Venezuela on my mind

As many of you know, in a past life, I worked as a journalist in Venezuela (before grad school). Given everything that’s going on there right now and the uncertainty about it, I’m a little stressed out. I’m not as stressed out as, say, Francisco Toro, perhaps, but my jaw has pretty much been clenched tight for the last week.

There’s plenty of misinformation floating around as well, so I thought I would take a minute to point out the links I’ve found to be the most informative and the most useful. I wouldn’t say I’m a dispassionate observer, because I definitely have an opinion, but I think most of what is here is a good representation of the views out there in English. I certainly missed plenty of things, so if you think something else goes here, please let me know.

  • First and foremost, you should go take a look at Meridith Kohut’s slideshow in the NYT on the protests in Tachira, now widely acknowledged as the place where the protests started in response to a failure to prosecute the sexual assault of a student. The accompanying article by Willie Neuman, frankly, take it or leave it, but Meridith’s photographs are stunning.
  • Francisco Toro and the crowd at Caracas Chronicles are writing up a storm. It can be a little much at times and definitely has an opposition-leaning slant but it’s current and they have enough people/contacts all over the country to have a good idea of some of the things that are going on.
  • For a less frenetic synopsis, read Francisco’s op-ed in the NYT today. It does a great job of explaining the history of the protests, why there is likely increased aggression and repression by the government this time and more.
  • Toro’s op-ed echoes many of the themes in this piece by Rafael Uzcátegui, who writes from an anarchist-leftist perspective. Strange bedfellows, perhaps, but that’s that.
  • Don’t let the Upworthy-esque title get you down, Emiliana Duarte explains a cadena and it’s worth knowing about to understand how the government actually controls information.
  • If you understand Spanish, you should listen to Henrique Capriles Radonski’s entire speech to marchers in Caracas. If you don’t, know that he’s one of the few people calling for reason.
  • George Ciccariello-Maher explains some of the long history behind Venezuela’s protests (like back to 1989 and 1992), but mostly gives a good overview of the Maduro party line and the international left’s understanding of the situation, i.e. US and international interests pushing right-wing facism to return Venezuela to the party’s elites. Also, read anything by Eva Golinger if you’re looking for this tack in English.
  • Rebecca Hanson, a researcher living in Catia, one of the western, mostly government-sympathizing, and poorer regions of Caracas, explains where the protests aren’t happening, what that means for Venezuela.
  • “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” Francisco Toro’s AJEnglish interview on protests becoming more widespread than just the middle class, or not.

UPDATED: February 27, 2014 10:22am

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Author: ekfletch

I am an independent researcher on issues of gender, labor, violence, education, and children.

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