A Failed State in Latin America?

A Failed State in Latin America?

Venezuela is at the mercy of its fluids. For a country that depends on oil for 95 percent of its exports, the prolonged drop in the price of crude has been a serious financial blow. If nothing else, though, Venezuela should be able to use its oil resources to keep the...
Film: Venezuela Rising

Film: Venezuela Rising

“In the face of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s ill health and subsequent death on March 5, the U.S. press…jumped at the opportunity to disparage him and his legacy, often on spurious grounds.” –Keane Bhatt Join IPS for a...

From Hero to Villain: The Arab World’s Hugo Chavez Arc

When Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez passed away last week, the public in the Arab world felt as if they lost one of their own. Chavez who ruled Venezuela for 14 years did make a huge impact on the lives of ordinary Venezuelans and at the same time made very...
The Impact of Hugo Chavez & The Bolivarian Revolution

The Impact of Hugo Chavez & The Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías passed away on March 5th but his legacy will undoubtedly be felt for generations to come, especially within Venezuela and Latin America. Join the Black Male Initiative at University of Maryland for this...
Chavez: Washington Nemesis, Latin American Hero

Chavez: Washington Nemesis, Latin American Hero

You could almost hear the sigh of relief coming out of Washington at the news of Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5. President Obama issued a brief statement that failed even to offer condolences, forcing a senior State Department official to patch over the evident...
Chavez: Lest We Forget

Chavez: Lest We Forget

In early December 2001, I was searching through my files looking for a column topic. At the time I was writing on foreign policy for the San Francisco Examiner, one of the town’s two dailies. A back page clip I had filed and forgotten caught my attention: on...
I’ll Miss Hugo

I’ll Miss Hugo

I’ll miss Hugo. When I first was introduced to him in Porto Alegre in 2003, he greeted me, “Mi padre,” and said he learned a lot from me. I was dubious about this and thought he was simply buttering me up, like any two-bit politician. Then he started...
Why Chavez Won Again

Why Chavez Won Again

I had the privilege of traveling to Venezuela and witnessing the country’s October 7 presidential election and watching the South American country’s extraordinarily active and engaged citizenry in action. An impressive 81 percent of the electorate...
Washington’s Democratic Double-Standard

Washington’s Democratic Double-Standard

The Western Hemisphere, from Mexico on down, traditionally served as a happy hunting ground for American business. From the Rio Grande to Cape Horn, cheap labor, cheap oil, cheap copper, cheap gold, cheap bananas, cheap beef, cheap wheat, cheap palm oil, and cheap...
Humala: Chavez Clone or Washington Partner?

Humala: Chavez Clone or Washington Partner?

As per tradition in Latin American politics, election season means vicious personal attacks against individuals running for office. In Peru, the 2011 campaign season saw Ollanta Humala of the Peruvian Nationalist Party attacked for his friendship with Venezuelan...
Chavez’s Cult of Personality Creates Succession Problems

Chavez’s Cult of Personality Creates Succession Problems

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s approach to power has been so centered on himself — la revolución soy yo — that it is unclear who can pick up the reins should Chávez either depart from this world or not be fit enough to seek...
WikiLeaks: Venezuela’s Crude Awakening

WikiLeaks: Venezuela’s Crude Awakening

(Pictured: Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA.) We’re honored to have Michael Busch dissecting the latest WikiLeaks document dump for Focal Points. This is the thirty-eighth in the series. A number of insights into the Venezuelan oil sector were...