Sunday 2 March 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 2nd of March Edition


In our first March edition, sadly Venezuela and Ukraine remain in our news section as their crisis seem far away of reaching an end. In Venezuela, there was an incomplete/empty "peace conference" while students still were brutally repressed, imprisoned, and government representatives keeps using violent language to refer to the opposition. Extra "festive" carnival days were ordered by President Maduro in the hope of making the street manifestations go away, but the protests along with the ridiculously long queues to buy food, the violence, and the inflation, stand still. In Ukraine, the situation is really delicate as Putin received approval from the Russian Parliament to use force in Crimea, and Ukraine forces are in combat alert.

The rest of our edition includes, among other interesting articles, images from the BioScapes photo competition and a Mini Museum in the Science Section; a helpful guide to understand "Business English" from Britain and the successor of the GIF in our Business Section; Juman Malouf's character sketches for the The Grand Budapest Hotel in our Culture section; one of our favorite Miranda July's video in Our Weekly Procrastination via our friend Carla; in Photoautomat, Andreína share the first post of a March series about the great war photographer Tim Hetherington;  and of course the always lovely In Dog We Trust by La Guía del Perro.

Happy Sunday, happy reading and keep on keeping on!


Russian army vehicles in the Crimean town of Balaklava on Saturday. Baz Ratner/Reuters via The New York Times.

The perspectives for Ukraine are really disheartening as Putin's desire to re-build the Soviet Union as a colonial power starts to feel less rhetoric and more real. Putin's biographer Masha Gessen argues in The Observer that now Russians realise he was serious and this will mean Russian aggression abroad and repression at home.

The Guardian has Live Updates of Ukraine's crisis. And these are the articles I found interesting during the week:

The New York Times: Kremlin prepares for military intervention.

The Atlantic: The Crimean Crisis We Should Have Seen Coming.

Foreign Policy: Meet the journalists exposing Yanukovych's deepest wettest secrets.

The New Yorker: Putin Goes to War in Crimea.

Quartz: Here's what's really happening in Ukraine, according to Russian bloggers.


The New York Times. Ukraine Crisis in Maps. Added 06 March.

Anti-government demonstrators take cover from a police water cannon in Caracas, Feb. 28, 2014. Photo AP via TIME.
Photo: Reuters via The Economist.

Time magazine publishes some recent photos of the protests in Venezuela and points out that the country "approaches a full month of nationwide instability and violence as protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro continue and anger at the country’s repressive turn and basket-case economy smolders. At least 17 people have died in clashes between security forces and pro- and anti-government demonstrators". Watch the photos here.

The Economist published the 27 of February a good article titled:  Dialogue, not repression, is the way for Nicolás Maduro to save his government and his country. "The echoes are striking: division, a government combining a democratic mandate with thuggery, and an opposition that is increasingly radicalised. The parallels between Venezuela and Ukraine are not exact: the fractures in Venezuela are based largely on class, and those in Ukraine partly on geography. But both are caught in a spiral of protest and violent response." The sad part is that he only cares about his government, about "winning", about their old consignes, about an ideal that just does not fit.

Javier Corrales in The Washington Post writes "The students are inspired and ready to press on. The government shows no signs of ceding ground. Yet in this stalemate, the students have already achieved two significant victories. First, they have delivered a message to the government that the formal opposition has failed to convey. Second, and more important, the protesters have revealed to the world the true nature of Venezuela’s regime." 

And finally Moisés Naim in the Atlantic, writes: "Venezuelans younger than 30 years of age (the majority of the population) have not known any government other than that of Chávez or Maduro. For them, "Chavismo" is the past. As for the promises of a better future: The results are in. The catastrophic consequences of Chávez's 21st Century Socialism are impossible to mask any longer and the government has run out of excuses. Blaming the CIA, the “fascist opposition,” or “dark international forces,” as Maduro and his allies customarily do, has become fodder for parodies flooding YouTube. The concrete effects of 15 years of Chavismo are all too visible in empty shelves and overflowing morgues. The youth who are continuing to protest in almost all of Venezuela’s large cities, risking brutal beatings, savage torture, and death, are convinced that they will not have a better future unless the policies to which this government is strongly committed are changed." Read full article here.

