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Features: Environment

Steve Ellner Part II: Is the Bolivarian Revolution a Populist Failure?

Steve Ellner addresses a forum in 2014 on Chavismo in Caracas, Venezuela. (Archive)

Universidad de Oriente Professor Steve Ellner discusses a range of key issues in Venezuela, including the efficacy of state social programs such as the CLAPs, the Maduro government’s controversial Mining Arc, and the role of international solidarity. 


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“Venezuela Must Raise the Flags of Campesinos Across the Globe against the Privatisation of Food”

VA's Rachael Boothroyd Rojas talks with activist Manuel Suarez of the Venezuelan collective Homo et Natura about the monumental Anti-Transgenic and Anti-Patent Seed Law currently in debate in the country’s National Assembly.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Demands Action from Developed Countries at UN Climate Talks

While the general agreed upon “danger point” would be a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius, many members’s Cory Fischer Hoffman writes a special report from the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru, describing the reactions of the Venezuelan government and social movements to the attempt to reach a consensus over how to address global warming.

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"Change the System, Not the Climate!" Voices from the Social PreCOP

Members of civil society insisted that a transition be made from fossil fuels to community controlled renewable energy sources (

A warm ocean breeze rolled across the picturesque beach on Venezuela's Caribbean island of Margarita.

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Venezuela’s Indigenous Pemon are Caught in Time on Land Too Valuable for Numbers

A pemon boy rests on the way to Mt. Roraima. (Benjamin Mast)
In the shadow of Columbus Day, writer Z.C. sketches, through interviews, an intimate portrait of a changing people – the Pemon of Venezuela’s mineral-rich Southeastern border. Their testimonies of struggle reflect the country’s changing political landscape and highlights a stark generational gap that afflicts many of Latin America’s first nation peoples.

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Why doesn’t Venezuela Ban Bullfighting?

Bullfighting this year in Merida (ABC)

Throughout history bullfighting has been an occasion where the most powerful come together. While Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution tries to create a new identity that is independent of Spanish imperialism, and based on socialist humanitarian ideals, bullfighting strangely continues to be a huge money making industry, attracting governmental opportunists and opposition alike. 

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A Story about Rubbish: Communities Takeover from Opposition Mayor

Rubbish in Petare (Patria Grande)

Smack in the middle of tourist season, in little, tranquil, and stunningly beautiful Merida, with the giant green Andes hugging it on all sides, artisans in the plaza, beard trees in the parks, and  tourists from Caracas standing in the doorways of pastel coloured posadas with their cameras –the opposition mayor decided to just stop collecting rubbish.

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Beautiful Venezuela: Tourism with a Social Conscience

One of Venezuela's many beautiful sites, La Azulita caves, Merida state (Tamara Pearson/

Rather than Disneyland tourism, rather than humiliating “third word” selling itself to the  rest tourism, in stunning Venezuela, tourism is taking a new turn towards community and state run exploration of history, culture, and biodiversity.

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From Agribusiness to Agroecology? An Analysis of Venezuela’s Nationalization of AgroIsleña

A bicyclist passes by an AgroIsleña distribution center (Globovision)

With the nationalization of AgroIsleña, the Venezuelan state has taken an important step in the struggle to bring social and economic factors under greater control of the Venezuelan people and out of the hands of private, profit-driven firms. What is yet to be understood is what ecological factors will be considered as the AgroPatria project moves forward.

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“Sowing Light” Part 1: Bringing Solar Power to Rural Venezuela

A solar system for an adobe-walled home

Suggett visits the isolated rural village of El Quinó, where the government and community have worked together to install solar power, bringing electricity to the town for the first time, along with other social benefits.

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Will the Bolivarian Revolution End Coal Mining in Venezuela?

The Wayúu, Yukpa, and Barí indigenous communities who would have been displaced by the coal mining projects in their lands cautiously interpret the Chavez government's suspension of these projects as a temporary sign of relief. But their struggle against coal mining has lasted a quarter of a century and will not conclude until mining concessions are repealed for good.

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Hugo Chavez’s Achilles Heel: The Environment

In Maracaibo, Kozloff interviewed Jorge Hinestroza, a sociologist at the University of Zulia and former General Coordinator of the Federation of Zulia Ecologists. During the insightful hour long interview, Hinestroza illuminated many of the contradictions within the Chavez government’s environmental policy.

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Misión Arbol: Reforesting Venezuela

The forests of the world are disappearing at a rate like never before seen and Venezuela may rank on the top 10 deforestation list, but two weeks ago Venezuela began to fight back.

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The Open Veins of Venezuela

Gold mining and logging are destroying huge parts of the Imataca forest reserve in Eastern Venezuela. Critics say the mining and logging activities are illegal and profits mainly flow to multinational companies abroad. It all has to do with Decree 3,110, which President Chavez issued half a year ago.

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