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Opinion & Analysis

Venezuela, Country of Overwhelming Riches and Intense Contrast

Smuggling toilet paper across the Simon Bolivar bridge, between Venezuela and Colombia. (Ramón Lepage / Orinoquiaphoto)

Quechua anthropologist Ollantay Itzamná writes of his crossing from Baranquilla, Colombia to Venezuela. After choosing not to heed the colorful warnings of famine and crime parroted by Colombian taxi drivers, Itzamná finds as he draws closer to the border that he is just one foreigner among hundreds of Colombians who cross over daily to fill their bags with low-priced goods.

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Socialism: Practice or Principle First?

(Photo: Didi Ananda Sadhana) RPLA meeting in Centro Madre, San José de Barlovento.

As socialist enterprises and workers cooperatives are dwindling in Venezuela, there is a new emphasis on the creation of Networks of Free and Associated Agricultural Producers (REPLA). In this article, the author offers critiques of the socialist enterprises and calls for localized production that emphasizes processing raw materials closest to where they originate. This perspective is offered based on organizing efforts with a REPLA in Barlovento, Venezuela.

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Why Venezuela Should Not Default

(archive)

In a provocative article published last week Venezuelan economists Ricardo Hausmann and Miguel Angel Santos make an argument that if authorities adopted a set of common-sense policies, they argue, these would include defaulting on the country’s foreign debt and making bondholders bear part of the burden of adjustment. Francisco Rodríguez  argues that Venezuela should not default on its debt because default Venezuela is not insolvent.

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From Chávez's "Strike at the Helm" to Maduro's "Shake-up" in Venezuela

(BBC Mundo)

Director of the Latin American Strategic Center of Geopolitics (CELAG), Alfredo Serrano Mancilla, takes a look at the political significance of Nicolas Maduro's recent "shake-up" of the Bolivarian Revolution. 

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The New Venezuela: An Interview With Supreme Court Justice Fernando Vegas

Judge Fernando Ramón Vegas Torrealba, the First Vice President of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and President of the Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court, was an honored guest at the National Lawyers Guild Convention in Chicago this past weekend. I was able to interview him while he was there about the current situation in Venezuela.

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Briefcase Companies and Phantom Importers

Luis Britto Garcia (courtesy)

Venezuelan writer Luis Britto Garcia argues that even before we critique the misuse of dollars by Venezuela’s flourishing phantom companies, we must look at what legitimate transnationals are allotted the most dollars through the government subsidy, and what their offered services say about the government’s priorities.

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Venezuela at a Tipping Point

Venezuelan street art in Caracas by Guerrilla Comunicacional proclaims, “Bolivar

No matter how you cut it, Nicolás Maduro’s first year in office was no walk in the park. Even before the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died after a long bout with cancer last March, opponents of the Bolivarian government—in Caracas as in Washington—were circling like the sharks they are at a hint of blood in the water.

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Venezuelan Voices, Part II: An Inflammatory Question

A PDVSA [state] truck transporting gasoline in Caracas (AVN)

As Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro combats corruption, reassigns half of ministry positions, launches “a new stage of the revolution,” and even hints at a minimum wage increase for November, the question remains what economic steps will be taken to reverse the high inflation that critics are quick to associate with his leadership.

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Venezuelans Protest Big Business for their Role in the Economic War

Cory Fischer-Hoffman/Venezuelanalysis

Amidst the ongoing “economic war” in Venezuela, 200 people from various political collectives marched to Fedecamaras headquarters to place a spotlight on how the largest business confederation may be contributing to scarcity, inflation and speculation in Venezuela. 

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The Vitality of the Revolution

Reinaldo Iturriza (VTV)

Reinaldo Iturriza was iconic as Communes Minister, and has long been an important revolutionary voice within the government. Yesterday, as per Nicolas Maduro's cabinet "shakeup", Iturriza was reappointed as Minister of Culture. This discerning look at the place communes hold within the Bolivarian process, written only hours before that switch, stands as a testament to his efforts in that area.

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“A Daunting Situation”: Doctor Zaira Medina Speaks about Venezuela’s Medicine Shortages

Medina (left) (Correo del Orinoco)

In an interview with the radio program “Ajicero” last Friday, Zaira Medina, a doctor and the director of the Pérez de León Hospital in Petare, Caracas, speaks with Carlos Novella and Miguel Denis about current shortages of drugs and medical supplies in Venezuela.

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Venezuela: Maduro in Chávez’s Shoes

Maduro at a political rally (Mision Verdad)

A politically refined reading on the presidency of Nicolás Maduro starting with a recognition of the morass of circumstances he has had to face as the country’s leader.

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Snapshot from the Economic War in Venezuela

Johnny Moreno (left) teaching a Mision Robinson [literacy] class in 2004, in El Valle, Caracas. (Sujatha Fernandes)

Sujatha tells the dark understory of the economic war in Venezuela- the human side of the struggle against corruption that can hardly be expressed through graphs and charts.

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Venezuelan Voices, Part I: An Economic Spiral

On the border between Brazil and Venezuela, if you don't want to wait on the long gas station lines, you can fill up your t

As international media plays its favorite old game of lambasting the Venezuelan government, long-time observers of the Bolivarian process may be wondering how much truth lies in the prime-time reports depicting empty shelves, long lines and charts showing catastrophic inflation. How precarious is Venezuela’s current economy and, more importantly, how much are the effects of this felt by the Venezuelan people?

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A New Political Moment

"Don't take the bait" Venezuelan graffiti art representing the oppositional business owner's manipulation of

What is the political moment playing out in Venezuela now? What defined the recent governing socialist party (PSUV) congress? What will the opposition try next with Maduro?

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