Seven of the 20 people killed in the street protests that have shaken Venezuela since the second week of February were shot in the head, a testimony to the role being played by firearms in the political struggle in this oil-rich country.
Fifteen dead, dozens injured, some 500 arrested and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over two weeks of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities.
Violence on the streets of Venezuela, with anti-government protests in the capital and 12 other cities, is a sign of hardening stances by both the government and its opponents as President Nicolás Maduro takes a trial-and-error approach to the economy in crisis.
The presence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is evident in Venezuela’s Amazon region, where the guerrillas can be seen on speed boats, in camps, or interacting with local indigenous communities.
“All of the countries of the Amazon basin say they want to protect the environment, but they all have agreements with transnational corporations for the construction of roads or for mining and exploitation of forests,” Curripaco indigenous leader Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, from the south of Venezuela, told Tierramérica.*
A Venezuelan government decree to control information and “internal and external enemy activity” appeals to concepts of the national security doctrine, which various right-wing military dictatorships in Latin America invoked in the 1970s and 1980s.
A sea of white-gloved hands swaying gracefully to the rhythm of tropical music shows the audience in the hallowed Mozarteum concert hall in this Austrian city how Venezuela is combining musical education and social inclusion.
The Venezuelan government’s plans to develop tourism infrastructure on virtually uninhabited highly biodiverse small islands in the southern Caribbean have triggered warnings from environmentalists.
“The river is reclaiming its place, the water has risen up to here,” says Ana Polanco, crouching down to hold her hand high above her head in the little tin house she shares with her children in El Hueco, one of the communities on the east side of the Venezuelan capital besieged by the polluted and deceptively calm Guaire River.
A Venezuelan movie about a young deaf woman who is sexually abused by her stepfather, “Brecha en el silencio” (Breach in the Silence), took top prize at the second Colombia-Venezuela film festival.
Noisy pot-banging protests broke out in Venezuela’s cities to demand a recount of the votes from Sunday’s presidential elections, which leftwing candidate Nicolás Maduro won. Several people have been killed in violent incidents.
The political polarisation in Venezuela became even more marked as the country emerged from Sunday’s elections basically divided in half, between two sectors that are antagonistic and reluctant to try to understand each other.
Venezuelans will cast their ballots this Sunday to elect a successor to late president Hugo Chávez. The choice is between his political heir Nicolás Maduro – the front-runner in the polls - and the leader of the revitalised opposition, Henrique Capriles.
The São Paulo Forum, which groups leftist political parties and organisations of Latin America and the Caribbean, sees a victory by Venezuela’s acting President Nicolás Maduro in the Apr. 14 elections as key to the future of the left in the region, and to “containing the right”.
Russian state oil firm Rosneft and Venezuela's PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.) have agreed to form a partnership to exploit an oilfield with estimated reserves of 40 billion barrels, strengthening the alliance between the two countries.