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Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

The Tower of David skyscraper in Caracas was abandoned in 1994, and remained vacant until 2007 when squatters moved in. There is now a vibrant community living within its walls.
posted by reenum on Apr 26, 2014 - 42 comments

Venezuela Riots

Venezuela opposition's Leopoldo Lopez hands himself in as police crack down on protestors. Students have been rioting on rising inflation and shortages. Pictures from Caracas. "I present myself before an unjust justice, before a corrupt justice,"
posted by zabuni on Feb 19, 2014 - 93 comments

Mannequins and the peculiar morgue between Paris and Rome

Because who is perfect? Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled.

Busty Mannequins and an Inflated Sense of Beauty in Venezuela In Venezuela, women are confronted with a culture of increasingly enhanced physiques fueled by beauty pageants and plastic surgery. - The New York Times [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 5, 2013 - 26 comments

Catatumbo, an everlasting lightning storm and symphony of light

Catatumbo lightning (action at 5:17) is a mysterious and amazing celestial light show that happens from 160 to 300 nights a year, up to 280 times an hour and up to 10 hours per night. It is a powerful and nearly continuous thunderstorm with up to 40,000 bolts of lightning per night that flash mostly from cloud to cloud. The indigenous people call it the River of Fire in the Sky. It takes place in a remote, poor [in Spanish], politically troubled and dangerous corner of the planet, in Catatumbo, Venezuela on Lake Maracaibo, where the houses are all on stilts. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 26, 2013 - 10 comments

Who am I? Am I Yanomami or am I nabuh [Westerner]?

The son of a Yanomami tribeswoman returns to the jungle to look for her. David Good is the child of an American anthropologist and the Yanomami woman he married while doing field research in the remote Amazon rainforest. Raised in the US, he returns to find his mother. [may be nsfw - images of unclothed tribespeople]
posted by desjardins on Aug 29, 2013 - 30 comments

Hugo Chavez: the revolutionary's final battle

Hugo Chavez dies. Al-Jazeera reported it first on their live stream, while internal media are still holding back. The Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, made the announcement.
posted by moonbird on Mar 5, 2013 - 283 comments

A Scientist at War With His Tribe

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist. "Jaguars and anacondas are impressive adversaries — 'Indiana Jones had nothing on me,' Napoleon Chagnon says — but his staunchest foes are other anthropologists."
posted by homunculus on Feb 13, 2013 - 30 comments

Gregor MacGregor the Cacique of Poyais

In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Dec 31, 2012 - 16 comments

Golden Retriever

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to bring his country's gold back home. Eleven billion dollars worth of Venezuelan gold (211 tonnes ) is currently deposited among a number of US and European banks, at least some of which will have difficulties meeting the call. Transporting the gold will be expensive and complicated - not because of the physical volume but because of its immense value. (via) [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 29, 2011 - 83 comments

Copa América live on YouTube

Copa América is streamed live on YouTube. Copa América is the oldest international football competition, having been held first in 1916. This is a contest between the 10 South American nations and two invitational teams, this time Costa Rica and Mexico, who both sent young squads (Japan was slated to take part but withdrew due to the earthquake). The tournament started yesterday with Bolivia unexpectedly managing to hold Argentina to a draw. Colombia are currently beating a 10-man Costa Rica 1-0. Brazil start their campaign tomorrow, against Venezuela. One of the world's premier football writers, Jonathan Wilson, wrote previews of the three groups, A, B and C. The Independent has more light-hearted team previews.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 2, 2011 - 13 comments

Venezuelan party prison

Prison party central, Margarita Island, Venezuala. (NYT)
posted by Meatbomb on Jun 5, 2011 - 30 comments

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Apr 10, 2011 - 8 comments

Venezuelean hunger strike ends

A half-month hunger strike by Venezuelan students has ended. More than 150 students participated in the protests, some sewing their own mouths shut. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 25, 2011 - 18 comments

"This tower is a perfect example of anarchy."

Squatters on the Skyline: "Facing a mounting housing shortage, squatters have transformed an abandoned skyscraper in downtown Caracas into a makeshift home for more than 2,500 people." [SLNYTVP]
posted by bayani on Feb 28, 2011 - 27 comments

SQUIRREL!

