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Venezuela's Gubernatorial Election Results

This entry links to a Christian Science Monitor article about Venezuela’s gubernatorial election results, and the country’s overall outlook considering Hugo Chávez’s health. Out of 23 states, 20 were won by Chávez’s allies. Three are in the hands of opposition leaders. Additionally, out of the 20 “Chavista” states, 11 will now be ruled my military members. 

"Venezuela's Woes Will Outlive Chávez," by Francisco Toro

Excellent article by Francisco Toro - a great way of understanding what Venezuelans are and will be going through as the country transitions to the Post-Chávez era. 

Read more articles by Francisco Toro at CaracasChronicles.com.

"There will definitely not be an inauguration on January 10th. Decision taken by highest level of government."
-Nelson Bocaranda. 

"There will definitely not be an inauguration on January 10th. Decision taken by highest level of government."

-Nelson Bocaranda. 

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"President Chávez will NOT be sworn in on January 10," according to Nelson Bocaranda. His health will not allow him to have an inauguration.

Via Twitter.

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Chávez's Surgery Went Well - Reuters

Vice President Nicolás Maduro addressed the Venezuelan nation earlier this evening to provide an update on President Chávez’s cancer surgery and overall health.

Everything went well, and the president will remain in the ICU for 72 hours recuperating, according to Nelson Bocaranda. 

This entry links to a Reuters article featuring good coverage on the president’s health and the country’s uncertain future. 

The Holy Thugs of Venezuela

Some cultures worship one or many gods and saints, others spirits and nature… and then there are some who pray to “holy thugs” and criminals. 

The Vice Guide to Travel brings you: The Holy Thugs of Venezuela - a very interesting short documentary video. 

Video of President Chavez confirming return of cancer, naming Maduro as successor. 

Via Globovisión. 

Chavez Confirms Cancer is Back, Declares Maduro as Successor

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will undergo surgery again to treat his cancer. After his third victory in the presidential elections this past October, the Chavez returns to Cuba for more treatment, and names Nicolás Maduro as his successor, should anything happen. This year’s presidential elections were supposed to take place on December 16th, but where moved to October. The president’s health raises questions about his ability to finish his third term in power. 

This entry links to a Globovisión article for more information. 

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Government sued for not paying rent at Miami Consulate

A few months ago, the Venezuelan government closed its Miami consulate, after the American government declared consul general persona non grata. The consulate was closed shortly after (before the primaries) even though it is the biggest voting center for the Venezuelan diaspora. 

The government stopped paying rent for the consulate’s location since its closure, and the U.S. is answering with a lawsuit.

This entry links you to an article by ElUniversal.com further explaining the situation. 

Henrique Capriles vs. Hugo Chávez 2012 - Outstanding coverage by Al Jazeera.

Chávez to the O.R. Take 2

President Hugo Chávez announced today he will be undergoing surgery for a second time as part of his cancer treatment during a national broadcast. The appearance of a second tumor forces the president to receive a more intense and invasive treatment against the disease, and his willingness to provide such an update has caught the attention of the international press. Experts from all over the globe provide insight and speculations about the future of Venezuela, particularly of the president’s campaign. As elections approach while his health deteriorates, the future of the Chávez presidency hangs on a thread. 

For more information visit ElUniversal.com. 

Veja Magazine exposes truth behind Chávez' cancer

Photo courtesy of LaPatilla.com

According to Veja’s article, President Hugo Chávez has prostate and colon cancer, which metastasized to his bones. He recently requested a less aggressive treatment in order to attend to his campaign duties, although Venezuelan sources don’t know if he will make it to the October 2012 elections. The magazine adds that he has selected Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro as his successor.

These are portraits of women who lost their sons or daughters to violence in Caracas. Fifty mothers were displayed all over the city, as part of a project titled Esperanza, hope in Spanish. 

For more information, visit http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2011/11/19/exposicion-que-sensibiliza-sobre-la-violencia-en-caracas-fotos/

Photos courtesy of AFP

'God is in the details,' a special thanks to Maickel Melamed

Life consists of very simple elements, so simple that we often find ourselves considering them complex and incomprehensible. Living in Caracas made me adopt a somewhat pessimistic view of Venezuela’s political future. As many others, I have been hoping for change for over half my life now, and the lack of results infects my mind with negative prognostics for the future of my beloved hometown. Sure, during just these first few days of November, there have been at least 74 violent deaths reported by extra-official sources. Granted, our government is unstable, our streets unsafe and our press isn’t free. But life works in mysterious ways, and we tend to forget about the existence of the yings to the yangs. 

Focusing on events that portray a negative perspective of life in Caracas allows for a thick, dark vail to obstruct the reality we perceive. There is a famous phrase that says, “God is in the details,” in the small things. Thinking about this saying makes one look within, look at the little miracles we tend to take for granted. One of such miracles (although definitely not a “small” one) took place yesterday during the NYC Marathon. 

Maickel Melamed, a 36-year-old Venezuelan, proved to the world that, in his own words, “nothing is too big to not be attempted.” Melamed decided he wanted to run the New York marathon, despite physical difficulties he presents even to walk. As a baby, his umbilical cord strangled him, leaving him without oxygen for almost seven minutes. This resulted in several physical conditions, making it harder for Melamed to move. A fighter then, and a fighter today, Melamed finished the marathon after 15 straight hours of exercise. An amazing miracle that warmed the hearts of every Venezuelan watching. We all needed an event like this to realize there is always hope. 

Melamed during the marathon, wearing his bright yellow shirt with a Venezuelan flag on the back.  

Photo courtesy of Arianna Arrteaga Quintero. 

He is a living reminder of a very special phrase from a very special lyric, “caminante, no hay camino,  se hace camino al andar,” (wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking,” Antonio Machado. 

Thank you, Maickel, for giving us back that flame we need in our spirits to carry on. You have shared your strength and happiness with everyone watching your example, brightening our day. After all, the buddhist say happiness is like a flame; it doesn’t shrink when shared. 

Chavez says, 'freedom of expression,' media says, '...'

This entry links to an ElUniversal article (English) covering Chavez’s meeting with UNASUR’s secretary Maria Emma Mejia. During such meeting, the Venezuelan president guaranteed Venezuelans have the right to express themselves - within what is determined by law. However, he refrained from commenting on Globovisión’s fine, imposed by Conatel, the government’s media regulator, for the content they aired. (See previous blog posts covering Globovisión’s fine).