China’s recent mini economic collapse this past summer caused mayhem not only within its borders but thousands of miles away in many Latin American countries. Ever since the early 2000s China has been one of the leading foreign investors across Latin America in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela.
On April 12, 2016, the Supreme Court of Venezuela declared the Law of Amnesty unconstitutional. The amnesty law, presented by the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD), aimed to benefit 78 political prisoners and, after approval, President Maduro reiterated that it "would not pass," because – according to him – Amnesty was intended to "protect criminals."
The porous 2,219 km land border between Colombia and Venezuela was closed in August of 2015, by order of the Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, as part of a campaign against smuggling and alleged paramilitaries operating in the area. Since then, hundreds of Colombian citizens living on the Venezuelan side of the border have been expelled and several thousand returned on their own with fear of deportation.
Pelo Malo is a poignant coming-of-age story which chronicles the journey of Junior, a young boy growing up in Caracas, Venezuela. The film, written and directed by Mariana Rondón, has garnered much critical acclaim since its release in 2013. In the 2013 Festival of San Sebastián, Pelo Maloreceived the top honor of the “Concha de Oro,” which is awarded for the best film.1
Original article: Zaremberg, Gisela. 2016. "Gender versus “the People“? Mobilization, Co-option and Participation in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Brazil," Latin American Research Review 51(1): 84-108. DOI: 10.1353/lar.2016.0009
This article revisits a question pointedly asked in 1985 by Maxine Molyneux, (theorist, analyst and key feminist activist), based on the case of Nicaragua, namely, “What is the capacity of socialist governments to satisfy their commitment to the emancipation of women?”
Global oil prices are plummeting and they are falling fast. As a result, Venezuela, which has the world’s largest known crude oil supplies, is left with an economy that is barrelling out of control. On January 22, Venezuela's oil price fell to $21.50 a barrel, compared to over $100 a barrel in 2014 (Yahoo News, 2015). As prices continue to fall, Venezuela’s surplus of oil stocks grow. Rising oil surplus, however, does not translate into food, medical supplies, and political and domestic stability in Venezuela, as President Maduro is quickly finding out.
For anybody who lived in Venezuela in the periods before and after Hugo Chávez’s death on 5 March 2013, these were strange and intense times. After a protracted battle with cancer and a final address to the nation televised on 16 December 2013, the man whose image and voice had been a constant feature in the nation’s imaginary and daily life —among opponents and supporters alike— was gone.
2015 has been a difficult year for Venezuela, with falling oil prices and a tumbling economy, inflation has risen to 100% and there are constant shortages of basic goods.2 People have been taking to the streets to protest the government and its handling of the crisis, which in many instances it refuses to acknowledge. President Nicolás Maduro, who is a member of the same socialist party as his predecessor Hugo Chávez, has not been managing the various crises well.
Venezuela has long been labeled the rebel in Latin America, holding on to a socialist identity since Hugo Chávez first brought his social revolution to fruition in the country. Part of this social revolution was providing poor Venezuelans with social services, namely health care. Though a popular idea, Venezuela has never truly been able to maintain the necessary resources and services to create an effective health care system. As a result, tens of thousands of citizens lack access to health care, medicine, and life-saving treatments.
The recent impeachment scandal occurring in Brazil stemming from President Dilma’s alleged involvement in the Lava-Jato scandal has resurrected stories from past impeachment scandals around Latin America.