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Archive for July, 2008

Did you know that four out of five branches of government in Venezuela are led by women?  That’s right, President Chavez happens to be the only man at the helm of the Venezuelan state.  The judicial, legislative, electoral, and citizens’ branches are all run by women.  

More interesting though is that this seems to be reflective of an overall trend showing a higher level of participation by women in activities that directly impact society.  So, from top governmental posts down to community organizations women are making their mark.  

Aloha Nunez (pictured here greeting boy in South Dakota), who we reported was visiting the US earlier this week, is a good case in point. As Viceminister of People’s Power for Indigenous Communal Territory in Urban Zones, she exemplifies the level of female empowerment and leadership taking place in that country today.

To find out more about the advances being made by women in Venezuela check out our fact sheet.

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You probably know Venezuela for its oil, baseball, and salsa rhythms. But coffee? You might be surprised to know that some say the Venezuelan beans rival Colombia’s.

Now there’s a new delicacy in town, care of Citgo gas stations and former Wawa convenience store executive John Sacharok. Café Venezuela made its debut in the US yesterday at a small Citgo gas station in Philadelphia. On hand at the launch were the CEO of Citgo, the Ambassador of Venezuela, and the program’s president.

The premium coffee will be offered at select Citgo gas stations throughout the US and will allow Americans to get to know the tastier side of Venezuela. Café Venezuela was founded to assist small coffee growers in rural Venezuela by packaging their products and delivering them to consumers abroad. Most of the growers represent family farms and communities that have suffered from economic marginalization.

Café Venezuela aims to help Venezuelan farmers to prosper, but its goals also include maintaining traditional ways of life in the countryside, fostering environmental sustainability, and achieving food security. Behind these goals is a simple commercial relationship that also has cultural significance; the slogan of Café Venezuela appropriately reads: “from the grower to your cup.”

Citgo’s Cafe Venezuela and cappuccino start at a reasonable $1.09. So, if you’re in Philadelphia, Boston, or Chicago, make sure to ask your local Citgo station and convenience store for Café Venezuela. Not only will you get a good cup of Joe, but you will directly support sustainable development in Venezuela.

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Aloha Nuñez, the Viceminister of People’s Power for Indigenous Communal Territory in Urban Zones arrived in the US yesterday. At the invitation of various Native American tribes she will tour American Indian reservations in South Dakota, including the Cheyenne River, Lower Brule, Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations.

She is also scheduled to speak with the National Congress of American Indians, who represent 250 indigenous groups, in Washington DC. To learn more about the culture and advances of the Indigenous in Venezuela check out our fact sheet.

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There is an exciting private-public partnership taking place in Venezuela on the same soil where the 19th-century independence hero Simón Bolívar announced an end to slavery years ago.

It all started when 500 poor families decided to squat on a stretch of the privately owned Santa Teresa Sugar Plantation and Rum Distillery. The 18,300-acre hacienda’s owner didn’t respond as most land owners would have – provoking a bloodly confrontation – instead, he welcomed them onto his land and negotiated a way for the majority to work while also receiving housing. Education, job training, and even gang prevention programs – also supported by the government – are some of the initiatives that have impacted the local community there since the first program was started in 2000.

To read more from the Washington Post, click here.

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Tomorrow, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) opens two new galleries devoted to pre-Columbian art and artifacts from Latin America. A large part of the material comes from the collection of Venezuela’s wealthy Cisneros family.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Cuban-born sculptor Jorge Pardo was hired by LACMA to design “a contiguous display of Latin American art through the ages, despite aesthetic disparities. The road leads from engaging pre-Columbian ceramics to finely detailed Spanish Colonial artworks and furnishings, stringent Modern abstractions and edgy contemporary creations.”

To read more, click here. Also, check out the Cisneros Foundation online.

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Meet Latin pop music’s new Juanes, the saucy young Johnny Sigal of Venezuela.

This baby-faced singer is very familiar with the stage, for he became famous while starring in a stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar — that’s right, he played Jesus.

In the past few months, Johnny has thrown off his robes, released a self-titled album, and spent time touring the U.S. If all goes well, he may be vying for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys next year.

Check out the video for his catchy single, “Quedo en nada.”

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Today is the birthday of Venezuela’s most honored indpendence Hero, Simon Bolivar.

As a gift, we bring you an historical comic book version of the life of this revolutionary man, who led wars of independence in Venezuela and several other countries. His political ideals, particularly, the notion of a unified South America, are still held dear today.

To read the comic, click on each page using the linked index below. Believe us, it is worth it! Read through to the end and find out where Bolivar died and where he is currently buried.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

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