The real world location behind “Up’s” Paradise Falls. But could that house really fly?
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2009 - 54 comments

Chavez' Venezuela At 10 Years

Just ahead of a re-election referendum in Venezuela (scheduled for February 15), The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators [PDF][Via]
posted by Rykey on Feb 10, 2009 - 26 comments

The Rhythm is Going To Get You

The Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela have won the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. It might be in part due to their charismatic conductor, or very probably due to their unique style. What sets them apart from most orchestras, though, is their System, which the NYT referred to as "the most ambitious program of music education and orchestra training in the world". [more inside]
posted by micayetoca on May 23, 2008 - 7 comments

Paz sin fronteras

Peace Without Borders. Colombian singer Juanes put together a concert calling for peace, as a result of the recent crisis between Colombia and Ecuador (and tangentially, Venezuela). Remarkably, it was held from the bridge between Venezuela and Colombia, in what is normally a very problematic border, and it featured the great Carlos Vives, the Dominican Juan Luis Guerra, and others. [more inside]
posted by micayetoca on Mar 16, 2008 - 16 comments

$150 a barrel here we come

A high ranking FARC leader, Paul Reyes, was killed during a Columbian raid into Ecuador. Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, responded and ordered ten battalions to the Columbian border, threatening a key regional ally of the United States. Some think it is just more bluster by Chavez. Meanwhile Air Force 2 is in Aruba; which is just 18 miles off the coast. Also Exxon-Mobil was recently cut off from Venezuela's oil.
posted by humanfont on Mar 2, 2008 - 50 comments

If at first (or second) you don't succeed...

Operation PLIERS. An internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a plan to destabilize Venezuela during the upcoming constitutional referendum. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. The full text of the memo will be released soon for verification purposes. Many previously.
posted by scalefree on Nov 28, 2007 - 42 comments

South/Latin American composers after 1900

While the first pioneering forays into atonality and free chromaticism were starting to occur in Western European music, the talents of Latin and South America were discovering the Romantic beauty of re-interpreting the past. [much, much more inside!]
posted by invitapriore on Jun 3, 2007 - 6 comments

Death to America

Two podcasts from the BBC. Around the world, by every measure, America's reputation and image has never been so poor. Part 1: Venezuela; Part 2: Turkey
posted by adamvasco on May 9, 2007 - 43 comments

A documentary on Llaguno Bridge violent events

Llaguno bridge is a documentary offering an alternative point of view on some of the violent events that took place in Venezuela during the coup d'etat attempt of 2002 [1]. Some local private television are accused of deliberatedly picking some facts in an attempt to support the ongoing coup ; different videos taken from different angles show how some people were wrongly accused of shooting at unarmed masses of demonstrators. Regardless of political preferences and actual events, it is an interesting documentary on how easily facts can be misrepresented.
posted by elpapacito on Apr 29, 2007 - 8 comments

Bullet The Blue Sky

Venezuelan State TV aired a show yesterday in which they complained about a certain videogame, in which the goal is to overthrow the "power-hungry tyrant who messes with Venezuela's oil supply." In Venezuela, people are a bit offended by the images of Caracas being destroyed in the game, outside, some people are offended because one of the owners of the controversial company that created the game is Bono, The Defender of the Poor, Bono, and they are trying to stop it.
posted by micayetoca on Feb 7, 2007 - 45 comments

If voting could actually change anything...

The election isn't until next Tuesday, but already problems are being reported. It's not just in Texas, and not just in relation to everyone's favorite electronic-voting whipping boy, either; it's becoming clear that every vendor has its own unsolved security issues. In fact it seems that an increasing number of voices are warning that the US is in for an awful lot of contention from all parties involved after next week's vote, and that can't be good. Others are taking a non-disinterested rose-colored view of things and loudly proclaiming that there's nothing wrong with the system, or at least that no one should imply or infer or investigate the matter. Still others are quick to point out that there's nothing wrong with electronic voting, except when they're linked to a foreign government that doesn't get along particularly well with them. Whatever is true about the state of electronic voting in 2006, you can't deny that it has led to a certain plurality of opinions...
posted by clevershark on Nov 2, 2006 - 130 comments

The Bolivarian Revolution just got interesting

Newsfilter: Chavez announces he may call a referendum asking voters to allow him to rule without further elections until 2031, well past the 2012 limit currently imposed by the Venezuelan constitution. Bluff? Naked power grab? Fatal mistake? Either way, watch what you say about it if you're in Caracas.
posted by loquax on May 8, 2006 - 248 comments

Pachakutic on schedule for 2012

Latin America Turning Left? From the top: Lula da Silva*, Lopez Obrador, Nestor Kirchner, Hugo Chavez*, Alvaro Uribe, Michelle Bachelet*, Ollanta Humala, Alfredo Palacio, Oscar Berger, Leonel Fernandez, Oscar Arias, Tony Saca, Tabare Vazquez, Martín Torrijos, Evo Morales* Manuel Zelaya, Nicanor Duarte, Daniel Ortega, Rene Preval*.
posted by airguitar on Apr 13, 2006 - 30 comments

You messed with me, birdie. No?

