Hugo Chavez http://blog.wlrn.org en Memo To Doralzuelans: Barrio Visits Are More Effective Than Witch Hunts http://blog.wlrn.org/post/memo-doralzuelans-barrio-visits-are-more-effective-witch-hunts <p></p><p>Of all the on-scene reporting from the deadly anti-government protests in Venezuela, Frank Bajak of the Associated Press may have written one of the most<strong> <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/venezuelan-student-protesters-seek-woo-poor">important pieces</a></strong>&nbsp;this week – and it didn’t involve tear gas or street barricades.</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 22:11:31 +0000 Tim Padgett 29545 at http://blog.wlrn.org Memo To Doralzuelans: Barrio Visits Are More Effective Than Witch Hunts What My Talks With Hugo Taught Me About Chavismo In Venezuela http://blog.wlrn.org/post/what-my-talks-hugo-taught-me-about-chavismo-venezuela <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back in 1998, just before he was first elected President of Venezuela, Hugo </span>Chávez<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> described his socialist revolution to me:</span></p><p>“Our revolution is like a river and the rain,” he said with typical bravado. “It’s a natural force.”</p><p>These days, it’s looking more like a spent force.</p><p>Today, March 5, marks the first anniversary of Chávez’s death from cancer. He was still in power when he died, and his revolution still rules Venezuela.</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:16:24 +0000 Tim Padgett 28716 at http://blog.wlrn.org What My Talks With Hugo Taught Me About Chavismo In Venezuela Venezuela's West Side Story: Why Street Protests Aren't Likely To Topple The Regime http://blog.wlrn.org/post/venezuelas-west-side-story-why-street-protests-arent-likely-topple-regime <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Leopoldo </span>López<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a rock star among Venezuelans in South Florida. But in west Caracas he's the rich guy. And those contrasting images could affect the outcome of street protests playing out in Venezuela right now.</span></p><p>But first the obvious:&nbsp;This week’s arbitrary arrest of López, a top Venezuela opposition leader, is a reminder that President Nicolás Maduro’s already scant credibility is evaporating during the anti-government demonstrations that have swept his country since Feb. 12.</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:59:03 +0000 Tim Padgett 28172 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuela's West Side Story: Why Street Protests Aren't Likely To Topple The Regime Chocolate And Chávez: Valentine's Day Confronts Venezuela's Strife http://blog.wlrn.org/post/chocolate-and-ch-vez-valentines-day-confronts-venezuelas-strife <p></p><p>Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Big deal. This is Valentine’s week, when cocoa matters more than crude – and what’s important is that Venezuela produces the world’s best chocolate.</p><p>Problem is, will politics soon drag down Venezuela’s <em>cacao</em> (cocoa) industry the way it’s reduced the country’s oil output? On Feb. 14, at least, that’s a worrisome question, especially inside gourmet chocolate shops like Romanicos.</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:10:15 +0000 Tim Padgett 27771 at http://blog.wlrn.org Chocolate And Chávez: Valentine's Day Confronts Venezuela's Strife Venezuelan Elections: Maduro's Counter-Counter-Revolution http://blog.wlrn.org/post/venezuelan-elections-maduros-counter-counter-revolution <p>When socialist Nicolás Maduro eked out last April’s special presidential election in Venezuela, I wrote:&nbsp; “Even if Maduro won, he lost.”</p><p>Maduro&nbsp;defeated the opposition candidate&nbsp;–&nbsp;the same challenger&nbsp;Maduro's mentor Hugo&nbsp;Chávez had trounced just six months earlier by an 11-percent margin&nbsp;– by only 1.6 percent of the vote.&nbsp;Maduro’s lame performance shook the socialists’ claim that Chávez’s revolution would be just as dominant without Chávez, who had died of cancer in March after ruling Venezuela for 14 years.</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 23:24:31 +0000 Tim Padgett 24929 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuelan Elections: Maduro's Counter-Counter-Revolution Mandela, Castro And The Caribbean Street http://blog.wlrn.org/post/mandela-castro-and-caribbean-street <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If you live on the Caribbean street – and Florida is part of that street – here are three ways of looking at Nelson Mandela’s death yesterday.</span></p><p>Each, not surprisingly, involves Cuba and Fidel Castro. But in a larger sense they involve how immaturely we practice politics on this street – and how immaturely the world beyond this street views our politics.</p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 19:17:38 +0000 Tim Padgett 24738 at http://blog.wlrn.org Mandela, Castro And The Caribbean Street How Venezuela's Maduro Mess Keeps Getting Worse http://blog.wlrn.org/post/how-venezuelas-maduro-mess-keeps-getting-worse <p></p><p>I’m becoming more certain that leftist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro keeps a Ouija board on his desk at Miraflores Palace in Caracas.</p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Tim Padgett 20168 at http://blog.wlrn.org How Venezuela's Maduro Mess Keeps Getting Worse Venezuela Grows More, Not Less Polarized After Chavez http://blog.wlrn.org/post/venezuela-grows-more-not-less-polarized-after-chavez Under the rule of its late president, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela became a nation sharply divided between those who supported his self-styled socialist revolution and those who opposed it.