Fear and Loathing in Mérida

While attention centers on the protests in San Cristóbal, few have stopped to notice that other Andean cities have seen similar, if perhaps not quite as extensive, protest movements. Here, longtime reader Reinaldo Chacón sends us his first-hand account of the situation in Mérida, Venezuela’s original Andean college town.  Just recently, I decided to go…

Why Venezuela matters to Brazil

(Note: A guest post by one of our resident Brazilian readers, André Oliveira. This is my loose, butchered translation from the original Portuguese – the first time I have ever translated anything from that gorgeous language. Enjoy) Back in December 2005, Presidents Hugo Chávez and Lula laid the cornerstone for the Abreu e Lima Refinery Complex…