April 11, 2013 |
Deep into Marie Arana's wonderful new biography of Simón Bolívar, "the George Washington of South America," there's a deliciously unexpected pause in the action. It's 1816, and Bolívar has set sail from Haiti. He's on his way back to Venezuela, with an army set to take on the hated Spanish colonial authorities. At the island of St. Thomas, he ostensibly stops for "supplies. " In reality, his fleet of ships has anchored so that Bolívar can pick up his mistress, Pepita Machado.
April 5, 2013 |
The campaign to succeed the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is underway, and as with past campaigns in that country, passions are running high. Vice President Nicolas Maduro and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles exchange near-daily attacks, each accusing the other of everything from plotting murder to planning coups. But unlike in previous elections, the National Election Council has not invited international monitors to observe the April 14 vote. Instead, it has asked a handful of individuals and the Union of South American Nations to "accompany" the process - a far more limited role that does not provide them full and free access to polling places and does not allow them to make public statements questioning or criticizing the process.
April 1, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - Interim President Nicolas Maduro on Monday raised the curtain on Venezuela's abbreviated campaign to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez, lavishly praising the late leader during a televised address but promising to tackle escalating crime, perhaps Chavez's darkest legacy. The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and socialist union leader, is heavily favored to beat his challenger, Gov. Henrique Capriles of Miranda state, in the April 14 election to fill out Chavez's six-year term.
March 20, 2013 |
Hugo Chavez is already having a very busy afterlife. The charismatic and controversial president of Venezuela died March 5. Not long afterward, one joke goes, he showed up in heaven and persuaded St. Peter to choose a Latin American as the next pope. But St. Peter is worried now because there are elections in heaven soon, and Chavez is buying off the angels with heavenly currency and barrels of free Venezuelan oil. Back down on Earth, Chavez is busy, too. Over at the 9th annual Venezuela International Book Fair this week (FILVEN)
March 16, 2013 |
Last week, Venezuela's government announced that President Hugo Chavez's body would be re-embalmed and placed under glass for eternal viewing. But this week, the idea was abandoned after interim President Nicolas Maduro said Russian and German experts had advised him against the idea because too much time had passed to properly preserve the late president's corpse. Chavez died this month after battling cancer. So in other words, poor planning appears to have derailed the government's effort to preserve the president's body for future generations to view and draw inspiration from.
March 11, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - Opposition leader Henrique Capriles agreed Sunday to run against interim President Nicolas Maduro in an election to determine Hugo Chavez's successor, but accused the government of "shameful" and unconstitutional maneuvers to undercut his chances. Capriles, 40, ran unsuccessfully against Chavez as the opposition's unity candidate in October, losing by 10 percentage points. He was reelected governor of Miranda state in December - the same month Chavez traveled to Cuba for his fourth cancer surgery in less than two years and anointed Maduro his political heir.
March 9, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - A special election to decide the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's successor will be held in April, with Chavez's handpicked successor, interim President Nicolas Maduro, to face an opponent or opponents from the opposition. Maduro, 50, was sworn in as "president in charge" Friday night, three days after Chavez, 58, died at a Caracas military hospital of complications from cancer. A former bus driver and union leader, Maduro served under Chavez as foreign minister and vice president.
March 9, 2013 |
At midnight, Hugo Chavez and his entourage swept into the hotel lobby, transforming the drab venue in chilly, high-altitude La Paz into a sizzling vortex of tropical verve and chavista vigor. “ Musicos !” the Venezuelan president declared upon spotting an Argentine combo. “ Toca! Toca !” Play! Play! The musicians dutifully grabbed their instruments and "el comandante" belted out a pair of melancholic ballads in his booming baritone, delighting astonished hotel staff, journalists, guests and his own contingent of security guards and adoring aides.
March 8, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela -- The funeral ceremony for late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez got underway Friday at a military base in the capital before 32 heads of state and with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra directed by Los Angeles conductor Gustavo Dudamel playing the national anthem. Vice President Nicolas Maduro began the observance by placing a replica of liberator Simon Bolivar's sword atop Chavez's coffin. Members of the late president's family sat among leaders from around the world, including presidents Raul Castro of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Sebastian Pinera of Chile.
March 8, 2013 |
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's new interim president, Nicolas Maduro, gave a clear sign Friday night that he will use political capital left by the late President Hugo Chavez to win election in his own right. In his acceptance speech to the National Assembly after being sworn in as “president in charge,” Maduro, 50, named Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, who is married to Chavez's daughter, Rosa Virginia, as his vice president and running mate in an election likely to be held next month to decide Chavez's successor.