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BBC Fastrack: Reality Tours in Caracas

BBC Fastrack: Reality Tours in Caracas

It has the longest Caribbean coastline of any country and the world’s tallest waterfall, not to mention snow-capped Andean mountains and Amazon rainforest. Tourist paradise? Not Venezuela. Considering the country’s size and natural attractions, tourist numbers are low. In 2009, Venezuela received just over 600,000 international visitors, according to World Bank figures, compared to more […]

BBC: Venezuela Election Preview

BBC: Venezuela Election Preview

It is Venezuela’s most tightly contested presidential election in more than a decade. On 7 October, voters will decide whether to give President Hugo Chavez another six years in office or opt for his main challenger, Henrique Capriles, who represents a coalition of opposition parties. “I hope President Chavez wins the election because if not, […]

Monocle 24/BBC: Violence Key to Venezuela Poll

Monocle 24/BBC: Violence Key to Venezuela Poll

Rising violent crime in Venezuela is set to be a key issue as campaigning officially begins for October’s presidential election. In his family’s apartment in a middle-class neighbourhood of Caracas one recent lunchtime, Juan Carlos, a young professional, told me about his experience of being kidnapped. He was driving his girlfriend home one Sunday evening […]

BBC: The Business of Baseball in Venezuela

BBC: The Business of Baseball in Venezuela

Hundreds of young boys in the Venezuelan town of Ciudad Alianza share the same dream – to play in a Major League baseball team. For some, it might well become a reality. The Detroit Tigers runs a baseball academy in the small town in western Venezuela. Other teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and the […]

BBC: Rainforest University

BBC: Rainforest University

It’s an early start for students at Venezuela’s Indigenous University. Rising from their hammocks at dawn, they bathe in the River Tauca that runs through the 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) rainforest campus in southern Venezuela. Then there is time for breakfast and an hour of personal study before heading to class. It takes about half […]

BBC: Venezuela’s Prison Orchestras

BBC: Venezuela’s Prison Orchestras

Famous orchestra scheme rolled out in prisons gives hope to inmates. The strains of classical music drift on the breeze across the vast concrete yard at Coro prison in western Venezuela. Surrounded on four sides by high walls or fences, looked over by a watch tower and countless closed-circuit cameras, the inner patio at this […]

BBC: Cocoa and the State

BBC: Cocoa and the State

Venezuelan cocoa sector fears state intervention. Andres Herreras slashes through thick undergrowth in jungle just outside the town of Panaquire in eastern Venezuela, looking for ripe cocoa pods. He’s been harvesting these six hectares of land for over forty years using just his machete and his hands. Thousands of farmers like Andres tend small cocoa […]

CBC/BBC: Surviving Expropriations

CBC/BBC: Surviving Expropriations

Young crocodiles cry plaintively for their mother as they are hooked in a trap and pulled, splashing frantically, from the water. But their mother is nowhere to be seen. These one-year-old Orinoco Crocodiles are part of a captive breeding programme designed to put the brakes on their slide towards extinction. The Orinoco Crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius […]