Published on 2 October 2014 Cory Fischer-Hoffman www.venezuelanalysis.com
In the face of arrests, trials, and detentions of opposition and student leaders, allegations of political repression in Venezuela are circulating international and private national press. The Venezuelan government and its supporters adamantly reject the claim that Venezuela has any political prisoners and they assert that everyone in detention is being tried for their involvement in criminal conduct. This article aims to explore the issue of political prisoners in Venezuela by providing a broader historical context combined with an analysis of power in Venezuela today.
“Freedom for Political Prisoners” is spray-painted throughout wealthy neighborhoods in Caracas. The right-wing opposition has claimed that their leader, jailed politician Leopoldo Lopez was imprisoned for his beliefs. A recent New York Times editorial also claims that there is a “crackdown on opposition” in Venezuela, an accusation echoed by much of the private press in Venezuela, representatives of the government of the United States and the Venezuelan right-wing political opposition.
Even many progressives outside of the country who support the struggle for self-determination and redistribution in Venezuela, have been growing wary of the ongoing reports of arrests of students and protesters following the months of guarimba protests: the violent street barricades implemented by some anti-government demonstrators which caused the deaths of many of the over 40 people who died during that period of unrest.
As the political climate in Venezuela becomes increasingly polarized, and the media continues to push an anti-government agenda, it is increasingly difficult to know where to turn for information, who to trust, and quite frankly, how to make sense of the arrests, detentions, and trials of opposition leaders.
By exploring the historical context of political prisoners in Venezuela and what that phrase has meant in the country’s recent history, it is easy to see why there is controversy over its use today and what distinguishes today's “political prisoners” with those of past generations.
Published on 3 October 2014 by http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10944
The murder of Robert Serra, a young legislator of the PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela), who was killed in his home along with his companion Maria Herrera late Wednesday night, is tied to a right-wing terrorist plot, government officials stated yesterday. Thousands filled the streets of Caracas yesterday and late last night to honor Serra’s memory. President Maduro vowed to take “swift action” against “terrorist acts.”
In response to opposition claims that Serra's death was a result of an isolated or common crime, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, Minister of Interior Relations, stated that, “We're not dealing with unfortunate events committed by a common criminal. We are dealing with an intentional murder, planned and executed with great precision...According to the evidence obtained everything points to a planned , organized and detailed [assassination] technique. ”
Published on 29 September 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
On Saturday, hundreds of rural workers and their families took over land in the state of Guarico, calling on the National Land Institute (INTI) to support their takeover. Supporters of the recent takeover emphasize the urgency to expedite land expropriations considering the shortages and economic war that Venezuela currently confronts.
A video announcing the takeover and calling for support was released on the independent media site Apporea on Saturday. In the video Roland Denis, public intellectual and former planning minister (2002-2003) and Fresia Ipinza, former gubernatorial candidate for the state of Miranda and frequent Apporea contributor, called on Venezuelans to offer support to this takeover, especially in light of the current food shortages, high levels of imports, and low levels of agricultural production within the country.
“Why do we need help in this moment?” Denis asked, “Because we know about the immense food crisis that we are living in this country.” The former minister referred to the food shortages, speculation and trafficking of basic goods, all of which have helped create a scenario in which citizens are increasingly aware of the need to increase food production as a means of achieving food sovereignty within the country.
On Friday, the Venezuelan government initiated a takeover of the abandoned Clorox factory with the country's Vice President Jorge Arreaza calling an assembly of the company's 475 workers to reactivate the plant's activities.
Clorox Venezuela called workers and left voicemails stating that they were liquidated due to the company's decision to leave the country on Monday. The U.S.-based company claims that economic challenges influenced its decision to close the factories doors.
Published on 16 September 2014 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Fifty-six tons of Venezuelan humanitarian aid were delivered last Monday in Egypt by the Red Crescent Society, which will be in charge of distributing the tents, non-perishable food items, water, and clothes to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip throughout the week.
After an Israeli airstrike lasting over 50 days, resulting in over 2,000 dead and many wounded, thousands of Gazans find themselves without shelter in densely populated areas, many of which have been reduced to rubble.
Venezuelan ambassador to Egypt Juan Antonio Hernandez said of the aid shipment, “The idea is to alleviate a bit the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza.” The diplomat also mentioned that this kind of foreign aid is based on the legacy of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who had a “vision of brotherhood with the arab peoples.”
Other initiatives taken by president Nicolas Maduro have been to swiftly establish the “Hugo Chavez” refugee center for Palestinian children orphaned by the conflict, and to pledge financial aid in the reconstruction of Gaza’s cities.
This is the second shipment of its kind that Venezuela has successfully sent to Gaza since the most recent airstrike this summer. The 12 ton package sent on August 12th included medicines, medical equipment, flashlights, sleeping pads and blankets, as well as family-sized tents, along with drinking water and non-perishable food.
Published on 10 September 2014 by TeleSUR
Ambassadors from the nine member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP) met in Caracas, Venezuela to evaluate the progress achieved since the bloc was created 10 years ago.
The meeting is part of an ongoing campaign, which began earlier this month in order to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the organization.
During the event General Secretary of ALBA-TCP Bernardo Alvarez highlighted the findings from a report, which monitors the progress and policies of the integration bloc carried out over the last decade.
"There is no doubt that since the creation of ALBA, Latin America has become increasingly more unified with respect to sovereignty, autonomy and independence," Alvarez stated.
Published 8 September 2014 by TeleSUR
Venezuela and Bolivia are celebrating their countries' progress in beating illiteracy Monday, during International Literacy Day. Illiteracy in Bolivia is at its lowest ever level ever, while Venezuela is marking seven illiteracy-free years.
Bolivia can now officially count itself as illiteracy-free, with a 96.2 percent total literate population. The United Nations Educational Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) deem countries free of illiteracy when the rate is less than four percent.