Sunday 23 February 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 23rd of February Edition


This week has been really tough, but only if you've been paying attention. I've realized how easy is to go through life paying little to no attention to what happens around you unless someone burst into flames right next to you on the Tube. Not that I didn't know that, but sometimes these things become more painfully evident.

Venezuela had a week-long nightmare, as well as Ukraine. I notice that most of the people that visited the blog during the last week were from Ukraine (second after the US), and I felt bad about not having anything about them in the News section. Is true that they have a lot of attention of the media, that Europe is not indifferent to what is happening with them (unlike Latin America to what is happening in Venezuela), and more important, to be perfectly honest I don't know much about Ukraine, other than the things I could have read in the newspapers, and I know, how infuriating and frustrating it is to read inaccurate information about your reality, interpreted by people trying to accommodate it to their ideologies and their structures, making no effort at all to really understand.

The News section this week features Ukraine including a couple of links that I think were helpful for me to understand what is happening and a lot of photos. And of course, Venezuela and its ongoing protests that as violence and censorship escalates are getting more attention from international media. Finally.

The rest of the edition is short, but sweet, as they say. Please have a look at the Culture section that includes one really sexy film list by the BFI; The Guardian's review of the new Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition in the Pompidou, and little more on Spike Jonze's Her. In  Design, Business and Innovation there are articles about storytelling, Google Glass and the Toy Fair. And finally in our Science section is cyborg time.

Happy Sunday and happy reading.


Kiev's Independent Square Before and After. Via The Atlantic.
Anti-government demonstrators remain in Independence square, on February 22, 2014. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) via The Atlantic.

The images that came from Kiev's violent clashes this week were devastating. By the time I'm writing this the situation is as follows: the government had agreed a pact to call early presidential elections, the quick formation of a coalition government with the opposition, and ruling out a state of emergency, but people remained on the streets, as presidential election promise was not enough to satisfy the protesters after the bloody clashes leave dozens dead. Ukraine's parliament voted to remove Yanukovych from office and he denounces the actions as a "coup". His whereabouts are unclear. The barricades surrounding Independent square are still in place; the leaders of the paramilitary police who fought protesters have appeared on television to say they are “with the people”; the opposition leaders in the streets surrounding the presidential building, that used to be under custody of the police, say that Yanukovych is not coming back in there. Only the new president will step in. Have a look at the links below, and if you're from Ukraine and you want to share something with us, please do so.

The Economist: Ukraine's New Dawn. Shots called, now what? "As the outside world was digesting the deal between the Ukrainian regime and the protesters, and the unexpectedly helpful role of Russia in the European Union's mediation efforts, everything changed. President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev and protesters who only hours earlier had been dodging sniper bullets found themselves guarding the presidential palace."

The Guardian: 'The dictatorship has fallen.' But what will take its place?

The Atlantic: Ukraine's President Voted out, Flees Kiev.

BBC: Live: Ukraine power vacuum as presidency unguarded 

The Guardian: Live: Ukranian Crisis

NPR: 4 things to know about what's happening in Ukraine.

The Atlantic: Kiev Truce Shattered Dozens Killed and Bloody Battles in Kiev


BBC News: Ukraine warns Russia against 'agression' in Crimea. (Added Thrusday 27)

VICE: Video: Ukraine Burning. (Added Thrusday 27)

Photo from the 18F, this is the opposition demonstration in Caracas,
I love this image. Reuters via Buzzfeed.
Photo: Manifestations in London. The Procrastinator (some) Times.

Yesterday there were yet more manifestations in Venezuela, and also more repression. Táchira state is been fighting really tough and in isolation because the government shut down the Internet in the area, as well as electricity and water in some sectors, while threatening them in national TV with taking stronger measures. Also Venezuelans outside the country called for demonstrations around the world to show their support to the students, and claim for more international media attention so the world can find out about the clear violation to human rights that the Venezuelan government keeps inflicting on their people.

In last week's news post there is a massive compilation of links and videos from the 12th until the 22nd of February. I'm sharing with you the latest more important/recent ones here, and I'll keep updating this post daily.

The Guardian: Venezuela: chaos and thuggery take the place of the pretty revolution. "Hugo Chávez's dream world has become a nightmare of shot-down protesters, jailed oppositionists, economic meltdown and a brutal war waged against a defiant middle class".

Reuters: Venezuela deaths rise as unrest claims student and biker.

The Guardian: Venezuela's poor join protest as turmoil grips Chávez's revolution. "...As demonstrations sweep several major cities, even the people of Petare have taken to the streets to protest again surging inflation, alarming murder rates and shortages of essential commodities."

The Huffington Post: The 8 things you need to know about the Venezuelan protests.

El País (España): La oposición venezolana exhibe fuerza y unidad contra la represión.