"You are a donkey, Mr Danger" Hugo Chavez woos Bush.
posted by ruelle on Apr 10, 2006 - 62 comments

The horse of freedom!

Venezuela gets a controversal new flag and seal. In the words of Chavez: "The white horse is now liberated, free, vigorous, trotting toward the left, representing the return of Bolivar and his dream. Long live the fatherland!" Of course, national flag controversies are nothing new, for example, in Iraq, the Confederate States, Macedonia, and Canada. If you want to stay current, there is Flagwire, a site devoted only to flag news, and the extremely cool flag identifier, for those times when you don't know which country you are in.
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 14, 2006 - 56 comments

And We're Confiscating Those Cartoons, Professor

Miguel Tinker Salas is the Arango Professor in Latin American History at Pomona College, a political historian and sometime commentator on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. On Tuesday, an FBI/LA County Sherrifs Office Joint Terrorism Task Force came calling during Tinker Salas's office hours. "After identifying themselves, they proceeded to ask about my relation to Venezuela, the government, the community, my scholarship, my politics...After they departed, the three or four students who were outside my office informed me that these individuals had asked them about my background, my classes, what I taught, my politics and they even wrote down the cartoons that are on my door."
posted by BT on Mar 9, 2006 - 47 comments

Congressional Oil spokesman goes after Citgo

Congressional Oil spokesman goes after Citgo. In Washington, Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton (R-ExxonMobil) has launched an investigation into Citgo. But he is not investigating whether any of the oil giants are engaging in price gouging at a time when gasoline and heating oil casts are skyrocketing. Instead Barton has set his sights on the only oil company that actually dared to lower its prices last year - at least for the poorest Americans. Last week Barton demanded the Venezuelan-owned company Citgo produce all records, minutes, logs, e-mails and even desk calendars related to the company’s novel program of supplying discounted heating oil to low-income communities in the United States. The Citgo program, which began late last year in Massachusetts and the South Bronx, provides oil at discounts as high as 60% off market price.
posted by mountainmambo on Feb 26, 2006 - 88 comments

No gringo, No fly.

Venezuela bans US Airlines. The Chavez government announced yesterday that as of March 1st, Continental and Delta will no longer be allowed to fly into Venezuela, and American's flights will be restricted significantly (allowing AA to continue their Miami to Caracas route, which is the same one that Aeropostal flies to the US). We've talked about Chavez in the blue before, and this may be simple political posturing in an effort to open more routes for Aeropostal and other Venezuelan airlines, but between this, and the recent comments by Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Porter Goss, are we looking at a new low in US/Venezuela relations?
posted by toxic on Feb 24, 2006 - 45 comments

Cueva del Fantasma

Researchers have discovered a cave so large two helicopters can comfortably land inside it and containing a new species of poison dart frog.
posted by driveler on Feb 22, 2006 - 56 comments

Rumsfeld likens Chavez and Evo Morales to Hitler - expels diplomat in tit for tat

Rumsfeld likens Chavez to Hitler - expels diplomat in tit for tat
meanwhile the American Family Association calls for a boycott of Venezuelan owned Citgo (obviously encouraging more support for gulf arab regimes). The Venezuelan grandmother I recently spent a Sunday with was very happy with Chavez - and proud of him despite his faults and corruption in the country. What's with Rummy and friends?
posted by specialk420 on Feb 3, 2006 - 123 comments

Goddamn socialists

Cheap oil for the masses. "Officials from Venezuela and Massachusetts have signed a deal providing cheap heating oil to low-income homes in the US state. The fuel will be sold at some 40% below market prices to thousands of homes over the winter months. Local congressman William Delahunt described the deal as "an expression of humanitarianism at its very best". [Newsfilter] Why do you hate America, Hugo?
posted by wilful on Nov 22, 2005 - 135 comments

A crash course in Venezuelan history

Hugo Chávez is crazy! Hugo Chávez is certainly making a lot of news these days. No doubt we'll find the truth somewhere between "evil dictator" and "third world savior," but the long, dark history of U.S. involvement in Latin America casts suspicion on everything. Chávez is gaining a heroic light in the third world for "standing up to" the United States. He's making friends with Cuba, China and Iran. Is Chávez heading up a new rogues' gallery ... or gearing up for the resource wars?
Previous MetaFilter coverage: [1,2,3,4]
posted by jefgodesky on Aug 24, 2005 - 62 comments

"Terrific Danger"

Pat Robertson calls for the assassination of Hugo Chavez. Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."
posted by billysumday on Aug 22, 2005 - 300 comments

With Venezuela harbouring and aiding Columbian rebels

With Venezuela harbouring and aiding Colombian rebels; namely the leftist FARC is the US administration looking to intervene in Latin America? Possibility discussed here
posted by adamvasco on Jan 23, 2005 - 30 comments

Palast piece on Chavez

Dick Cheney, Hugo Chavez and Bill Clinton's Band by Greg Palast
posted by skallas on Aug 17, 2004 - 36 comments

Is the CIA tampering with Venezuelan elections?

Is the CIA tampering with Venezuelan elections? A Venezuelan news organization reports that an email was sent to the world press this afternoon, claiming to be early election results indicating a defeat for outspoken Bush critic Hugo Chavez. The email in question appears to be a fraud, sent from a location in Virginia. There are also reports coming in of phony election results being broadcast on Venezuelan television, and rigged exit polls organized by the very people who supported an unsuccessful coup against Chavez in 2002 -- an organization funded by our government through the National Endowment for Democracy. Your tax dollars at work. Former President Carter reports that the elections are going well, with a huge turnout, but if Chavez wins, will there be an organized effort -- funded by U.S. tax dollars -- to discredit the election anyway?
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 15, 2004 - 71 comments

Final Frontier, the space between our ears.

A viilage to reinvent the world : Gaviotas "In 1965 Paulo Lugari was flying over the impoverished Llanos Orientales, the “eastern plains” that border Venezuela. The soil of the Llanos is tough and acidic, some of the worst in Colombia. Lugari mused that if people could live here they could live anywhere.....The following year Lugari and a group of scientists, artists, agronomists and engineers took the 15-hour journey along a tortuous route from Bogota to the Llanos Orientales to settle."

"...they would need to be very resourceful. So they invented wind turbines that convert mild breezes into energy, super-efficient pumps that tap previously inaccessible sources of water [powered by a child's playground seesaw!], and solar kettles that sterilize drinking water using the furious heat of the tropical sun....They even invented a rain forest!" (from "Gaviotas - A village to reinvent the World", by Tim Weisman) Amidst the strife of war torn Columbia, Gaviotas persists and even flourishes. " "When we import solutions from the US or Europe," said Lugari, founder of Gaviotas, "we also import their problems."....Over the years Gaviotas technicians have installed thousands of the windmills across Colombia....Since Gaviotas refuses to patent inventions, preferring to share them freely, the design has been copied from Central America to Chile."

Gaviotas is real, yes, but it is also a state of mind - as if Ben Franklin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonardo Da Vinci - all of the great those giants who reinvisioned the possible - were reincarnated : as a small Columbian village on a once-desolate plain. "Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez has called Paolo Lugari the "inventor of the world." "
posted by troutfishing on Apr 16, 2004 - 12 comments

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Amnest Int'l drops documentary after petition. Two Irish filmmakers were inside the palace during the coup in Venezuela in 2002 (also on MeFi: 1 2). I caught their powerful documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised here in Chicago (review). The film was just recently dropped from Canada Amnesty International's upcoming film festival in Vancouver after opposition parties in Venezuela organized a petition of over 7,000 signatures (mp3). The groups have concerns about it's accuracy, especially in it's characterization of the opposition to the democratically elected President Chavez. A petition supporting the film has been started as well. I found the movie stunning and a chilling account of how media outlets can shape, gauge and control public perception at home and abroad (ergo the Reagan miniseries debacle). Also notable I found was Chavez's passion to teach the poor to understand the constitution of their country - impoverished Venezuelans talking passionately about how they realize that understanding politics and policy is one of the first steps out of their poverty. I picture Jerry Springer trash trying to articulate any understanding of the U. S. constitution. Any Venezuela MeFi'ers wanna give a background on how the country had been faring since the coup and restoration? Was it a CIA action? I'm sure the honeymoon's over - how's it going?
posted by ao4047 on Nov 6, 2003 - 16 comments

New Species Found in Venezuela

'Punk' Catfish Among New Species Found in Venezuela : Scientists studying an unspoiled jungle river wilderness in Venezuela on Thursday announced the discovery of 10 new fish species, including a red-tailed tiddler, a "punk" catfish with a spiky head and a piranha that eats fruit as well as flesh, says The Associated Press.
A little more Here.
Other new species found recently include Baffling 'Mystery Apes' [More on them], some gross, weird things, and even some Odd Critters that thrive without oxygen, growing in salty, alkaline conditions, and may offer insights into what kinds of life might survive on Mars. But it's not just little critters, Pseudoryx nghetinhensis was the first of the new mammal species discovered in quite some time, and even A New giant squid.
Like this stuff? A New Theory says many of the ecological patterns we see can be more simply and often better explained if competing species are treated as if they were essentially identical.
posted by Blake on Aug 29, 2003 - 11 comments

There's a lot going on in Venezuela.

