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Tag Archives: Venezuela

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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What Will Chavez Say to the UN General Assembly?

With a meeting of global leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, one wonders what Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will say. During his speech in 2006 he referred to US President George W. Bush as the devil. This time around, will he critique Barack Obama in the same way? In late March, after […]

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As War on Drugs Continues, So Too Does the Battle of Perceptions

Last week Venezuela’s Minister of the Interior, Tareck El Aissami, publicly denounced a July 20 report released by the US Government’s General Accounting Office (GAO) which labeled his country as “one of the major drug transit countries in the Western Hemisphere”. The struggle over public perception between Washington and Caracas continues. The US government states […]

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Opposition Leaders in Venezuela Seek Asylum

It remains possible to disagree with the Venezuelan government over its policies. It appears more difficult to do so within the country. Yesterday one more opposition leader sought asylum from what he considers oppression from the Chávez administration. Oscar Pérez, who is part of the Alianza Bravo Pueblo (ABP) party, is now charged by the […]

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Imports to Venezuela Plummet During First Half of 2009

El Universal reported that a decline in revenue from oil sales caused imports into Venezuela to drop by 49% during the first six months of 2009. Despite a recent increase the value of petroleum, Venezuela has experienced a sharp reduction in available funds since the price of a barrel of oil is just over $65, […]

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Venezuela Signs New Oil Contract with Russia, but Who Will Benefit?

Russian oil companies, including Gazprom and Lukoil, will pay $1 billion to Venezuela for the chance to develop oil reserves along the Orinoco. Even though Caracas and Moscow are allies, I still have doubts about the final payout for these businesses. In 2006 the Venezuelan government pushed out some foreign oil companies, and forced others […]

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Interpreting Alliances and Arms Sales

Yesterday, President Hugo Chávez continued his travels overseas, spending the day in Russia. During his time there he announced that Venezuela will recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. A brief war with between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 led to the separation of these two regions. More information is available in today’s […]

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