Country Profile: Venezuela
The BBC Country Profile offers an interactive feature
placing Venezuela's current conflict in context. Trace
an illustrated timeline of the country's history or listen
to the national anthem. This site also provides a succinct
analysis of Venezuela's highly politicized media outlets.
of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (in Spanish)
This official Web site of President Hugo Chavez features
the president's news bulletin, his daily itinerary and
the text of Venezuela's new constitution. You'll also
find information about the health pact Venezuela has made
with its sister country, Cuba, and news about the Bolivarian
Circles, neighborhood groups set up by the Chavez government.
American Network Information Center (LANIC): Venezuela
The LANIC Web site, created by the University of Texas
at Austin, provides a wide range of links to information
about Venezuela and other Latin American countries. Check
out everything from arts and culture to business and the
economy, from media and communications to political parties
and elections -- not to mention national sports teams.
A-venezuela.com contains more than 60 digital maps detailing
the topography, cultural demographics, population distribution,
petroleum reserves and much more.
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Chavez and a Charged Political Climate
News Profile: Hugo Chavez
BBC tracks Chavez from his start as a military paratrooper
to his rise to president of the republic. The profile
sheds light on Chavez's political views, his relationships
with Fidel Castro and U.S. officials, and the rise of
opposition to him.
-- or Agents of Revolution?"
Business Week looks at the role the controversial
Chavez-initiated Bolivarian Circles play in Venezuela's
political turmoil. Although the groups are promoted as
avenues of community involvement, the opposition considers
them dangerous to democracy.
of American States (OAS)
In December 2002, the OAS -- the premier political forum
for multilateral dialogue and action among countries in
the Western Hemisphere -- weighed in on Venezuela's internal
conflict. Members of the organization, which has headquarters
in Washington, D.C., voted to support President Hugo Chavez
in order to protect representative democracy.
Pro-Chavez Web Sites
Operating as an online Bolivarian Circle, this site presents
a pro-Chavez perspective. It seeks to build international
support for the Bolivarian Revolution. The site includes
a description of Venezuela's Chamber of Commerce, whose
previous president rose briefly to power during the April
11, 2002, coup against Chavez.
This Web site posts daily news updates from the Chavista
point of view. There is a searchable archive of news and
of commentary posted by its registered visitors.
This Web site promotes Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution.
Escu·lidos, "the squalid people," is Chavez's derogatory
term for the middle- and upper-class opposition.
Anti-Chavez Web Sites
Democr·tica (in Spanish)
Democratic Coordinator is the primary opposition group
in Venezuela. In recent months, the OAS has conducted
negotiations between Democratic Coordinator and Chavez's
administration in an effort to resolve political turmoil.
Perez Alfonso, co-founder of Venezuela OPEC, coined the
phrase "the Devil's Excrement" in 1973. He was referring
to the ruin that he envisioned oil would ultimately bring
to his country. This Web log, or "blog," by Miguel Octavio
on Salon.com, offers up a regular dose of criticism of
Chavez and his oil policies. The site includes photos
of opposition protests and links to opposition groups
and other blogs.
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de Venezuela (PDVSA)
Venezuela nationalized its oil industry in 1975, creating
PDVSA, the state-run oil and gas concern. The organization's
domestic crude production capacity is 3.9 million barrels
per day. PDVSA, the nation's largest business employer,
is among the world's largest oil companies. It's responsible
for one-third of Venezuela's gross domestic product.
Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration
The EIA Web site offers a recent, thorough analysis of
Venezuela's energy sector. There's information on PDVSA
(the state-owned oil and gas company), the state's relationship
with OPEC, and news about national oil exploration and
production, electricity, natural gas, coal, and industrial
of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Venezuela is a founding member of OPEC, the collection
of oil producers that gathered in 1960 for the first time,
in Baghdad, to try to safeguard their oil-dependent economies
against a fluctuating market. OPEC currently controls
40 percent of the world's oil production. Now based in
Vienna, Austria, OPEC has 11 member countries. Venezuela
remains the only OPEC member from the Western Hemisphere.