If you haven't heard anything about protest in Venezuela yet, you can have a look at my posts from the past two weeks (16th of February and 23rd of February), there are a lot of articles, links, photos and videos from all sort of sources.

These are another interesting articles and news from this week, and I'll keep updating this post during the week.


AP Big Story: 2 Dead as Venezuelans crash in protests barricades. Added March 07.

Business Insider: Here's What Outsiders Get Completely Wrong About The Crisis In Venezuela. Added March 06. Important reading!

AP: UN experts demand answers about Venezuela violenceAdded March 06.

Vice News: Why more people are murdered in Caracas than in BagdadAdded March 06.

You Tube: The Repression was televised. This video has music, I know, it can be argued that that makes it less "objective" but forget about it for a minute and watch. (Contain strong images / NSFW) Added March 06.

Vice News: Venezuela Rising. Dispatches 1-4. Added 04 March.

Europäische Parlament: Venezuela peaceful and respectfucl dialogue only way out of the crisis, MEPs say.

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.

The New Yorker: Where Protests End: From Ukraine to Venezuela. "It is an age of protest and volatility. In the face of entrenched authoritarian governments, ineffectual parliaments, and insufficient rule of law, chronic instability is becoming the norm. First it was Egypt and Libya and Syria, and, in the past few days, it has been Ukraine and Venezuela—and Turkey and Thailand, too. In most of these cases, protesters and police do battle as in some extended Kabuki drama, without apparent conclusion. " 

The Huffington Post: White House Eyes Venezuela 'Mediation' As Lawmakers Call For Sanctions. "Kerry acknowledged U.S. lawmakers want a tougher approach, but emphasized the need for "a dialogue," in line with the Obama administration's position that the conflict must be resolved between Maduro and the Venezuelan people."

In related news:

Mashable: Here's Jared Leto's Beyond Perfect Acceptance Speech with mentions to Ukraine, Venezuela, and all the dreamers out there.


El Universal: Fotos: Muchacho (Alcalde de Chacao) denunció represión "cobarde y violatoria de los Derechos Humanos a vecinos. Agregado 06 Marzo.

You Tube: La represión sí fue televisada. Este video está editado con música, no sé por qué la gente sigue haciendo eso, pero olvídense de eso por un momento y véanlo. (Contiene imágenes fuertes / NSFW) Added March 06.

CNN: Video: Guardia Nacional ingresa ilegalmente a un edificio y detiene a estudiante. Agregado 06 Marzo.

El Nacional: Ex-Presidentes Latinoamericanos se pronuncian sobre la situación en Venezuela. Oscar Arias, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ricardo Lagos y Alejandro Toledo suscribieron un comunicado donde critican la desproporcionada represión contra manifestaciones estudiantiles y la detención de Leopoldo López. (Agregado 05 Marzo).

El Espectador (Colombia): La buena televisión chavista. Y acá el video mencionado

YouTube: Las declaraciones del chamo de Petare a Fernando del Rincón CNN.

Yahoo Noticias / EFE: La ONU condena la violencia en Venezuela e insta a respetar la libertad de expresión.

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.

El Nacional: Casos de torturas hicieron llorar a muchos. Víctimas y familiares contaron a quienes manifestaron ayer (28F) las prácticas inhumanas de los uniformados.

El Nacional. El patrón de la muerte. La reconstrucción de los fallecimientos de Robert Redman, Génesis Carmona, Geraldine Moreno y José Alejandro Márquez revela acciones y omisiones que comprometen a la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana con homicidios de civiles o con perpetradores de esos delitos cometidos a partir del 12 de febrero.  

Y en noticias relacionadas:

La Nación: Rusia planea expandir su presencia militar en Nicaragua, Venezuela y Cuba. ¿Quién dijo que la Guerra Fría había terminado?


Les Echos: Au Venezuela, le bilan des manifestations s’alourdit.  + VIDEO Après trois semaines d’une répression sanglante, les manifestations faiblissent en cette période de carnaval. La « conférence pour la paix » de Nicolas Maduro n’a toutefois pas apaisé la contestation à l’encontre de sa politique.

Le Figaro: Le Venezuela c'est l'Ukranie de l'Amerique Latine.

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