Universal gives a nice overview of recent political exchanges between Caracas and Bogotá. The Venezuelan vice president, Ramón Carrizález, declared […]

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Colombian Migrants Massacred in Venezuela

The latest body of a Colombian migrant – now the eleventh – was recently found along the border region of Venezuela. The victim had been playing pick-up soccer when kidnapped two weeks ago. Who would massacre these Colombians, and to what end? It may be an extreme sign of anti-immigrant sentiment within Venezuela; Colombians make […]

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Murder of Colombians May Heighten Tensions Along Border

Another body of a Colombian migrant – now the eleventh – was recently found along the border region of Venezuela. The victim had been playing pick-up soccer when kidnapped two weeks ago. The Colombian and Venezuelan governments have each traded accusations related to the incident, leading to increased tensions. Who would massacre these Colombians, and […]

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Venezuela’s Other Passion: Baseball

Baseball is a national obsession in Venezuela, drawing as much or even more attention than the country’s beauty industry. The season began a little over a week ago. Whereas other South American countries focus on “fútbol” (a.k.a. soccer), Venezuelans are diehard baseball fans. What is the atmosphere in the stadiums? Just imagine the most raucous […]

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Conservation in Venezuela? Not Likely

On Wednesday, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela urged his countrymen (and women) to make efforts to conserve water and electricity. The most likely reason that citizens will not use these resources, however, is not due to patriotism, goodwill or a penchant for conservation, but because they have no choice – there have been ongoing water […]

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Venezuelan Economy Still Struggling

Although oil prices recently reached a 1-year high, the Venezuelan economy continues to struggle. Last week the government announced a series of steps intended to promote growth and raise employment, while reducing inflation. More information can be found here. In terms of specifics, the Venezuelan economy grew at 4.8% last year, but GDP declined by […]

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Venezuela as the New Arms Dealer on the Block?

In the past few years we have seen Venezuela as an arms recipient, but does it now qualify as an arms dealer? In late September the Chávez administration donated six combat airplanes to Ecuador. Despite the weapons transfer, relations between Colombia and Ecuador appear to be on the mend, with talks about the resumption of […]

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Creating Miss Venezuela: “Sweat, blood and surgery”

It is the fall, and that means that once again it is Miss Venezuela season. The national pageant was held on September 24th, and the winner, Marelisa Gibson, will now serve as the country’s representative in the international competition. The contest is a big deal across Venezuela, with all eyes turned to televisions. For the […]

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Chavez on Larry King Live, Discusses Personal Life and Politics

President Hugo Chávez gave an interview to CNN’s Larry King shortly after his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week. It provides some further perspective into the Venezuelan President’s take on the world, and perhaps shows a more human side that is not always covered by international media. Chávez talked about his personal […]

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Expanding Influence of the Southern Hemisphere, but Under Whose Lead?

Countries within the Southern Hemisphere are on the move. This past weekend member states of UNASUR and the African Union met on Margarita Island, Venezuela, in order to strengthen ties between their countries and continents. One of the ideas proposed by President Hugo Chávez, as well as Moammar Gadhafi, of Libya, is an alliance among […]

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Implications of Venezuelan Exploration for Uranium Deposits

Will the IAEA some day have to shift its attention to northern South America? In a move bound to attract US attention, Venezuelan officials have declared that they are conducting further exploration for uranium deposits. This, combined with President Hugo Chávez’s close ties with Iran and Russia, leads to concerns about transfer of the material […]

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Chavez Speaks of Hope Instead of Sulfur at UN, Though Distrust Remains

Yesterday Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, gave a more tempered speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He said the smell of sulfur (his reference to George W. Bush in 2006) had dissipated, and that instead he sensed new hope with President Barack Obama in office. Further description of the speech by the Associated Press […]

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