<p>But after a disputed presidential election in which Chavez's deputy <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/04/14/177268673/tensions-up-in-venezuela-after-polls-close">was ruled the winner</a> by a razor-thin margin, the country appears <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/177037417/venezuela-after-chavez">more polarized than ever</a>.<p>Since Sunday's results, there have already been protests, eight deaths and angry cl Fri, 19 Apr 2013 13:28:36 +0000 12691 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuela Grows More, Not Less Polarized After Chavez Venezuela Says Recount Likely After Chavez Heir's Close Win http://blog.wlrn.org/post/venezuelan-election-dispute-after-chavez-heir-declares-narrow-victory A surprisingly <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/04/14/177268673/tensions-up-in-venezuela-after-polls-close" target="_blank">small victory margin for Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor</a> in Sunday's special presidential election looks likely to be followed by a recount in Venezuela.<p>Chavez, Venezuela's fiery, controversial and charismatic leader, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/06/173634420/thousands-line-the-streets-of-caracas-paying-respects-to-hugo-ch-vez" target="_blank">died on March 5</a>.<p>NPR's Juan Forero tells our Newscast Desk that Nicolas Maduro, who had b Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:10:22 +0000 Mark Memmott 12434 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuela Says Recount Likely After Chavez Heir's Close Win Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue http://blog.wlrn.org/post/popular-writer-debates-his-own-kidnappers-venezuelan-politics Earlier this week in Caracas, we were about to go to an interview when it had to be rescheduled. The man we were going to speak with was unavoidably detained — kidnapped, to be precise.<p>It took awhile after that for Laureano Marquez to free up his schedule and meet us in a coffee shop.<p>"I'm so sorry," he said when he finally arrived, as if it was his fault for being thrown into a car and driven off to the far reaches of town.<p>We'd been planning to talk with Marquez about Venezuela's presidential election this weekend, an election that opens a door on a changing Latin America. Fri, 12 Apr 2013 16:22:43 +0000 Steve Inskeep 12330 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuelan Humorist Engages Kidnappers In Election Dialogue Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel http://blog.wlrn.org/post/oil-chavez-and-silent-rise-venezuelan-novel <em>Marcela Valdes is the books editor of </em>The Washington Examiner<em> and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.</em><p>For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 22:35:52 +0000 12258 at http://blog.wlrn.org Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans http://blog.wlrn.org/post/look-legacy-hugo-chavez-ground In the days before elevators, there was no such thing as a penthouse on the top floor. The highest floors of a building had cheaper rents because the stairs were hard to climb.<p>Caracas, Venezuela, is organized roughly the same way, with many poor neighborhoods climbing up the sides of a mountain valley. Some of the poorest homes are among the most remote, accessible not by any road but by alleyways and long flights of stairs.<p>Up one of those flights of stairs, we found a woman whose life says a lot about Venezuela and by extension about Latin America. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 14:44:30 +0000 Steve Inskeep 12251 at http://blog.wlrn.org How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans Venezuela's Next Leader Faces Tough Choice On Oil Program http://blog.wlrn.org/post/venezuelas-next-leader-has-figure-out-what-do-all-oil As Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez thought in grandiose terms, and his country's vast oil riches enabled him to act on his vision. But Chavez died before he had to deal with the flaws in his model, and some hard choices await his successor.<p>Key to Chavez's notion of "21st Century Socialism" was the redistribution of Venezuela's oil earnings. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 13:45:38 +0000 Tom Gjelten 12245 at http://blog.wlrn.org Venezuela's Next Leader Faces Tough Choice On Oil Program Campaign Heats Up Ahead Of Sunday's Vote To Replace Hugo Chavez http://blog.wlrn.org/post/campaign-heats-ahead-sundays-vote-replace-hugo-chavez <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5; ">This Sunday, Venezuelans return to the polls for yet&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5; ">another presidential election.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This vote is to replace the late Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">month after winning&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">re-election in October.</span></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 19:30:47 +0000 Phil Latzman 12200 at http://blog.wlrn.org Campaign Heats Up Ahead Of Sunday's Vote To Replace Hugo Chavez 'Comandante' Chavez Still Revered By Some, Despite Failings http://blog.wlrn.org/post/chavez-looms-large-south-floridians-prepare-vote-venezuela-election Hugo Chavez died in March, but his ghost still lingers in Venezuela. He was president for well over a decade and, according to journalist Rory Carroll, his oversize influence hasn't faded.<p>"It's slightly surreal, because Chavez has never been more ubiquitous in Venezuela than now. His face greets you from the airport the moment you arrive; there are posters of him everywhere; there are fresh murals of him around the city; his voice booms from the radio; recordings of him singing the national anthem fill government rallies," Carroll says. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:13:14 +0000 12175 at http://blog.wlrn.org 'Comandante' Chavez Still Revered By Some, Despite Failings