There's a lot going on in Venezuela. Today they're marching. Yesterday the president responded to Bush's recommendations. Two days ago, the chief of Venezuela's army "condemned the strike." Why are they striking in Venezuela? Oil, Oil, Oil, Oil. (And I thought we could only get it from the Middle East!)
posted by valval22 on Dec 18, 2002 - 9 comments

USA intelligence agencies revealed

USA intelligence agencies revealed Ok. But we get 5% of our oil from there. You decide.
posted by Postroad on Dec 17, 2002 - 23 comments

If at first you don't succeed...

If at first you don't succeed... Venezuelan army officers tell the Christian Science Monitor they're planning another coup attempt. Other signs: Ten masked men criticized President Chavez on TV last week, protests are mounting and, oh, those 50 tanks you see over there? Don't be alarmed. They're just "rehearsing" for the July 5 Independence Day parade, which also happens to be the day Chavez may try to clean house during an annual round of military promotions. Ruh-roh. The good news: On June 10, workers at the country's largest newspaper released a statement denouncing last April's media manipulation by wealthy owners and promised to fight if it happened again. And everyone's favorite meddling Baptist has announced he's heading to the area. (More inside)
posted by mediareport on Jun 20, 2002 - 22 comments

Revelations regarding Venezualen Coup

Revelations regarding Venezualen Coup Greg Palast, who's been at the front of this story ever since predicting it, gives enlightening details behind the events of Apil. It barely had anything to do with the protests and riots - Chavez was tipped off by an OPEC minister days before the coup was launched. He hid loyal soldiers in the Presidential palace and once Carmona was installed he became as much a hostage as Chavez. Chavez also says he has photos, videos and the names of American officers who entered the coup plotters' headquarters.
posted by raaka on May 13, 2002 - 30 comments

Online journalism, Venezuela style:

Online journalism, Venezuela style: "Venezuela's Electronic News," an independent source of news and opinion since 1996, has lots of details about the amazing events of last week. And this online newspaper from the island of Trinidad/Tobago, only a few miles from the Venezuelan coast, helped spread initial reports that contradicted the standard line. Meanwhile, over at good ol' Narco News, journalist Al Giordano has posted a must-read analysis of the online "counter-coup" against the spin from mainstream news outlets. Were the Venezuelan TV stations that fanned the coup's flames simply "upset with Chavez...over having to pay taxes like any other business for the first time in their history," as Giordano claims? Was this really "online journalism's finest hour," driven by "a decentralized slingshot army - you know who you are - that now has the microphone and will never give it up to the commercially-driven usurpers of democracy again?"
posted by mediareport on Apr 16, 2002 - 1 comment

"We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy"

"We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy" Is the American Government involved in overthrowing a South American democratically elected government? It appears that the current administration is admitting(anonymously, of course) they might have accidentally encouraged the people behind the Venezuelan coup, giving them the impression the American government would support the coup(which it did). Is this support as stupid as some analysts think? via Joshua Micah Marshall
posted by dglynn on Apr 16, 2002 - 19 comments

Was the Venezuela coup another Chile 1973?

Was the Venezuela coup another Chile 1973? Two months ago, Narco News called attention to the striking similarities between the situation in Venezuela and CIA plots against leftist Chilean president Salvador Allende in the early 1970s. The CIA's own version of what happened in Chile discusses its "sustained propaganda efforts, including financial support for major news media, against Allende and other Marxists." Hmm. Chavez shut down five private TV stations after they repeatedly aired what he called misleading footage of the protest deaths last week, after months of relentless attacks against his government. Sure makes you wonder.

On another note, did eyewitness accounts widely disseminated over the Web help doom the White House spin that "government supporters, on orders from the Chavez government, fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors"? If the Web didn't exist, would the final word have come from articles like this now out-of-date, pro-business analysis in yesterday's Washington Post?
posted by mediareport on Apr 14, 2002 - 47 comments

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