The Independent: The left has a blind spot on Venezuela. When will it acknowledge that Chavez's socialist dream has turned into a nightmare:

USA TODAY: Voices: where are the diplomats to help Latin America? Unlike in Ukraine, there's little hope Venezuela's neighbors will intercede in an effort to quell violence.

Gawker: How Venezuela became a "warzone"? Even as the near-apocalyptic imagery of Ukraine's violent protests have captured the top of the news, Venezuelan cities have gone from dangerous to "warzone" overnight.

Boing Boing: Venezuela: 15 Years of Solitude. "The governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, amongst the most corrupt and inefficient in the world. . . Very few authors (Will Dobson, Michael Penfold, Javier Corrales) have studied Chavez as a new form of authoritarianism. Public opinion in general, for the 14 years of the Chavez regime, viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood."

The Economist. Protests in Venezuela: A tale of two prisoners. "If not the president, who is putting the thugs on the street? A prime suspect is Diosdado Cabello, the hardline president of the National Assembly. Perhaps the two men are playing good cop/bad cop."

MOTHERBOARD: Not satisfied with blocking Twitter and TV, Venezuela shut off the Internet

VICE (México): Un muerto carga a otro muerto: Protestas en Venezuela

CanalPlus (France): Video: Le Petit Journal du 21/02. Martin Weill à Caracas.

Der Spiegel: Proteste in Venezuela: Staatschef Maduro schickt Fallschirmjäger gegen Studenten.

And finally Channel 4: Is Venezuela burning while the world watches Ukraine? 

The answer to Channel 4, is yes. Venezuela is burning while the world watches Ukraine, Sochi, memes about Whatsapp and the girl scout that sold 177 boxes of cookies.

Keep reading and keep sharing. #Venezuela needs you. #SOSVenezuela


Caracas Chronicles: The other side of communication hegemony. "Just remember, guys, it’s the opposition who practice “media terrorism.” And Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania."  (Added Monday 24F) 

The Telegraph: Venezuela, the lefts favourite socialist paradise  is sliding into poverty and dictatorship. ¨How is Venezuela doing? Well, tens of thousands of protesters are in the streets, the army's been sent to crush revolt, an opposition leader has been arrested and supporters of the government just shot dead a former beauty queen. It's going to hell in a handcart, that's how it's doing." (Added Monday 24F)

Infographic: Crime: One of the reasons why people is protesting in Venezuela. (Added Monday 24F)

The Daily Beast: Venezuela's Useful Idiots. "Defenders of the Venezuelan regime would never allow the White House to arrest opposition leaders and shut down unfriendly media outlets. So why the double standard?" (Added Tuesday 25F)

The Huffington Post: Venezuela and the hypocrisy of the international left. "As students and the middle class protest for almost two weeks in the streets of Venezuela, the international left remain silent. Why is this wide swath of Venezuelan society protesting? Because of meddling from the United States in preparation of a fascist coup, says Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Certainly lines borrowed from the Cuban/Soviet handbook." (Added Tuesday 25F)

Diario El Carabobeño: Flickr photostream: protests and repression. (Added Tuesday 25F)

Quartz: This App is fueling the uprising in Venezuela. "The government-owned Internet service provider, CANTV, which hosts 90 percent of Venezuela’s Internet traffic, was blocking the app as well as access to Zello’s website." (Added Tuesday 25F)

Europe 1 (France): À l'ombre de l'Ukranie, le Venezuela.  (Added Tuesday 25F)

The New York Times: In Venezuela, Protests Ranks Grow Broader. (Added Tuesday 25F)

BBC: Venezuelans Stop Traffic in Anti-government Protests The BBC invite people who has witness the protests to email them at adding 'Venezuela' in the subject heading. to send pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large fil you can upload it in the website. (Added Tuesday 25F)

Quartz: The world's hottest conductor needs to stop hiding behind children and condem Venezuela's crackdown. (Added Thursday 27F)

Fast Company: Why Venezuela is exploding, explained in simple chartsEven as political arrests intensify and injuries and deaths mount, Venezuelans remain on the street, making their voices heard. The reasons for their persistence are clear from Gallup's 2013 World Poll data - they see their lives and the economy getting worse, and they feel less secure than ever in their own neighborhoods. (Added Thursday 27F)

The Huffington Post: Venezuela motorcycle gangs videos show terror and violence in support of Maduro. (Added Thursday 27F)

Europäische Parlament: Venezuela peaceful and respectfucl dialogue only way out of the crisis, MEPs say. (Added Friday 28F)

El País: La soledad de los estudiantes venezolanos. Mientras el país se encamina hacia una dictadura, en Latinoamérica hay un apoyo al chavismo por parte de la izquierda derivado, en el fondo, del prestigio menguado pero extrañamente vivo de la Revolución cubana. (Added Friday 28F)

Esquire: Before and after: Venezuela on Instagram.  30 photographs of how normal life changed in a matter of days when the people stood up to what they feel is an oppressive regime. (Added Friday 28F)

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