Founded in 1987 by oil scholar Mazhar Al-Shereidah, PetroAnalysis
is a Caracas-based e-magazine that covers global petroleum
Latin American Energy, Oil and Gas -- Venezuela
PetroleumWorld.com provides news headlines as well as
information and analysis about the oil industry and economics
in Latin America. International news is efficiently summed
up in the site's Weekly Review. You'll also find a business
directory for oil operations in Venezuela, an international
calendar of events, useful links to institutions and journals
worldwide, and a preview of an upcoming chronology of
oil in Venezuela.
International Monetary Fund's 2003 World Economic Report
Venezuela ran up an external debt of $34.4 billion in
2001, which is equal to about a quarter of its gross domestic
product. In 2002, Venezuela's gross domestic product declined
8.9 percent. The IMF expects the economy to sink another
17 percent in 2003 before rebounding by 13.4 percent in
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Channeled Funds to Groups That Opposed Chavez"
The New York Times reported in April 2002 that
the U.S. government had helped finance opposition to Hugo
Chavez, with donations increasing fourfold in the weeks
leading up to the short-lived coup d'état against him.
Washington funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars through
the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit organization
created by Congress, into, among other groups, the Confederation
of Venezuelan Workers, the Venezuelan union that helped
galvanize opposition to President Chavez. This article
was also featured in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Department of State's International Information Program:
Here users can find "News From the Washington File," an
account of the U.S. State Department's position on current
events in Venezuela. Included is Secretary of State Colin
Powell's call for a referendum on holding a midterm presidential
election (before Chavez's term ends).
Embassy in Washington, D.C.
In addition to a guide about consular services, the Venezuelan
Embassy's Web site has general information on the current
government, tourism, business, media, and arts and culture
Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela
This is the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela's Web site. It provides
up-to-date information on U.S. policy toward Venezuela
as well as useful travel information. It also offers links
to detailed reports on human rights issues, drug trafficking,
international development aid, education scholarships,
U.S media links and more.
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Media Resources and the Question of Bias
This site is part of the media empire of Gustavo Cisneros,
owner of the Cisneros Group, which is also a large shareholder
in America Online Latin America, Venevision, Caracol Television
(the local DirecTV affiliate) and the U.S.-based Spanish-language
network, Univision. Cisneros is Venezuela's wealthiest
man and a close friend of U.S. president George W. Bush.
Chavez supporters accuse Cisneros of fanning opposition
This site offers daily news from Caracas, Venezuela. El
Universal and El Nacional are Venezuela's two
major dailies. El Universal owner Andrés Mata was
one of several media owners who met with interim president
Pedro Carmona during the brief coup d'état in April 2002.
VHeadline.com is an independent online publication with
news and commentary about issues in Venezuela. The editorial
statement reads as follows: "Our declared editorial bias
is pro-democracy and pro-Venezuela ... which some may
wrongly interpret as anti-American."
The BBC News examines Venezuela's media outlets and makes
an argument for greater balance and impartiality in reporting.
Venezuela's National Assembly voted last February to establish
stricter media regulation in response to coverage of the
turmoil by the opposition-owned independent media.
Media Freedom Threatened"
In early 2003, President Chavez threatened to shut down
the two television stations, Globovisión and Radio Caracas
Television because of "subversive" content. Human Rights
Watch announced that restrictions are "inconsistent with
international norms for freedom of expression."
Narco News Bulletin
Founded by activist/commentator Al Giordano, the Narco
News Bulletin was started as an independent venue for
"authentic journalism" on the Latin American drug trade.
Giordano has harshly criticized reporting by The New
York Times and other mainstream outlets for their
coverage of Hugo Chavez in general and for their stories
about the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez in particular.
Globovisión is one of Venezuela's most popular television
stations. Its Web site presents news updates and commentary
around the clock. The Chavez government recently threatened
Globovisión, among other media outlets, with sanctions,
alleging the station broadcasts "subversive" content.
Venezuela Analítica is an online monthly magazine offering
astute commentary and analysis about the political, economic,
commercial, social and cultural affairs of Venezuela.
Although primarily in Spanish, the Web site does includes
articles in English.
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