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Follow Friday: @bloggingsbyboz, who has both eyes on Latin America

If you want to understand Latin America, James Bosworth’s Twitter feed is a very good place to start. The strategic analyst is Crikey’s latest Follow Friday story.

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Crikey Blogs | LINKS|

Election roundup: international edition

We’re not the only country in the world dealing with election fever. Here’s Charles Richardson’s update on elections in Mali, Czech Republic, Venezuela and Iran.

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Media briefs: Fairfax sorry for Bernardi … Rundle on Coulter outrage …

Fairfax bites the bullet and apologises to Cory Bernardi, and other media news of the day.

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Goodbye — or good riddance — to Hugo Chavez

Crikey readers have their say on the matters of the day.

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Chavez dies, and the West hates some more

Hugo Chavez was a friend to the poor, in Venezuela and abroad. But the Western media all but ignored that in their demonisation of the Venezuelan president.

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Actually, Chavez leaves Venezuela in a better state

Chavez says farewell to Venezuela? And just as Crikey’s man-at-large landed. Now to inspect what he leaves behind — a country that changed the world and is in much better shape than some would have you believe.

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New-look Chavez foreshadows change in Venezuela

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez yesterday showed off his new look — a shaved head due to the chemotherapy treatment he has been undergoing for an unspecified cancer. If he goes, no one really knows what would happen.

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New Matilda | LINKS|

What happened to Hugo Chavez?

Is Hugo Chavez alive or dead? It’s impossible to say given the media-friendly Venezuela president has dropped off the radar after having surgery in Cuba earlier this month. New Matilda investigates.

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New York Times | LINKS|

Venezuela: where prison means marijuana, bikini girls and reggaton

A fascinating look into the famous San Antonio prison in Venezuela, where the prisoners can’t leave, but they can sell drugs to locals, collect guns and inmates take the authorities hostage.

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Telegraph (UK) | LINKS|

Vale to a sharp-suited, bushy-sideburned political maverick

Twice president of Venezuela, the victim of political coups, misuser of millions of dollars in public funds and mortal enemy of current president Hugo Chavez, Carlos Andrés Pérez died aged 88 on Christmas Day.

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To pseudonym or not to pseudonym?

Crikey readers have their say on the Grog’s Gamut debacle.

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Rundle: Venezuelan election coverage shows world doesn’t give a stuff about global poor

In watching more than a decade of Venezuela reporting I have time and again marvelled at the capacity of a fixed mindset to reproduce itself endlessly.

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Miami Herald | LINKS|

Is Chávez plotting to control food and beer?

Outspoken Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez may be planning to wrest control of the country’s largest food supplier, publicly warning the company that he isn’t afraid of nationalisation. Critics say such plan could be disastrous.

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The Guardian | LINKS|

Hugo Chavez in a rare interview with the West

Socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez sat down for a 60 minutes chat with the BBC, blaming Venezuela’s economic woes on America’s “rampant, irresponsible capitalism”.

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Christian Science Monitor | THE REST|

What are 30,000 Cuban advisers doing in Venezuela?

Anyone dismissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as just a wacky loudmouth does so at their own peril: he has imported 30,000 advisers from Cuba, $2b worth of weapons from Russia, and is doing big business with China. Is a socialist revolution brewing?

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Global Post | THE REST|

Hugo Chavez: the new leader of the Latin American left

How an alliance between Cuba and Venezuela, formed 15 years ago in protest to an American free trade agreement, has grown into a $7 billion socialist trading partnership, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at its helm.

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World Politics Review | ENVIRONMENT|

The Amazon: one jungle, many interests

Amazonian countries are meeting today to establish a mutual negotiating position for Copenhagen. But from Columbia to Brazil to Venezuela, each country has its own interests to protect — and they aren’t always ones that put the environment first.

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Economist | THE REST|

Chavez rules the airwaves in Venezuela

Hugo Chavez wants to shut down Globovisión, the last remaining national channel in Venezuela that’s critical of the government. At the same time, the government has built itself a huge media empire.

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Weekly Standard | THE REST|

Hugo loves Mahmoud

Most world leaders have refused to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his contentious victory — but not Hugo Chávez, who loudly applauded his “very big and important victory”.

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National Review Online | THE REST|

What Chávez has wrought

The authoritarian socialist has brought Venezuela food shortages and massive inflation, writes Duncan Currie.

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