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Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela
Lake Maracaibo
By gustavoaleman
15 Aug 2015

Lake Maracaibo and Ologá Village shot by drone

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Newsprint Politics in Venezuela (Span...
By gustavoaleman
12 Apr 2014

El gobierno venezolano mantiene un estricto control de divisas desde el año 2002. Existe un organismo del estado que, luego de realizar un largo proceso, autoriza la importación de productos que no se fabrican en Venezuela. Entre esos productos está el "papel prensa" indispensable para la impresión de revistas y periódicos. Acá acompañamos a la revista EME, en su último día de circulación  ya que la comisión de divisas no ha entregado el dinero correspondiente para la importación de papel prensa y poco a poco los periódicos y turistas publicados en el país se han venido quedando sin inventario, lo que ha causado el cierre inminente de varios medios impresos. Este es el último día de circulación de la revista EME, un suplemento encartado en el diario El Nacional .

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Newsprint Politics in Venezuela (Engl...
Caracas
By gustavoaleman
12 Apr 2014

Venezuela introduced strict foreign currency controls in 2002. Government approval is required for the importation of goods not produced in Venezuela, such as newsprint, which must be paid for in foreign currencies. Newspaper and magazine publishers say the government is withholding the foreign currency needed to buy the paper for printing, forcing many publications to shut down. This is the story of the last day of circulation of the magazine EME, a weekly supplement to the newspaper El Nacional.

TRANSLATION:

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“What I feel now is uncertainty. After doing this job, a women’s magazine that goes nationwide every week for over seven years, it is very hard to see myself anywhere else.
This was the job I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
That day is over. They simply tell you no more, because we can´t print it.
Because the newsprint paper is imported, we have no way to find supplies.
And for political reasons you find yourself with nothing, absolutely nothing.”

(BLACK)

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“He is one of our collaborators for the magazine from the moment I started here in 2007. “Great” (she is referring that he found a job somewhere else, they talk about this off camera) No don’t worry.
They have to start gathering in front of the newspaper,
on the stairs without blocking the street.
On the sidewalk until everybody arrives.
We’ll be down there in a little while.”

PROTESTERS “WE WANT TO WORK , WE WANT TO WORK WE WANT TO WORK , WE WANT TO WORK”

“WITHOUT PAPER THERE ARE NO JOBS WITHOUT PAPER THERE ARE NO JOBS”

“WE WANT PAPER WE WANT PAPER

WE WANT PAPER
WE WANT PAPER”

“WHERE THE HELL IS THE PAPER” “THERE IS NO PAPER TO READ, NO PAPER TO WIPE IT OFF “(Referring to the toilet paper shortage) ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“Well this has been an initiative organized by fashion designers, fashion journalists photographers, models, make up artists. They came here to support us.”

DANIELA KOSAN (TV Host)
“I´m here to support freedom of speech. They are shutting down a magazine called “EME” precisely because there is no
paper to print in Venezuela.
With the lack of paper, there is lack of a free press, a lack of culture.
EME magazine has always been my friend
and that is why I´m here. Because I´m friends with the magazine too, and because I grieve for what is happening.”

GABRIELA VALLADARES (Fashion Deisgner)
“There is no paper to print this magazine There are many printed media that soon will stop publishing because there is no more paper.”

MIGUEL HENRIQUE OTERO (Managing Editor, El Nacional)
“Since the newspaper needs no special permits and we don´t use the radio electric spectrum so they (the government) found a way to act against the newspaper through the approval of foreign currency. Venezuela does not produce newsprint paper, we import it.
In order to import it we need to fulfill a series of steps to get the government approval. Nineteen steps in total.
After you have completed those nineteen steps and you get the approval, they have to give you the dollars (NOTE: Is not free, you just exchange the local currency for dollars in order to pay your international supplier)
They have not given us the dollars since May 2013, so we cannot import newsprint paper.
We have been reducing the numbers of pages, the supplements, reducing the circulation so we can “stir up” the production of the newspaper due to this inability to import.”

PEOPLE CHANTING the name of the magazine
“EME EME EME”

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“I do believe that this is a magazine that made history, that if it does not continue it will remain in the memory of the editorial business. And for me that is a win.”

MIGUEL HENRIQUE OTERO (Managing Editor, El Nacional)
“In the beginning they (the government) said that the delay was because there was a lack of foreign currency, a crisis. But two weeks ago “Ultimas Noticias” a newspaper of the government got 4 thousand five hundred tons of paper they bought at 6.3 Bolivar Fuerte per 1 US Dollar. This will allow them to have stock until next year.
So it is not lack of foreign currency, it is discrimination, and that is proof of discrimination.”

(ON THE COVER OF THE MAGAZINE YOU CAN READ) “Don´t cry girls, we will be back”

ADRIANA TERAN (talking to Daniela Kosan)
“I believe everybody. I mean we are not but a tiny grain in the middle of all the bad things that are happening”

DANIELA KOSAN
“Sure” (Unidentified girl hugging Adriana) “All love”

MIGUEL HENRIQUE OTERO (Managing Editor, El Nacional)
“Well there have been around six print media that shut down in the country. We shut down a free distribution newspaper.
But there are a great number of newspapers that have been reducing the number of pages.
“El Impulso” A newspaper from the city of Barquisimeto, that is the oldest newspaper in Venezuela, has paper only until next week, so it will have to stop printing next week.
I think that if this situation continues, unless we can find paper, by July a lot of newspaper will have to shut down.”

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“It is not only a business thing, not the number of jobs that are at risk. But the response you are giving to the people expecting information in a country where the TV stations are censoring themselves. In the situation we are in right now, to be without news it is astonishing.”

MIGUEL HENRIQUE OTERO (Managing Editor, El Nacional)
“The bill for newsprint paper for all the newspapers in our country is around a hundred million US Dollars And in the last year the government gave around eighty million US Dollars. That was the net gross. Lets suppose that this year we’ll have sixty million US Dollars. A hundred million US Dollars is nothing.

PROTESTERS SHOUTING
“WITHOUT PAPER THERE ARE NO JOBS”

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“There is no disposition from the government to allow us those dollar because “El Nacional” has a clear editorial view that does not please the government.”

MIGUEL HENRIQUE OTERO (Managing Editor, El Nacional)
“We have paper left until mid May. Nevertheless we have been able to find some paper. Andiarios, an association of newspapers, is sending us a shipment of paper from Colombia. So we can cope with the problem not in a definitive way but at least we can still print the newspaper, reducing the pages the way we are now.” This is a company that fights. If we have to deliver the newspaper with just one page we will. If we have to go clandestine then we will.”

ADRIANA TERAN (Chief Editor, EME)
“I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. My first plan is to leave the country. I’m working on it. I would like to go to the USA but it still is not very clear.
I hope that we can get to some kind of arrangement as a favor to our readers and try to do something online. It is not for sure but at least there is an idea to do so.”

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We Are Free
By gustavoaleman
09 Apr 2014

We Are Free

A documentary about how music has changed the lives of three inmates of a women's prison in Venezuela. They are members of the prison's orchestra, formed in 2007 as an extension of "El Sistema" a highly regarded national program originally started to teach music to Venezuela's neediest children.

Since this documentary was completed in 2011 the situation for some of the inmate characters portrayed here has changed.

Xolisa was released and has returned to South Africa.

Ana Mercedes was released and still lives in Venezuela.

Thelma remains in prison.