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Archive for January, 2009

nestorart671

If you’re in the Miami area this Saturday, check out an exhibit by Nestor Paz called “Textures of the Soul” at the Edgar Ace Gallery. Above is one of his canvasses entitled El Venus en la cama (Venus in bed).

Paz is a native of Venezuela, and has been an artist since early childhood.  He studied painting and sculpture at the Conservatoria Cultural de Zulia and graduated from the Universidad Cecilio Acosta in the city of Maracaibo.

The exhibit is noted today in a Miami Herald blog.

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citgoheatoiljan2909st1-104

Venezuelan-owned Citgo Petroleum held its official launch of the 2009 home heating oil assistance program today in Washington, DC. A press conference was held in the backyard of one recipient, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in the Northeast neighborhood of Petworth. In the picture above, Kathy Boylan expresses her appreciation for the much-needed help.

Citgo President Alejandro Granado (pictured above) said:

We are making an enormous effort. Despite the limited resources available at the moment, we are continuing the program as a demonstration of the solidarity of the Venezuelan people. Our critics have called this political, and it is true: our politics are aimed at building bridges between the people of Venezuela and the United States.

In 2009, the fourth year of the program, some 40 to 45 million gallons of home heating oil will be distributed in the U.S. through Citizens Energy at a cost of about $75 million. The resources will benefit around 200,000 homes across 23 states.

AP coverage is available in English and Spanish.

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The World Social Forum began yesterday in Belém, Brazil, a city located at the edge of the Amazon Rainforest. The Presidents of Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Paraguay (pictured above from left to right) are attending this massive ninth annual event, which brings leaders and citizens together under the slogan “Another World is Possible.”

The summit coincides with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. With economies across the globe in crisis, the alternative view provided by the Social Forum is particularly important this year. Here is what people are saying about the forum:

We are raising our voices as a wake-up call to the world, especially the rich countries that are hastening its destruction… [for] we are the ones who were born and raised in the middle of the forest, and who lead a lifestyle that contrasts with the ambition of capitalism, which does not bring benefits to all.

Edmundo Omoré of Brazil’s Xavante Indigenous community

We are launching an SOS to the world. The planet is in danger and is heading for destruction. That’s why we’re here asking for solidarity. …The big multinationals are going into our territories, sometimes with the help of paramilitaries, sometimes with the assent of the government, pushing out our own communities. And those who resist are persecuted.

— Miguel Palacin, Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organizations

Indigenous and environmental issues top the agenda this year. See coverage from the BBC, AFP, and IPS. A good video can be found at Euronews.

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The wildly popular Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte has a new song about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez called “Corrido de un Hombre Valiente” (The Song of a Brave Man).

The song is a corrido, a traditional a Mexican musical style often used to recount the stories of legendary figures and heroes. Chávez’s corrido tells of his struggle to defeat corruption and alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people. Los Tigres applaud the Bolivarian movement, singing:  “the elderly and the children have education and health.”

They call President Chávez “a great example and a great man,” and express hope that other countries in Latin America will follow his example.

Click here to listen. Article in Spanish.

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Hey soccer fans! On Sunday, Venezuela’s national team, the “vino tinto” emerged victorious against Peru after a hard-fought game. SoccerNews.com reports: “Venezuela too Strong for Peru.”

The FIFA Under-20 South America Cup is currently underway in Venezuela, and after Sunday’s win, the country is on course for a spot in the final game.

This is the fourth time Venezuela has hosted the regional sporting event, where rising stars of soccer showcase their talent.

The games will be held in three stadiums in the cities of Puerto Ordaz, Maturin and Puerto La Cruz which also hosted the 2007 Copa America (Americas Cup). The U-20 Cup will run for 35 games.

See more info in English and in Spanish

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Marco Granados has just released a new disc entitled The Music of Venezuela. The master flutist’s latest work is composed of 16 traditional pieces accompanied by the cuatro, bass, and percussion.

Granados, called a virtuoso by music critics, has had a long and active international career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher.  He has  also shared his gift by conducting musical workshops for children in Guatemala and South Africa.

Granados’ works range from classical to folk, but always maintains that Venezuelan flavor.

Here’s a great review from EJazz.

Check out Marco and and his band Un Mundo performing a traditional Venezuelan Gaita:

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S. Schaefer

Hey science fans! Did you know that Venezuela is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world? You can find animals there that live nowhere else.

Ichthyologists Francisco Provenzano from Universidad Central de Venezuela and Scott Schaefer of the American Museum of Natural History have found a previously unknown species of climbing catfish. Lithogenes wahari appears to be an evolutionary marvel.

One fish was discovered in a remote region of Venezuela’s Amazonas state nearly 20 years ago, but good and plentiful specimens weren’t found until recently. The catfish was eventually found in large numbers in the Cuao River, a tributary of the Orinoco.

The fish are bony and armored, have a “specialized pelvic fin” and a “grasping mouth” that allow them to climb onto rocks in a locomotion similar to that of an inchworm. Lithogenes wahari evolved to adapt to rapidly changing water levels in the Venezuelan Amazon.

Check out these links from Live Science to learn more.

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