Stories written by Humberto Márquez
Humberto, who joined IPS in 1999, has been a journalist for more than 25 years, specialising in international news. He worked for 15 years with Agence France-Presse (AFP), 10 as assignment editor in Caracas, covering Venezuela, the Caribbean and the Guyanas. He also worked for more than five years in the international section of the Caracas newspaper El Nacional. Márquez has covered various international conferences, regional summits, electoral processes in the Americas and Europe, conflicts and peace negotiations, tours by the Pope, the petroleum business, sports events and the state of prison systems.

Cold War Logic Takes Root in Venezuela

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.

Music as Social Inclusion Shines in Salzburg

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.

Environmentalists Alarmed at Tourism Plans for Small Islands

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.

Flood Risks in Venezuela Increased by “New Rains” Linked to Climate Change

“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.

Film on Sexual Abuse Wins at Colombia-Venezuela Festival

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.

Opposition Takes to the Streets to Demand Recount in Venezuela

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.

Tension Surrounds Start of Venezuela’s Post-Chávez Era

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.

Elections in the Shadow of Chávez

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.

Venezuela’s Elections Crucial to Latin American Left

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”.

Russia to Get Venezuelan Oil for a Few Cents a Barrel

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.

Fighting Poverty Was Chávez’s Crusade

The struggle against poverty was the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's top political priority, and at the same time a tool to consolidate his power and project his strategies abroad.

Chávez Invigorated the Left in Latin America

Part of the legacy left by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who died Tuesday, was his determined struggle for the integration of Latin America independent of the standards and models of the industrialised North, and for the reinvigoration of left-wing radicalism in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Chávez Leaves a Deep Imprint

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died Tuesday in the Military Hospital of Caracas after a long battle with cancer in his abdominal region, which was diagnosed in June 2011.

China Maps Out Venezuela’s Valuable Mining Resources

An agreement signed by the government of Venezuela and the Chinese state-owned company Citic Group for prospecting and mapping the country's mining reserves is being challenged by both the opposition and experts who argue that it will leave valuable natural resources dangerously exposed.

Venezuela’s Neighbours Walking on Eggshells

Governments of countries in the Americas are relying on the passage of time and a relatively peaceful political atmosphere to sort out the unprecedented institutional situation in Venezuela, whose ailing president Hugo Chávez is out of the country, while the executive team tasked with carrying out his former mandate continues in office.

Government “Continuity” Winning Over in Venezuela

While Hugo Chávez is being treated for serious illness in Havana, the premise of government "continuity" is winning out in his home country, along with plans to postpone his swearing-in ceremony for a new term as president of Venezuela, due to take place on Thursday Jan. 10.

Chávez Names Civilian Heir for Sake of Unity

Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan vice president and foreign minister, has been announced by President Hugo Chávez as his political successor. Many analysts view this as a specific call for party unity, and a preference for a civilian over a former military leader.

Venezuela’s Youth Orchestra Shines in U.S.

A group of young people walk down the streets of Chicago, broad grins on their faces. They have good reason to be happy: the ovations received by their repertoire of Latin American music when they played in the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela still echo in their ears.

Nanotechnology Could Lighten Venezuela’s Oil Footprint

Venezuela is studying the use of nanotechnology as a means of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases caused by the oil industry.

EU Crisis’ Ripple Effects in Latin America

The crisis in Europe may provide an opportunity for Latin America and the Caribbean to recast the bi-regional relationship based on higher education and investments with a social and environmental focus, according to the ministerial Council of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System.

Chávez Victory Brings Challenges for “21st Century Socialism”

The landslide victory of Hugo Chávez, who was re-elected as president of Venezuela on Sunday, could translate into an acceleration of his socialist project or a toning down of his programme, which could help open up channels of understanding with the part of the country that has opposed him since he first came to power in 1999.

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