Global News Blog: Beauty Pageants in Venezuela

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Stuart Fisher

Many Americans love the idea of becoming the most perfect version of themselves and performing a talent on stage; Other Americans find beauty pageants disturbing and unnerving. Venezuelans have a completely different opinion.

Venezuelans love beauty pageants and are always concerned with appearance. Miss Venezuela is the most watched television program in the country, and there are schools dedicated to girls who want to participate in pageants.

Osmel Sousa, owner of Miss Venezuela School and president of the Miss Venezuela pageant, has made beauty a symbol of Venezuelan pride. The 60 regional winners go through a two month training at the school. The school is unlike any other in the world and shows the immense emphasis placed on beauty.

You may think it is absurd, but Venezuelans love the culture of beauty pageants. It has become a huge part of their lives.

Global News Blog: Twitter in Venezuela

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Stuart Fisher

Twitter is one of the most powerful social media sites in the world right now, and even with severe censorship, Venezuela has been taken over by the social media site.

Unlike what most Americans are used too, Venezuela severely restricts and censors any media in the country. President Hugo Chávez even wanted to censor social media sites and internet; however, surprisingly, Chávez joined Twitter in April 2010.

Chávez represents the most followed person in Venezuela with 250,000 followers. BBC News reports that around 18% of his messages are hostile, and he employs over 200 people to read and follow up on his twitter. Many criticize his time spent on the social media site instead of tending to the immediate needs of Venezuela

Luckily, college students do not have people policing time spent on Twitter, or we would all be in trouble.

Global News Blog: Harassment Against the Media

March 18, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Ashley Warmack

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is targeting Venezuela because Venezuela seems to have performed acts that are considered to be “attacks against civil liberties.” According to El Universal, “the editors association which gathers 1,300 printed media in the Americas decided to “condemn the killings, harassment and violence against journalists, media and their editors and owners, which are disturbing facts that characterize the Venezuelan situation.”

Venezuela continues to be one of the most dangerous places for journalists. According to El Universal, even the trucks that deliver the newspapers have been targeted with the intentions of shutting the press down.

Media and the press is something that the world highly depends for communication. Silencing the Press and media through violence is only going to create more danger for the journalists and people that are involved in the media.

Global News Blog: Approved Referendum Allows Hugo Chavez to Run Again

February 16, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Sarah Stradtman

According to the New York Times, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “handily won a referendum on Sunday that will end presidential term limits, allowing him to run for re-election indefinitely and injecting fresh vibrancy into his socialist-inspired revolution.” Chavez has reportedly been the president of Venezuela for over a decade, and doesn’t hold the best reputation with the United States government. Rumor has it that dealing with foreign policy won’t be any easier now that Obama is in office.

Even though this election is dividing the country of Venezuela more than ever, the people of Venezuela don’t really have room to complain considering that somewhere close to 30 percent of the population decided not to vote at all.

It seems that elections these days cause much controversy, but I guarantee that many of the radically divided individuals who continue to complain can be found among the large population of non-voters. If you want your government to change for the better, be a part of it. Get involved. How this affects the United States, stay tuned, but controversy in Venezuela should remain a headline for quite some time.

Global News Blog: No Place to Hide in Venezuela

February 13, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Kendra Kahanek

There is no place to hide, they will find you. Anyone can be found, especially in a technological world. Though most people believe the best way to find a person is through the Internet, it is actually through text messaging. If a person does not receive enough consumer advertisements or pop-ups on the internet, he or she moves to political advertisements via text messaging.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s opposition, known as the “no” campaign, uses any means possible, even text messaging, to influence voters’ opinions. According to the BBC Article, the “no” campaign persuades voters away from the referendum by running the campaign “through TV spots broadcast on private channels… sent via emails, [and] by text messages to mobile phones.”

Technology remains a powerful outlet for communication. Even President Barack Obama’s campaign, prior to his presidency, relied upon the internet using Facebook and Google to gain voter support.

Since the “no” campaign uniquely uses text messaging to shape voter outlooks this could become a new method for political advertisement around the world. Home phones remain out dated and customers can place call restrictions on home phones but cell phones remain a manner of communication without many restrictions. Text message political advertising becomes a new way to sway opinions and emphasizes the feeling that people can never escape constant advertising, creating no place to hide.

Does this type of political advertisement infringe on privacy restrictions? How does a person feel knowing he has no rights to privacy in a growing technological world?