May
20
2009

Knocking Down Big Media's Hugo Chavez 'Caricature'

NACLA has Latin America writer Daniel Denvir's review (5/11/09) of a new Bart Jones biography of Hugo Chavez. In it, Denvir's reasons for having "never been a big reader of biographies"–"the product of our most unfortunate and idol-indulging tendencies"–give way to the fact that some leaders' "images become proxies for larger ideological, social and cultural debates–often to the point of caricature." Denvir's contention that "a good biography can take on this echo chamber residuum and tell a more reality-based story" becomes that much more urgent when, "in the case of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, this is a politically necessary task": […]

May
06
2009

Press Ignorance Competes with Distortions on Bolivia

The North American Congress on Latin America has published (NACLA Magazine, 5-6/09) Dan Beeton's account of how, following Evo Morales' huge win in the Bolivian presidential referendum of last August, his opponents instigated "riots, economic sabotage and the massacre of more than 20 indigenous"–during which Bolivia threw out the U.S. ambassador for attempted spying and allegedly providing "funding for violent opposition groups." Yet, Beeton tells us, "save for one Washington Post article, the [subsequent U.S.] Morales visit garnered no full-length reports in major U.S. papers." This could arguably be a good thing, considering the results of what little attention was […]