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The Reality of Sanctions: Urban Mining on the Rise in Venezuela as Economy Hits Rock Bottom – Video

English subtitles are available.

Dozens of young men spend their days on the banks of the Guaire river in Caracas trying to find something valuable in the waste at the bottom, as footage filmed on Thursday shows. 

They are driven to the area from across the country facing a tough economic situation. “I’m here in Caracas because they told me that gold can be found here, money can be found. Sometimes we find something but sometimes we don’t get anything. Well, we’ll settle for what God wants,” said Daniel, one of the young men known as urban miners. 

Young people organise in groups with some of them being in charge, while others submerge themselves in the river, selecting materials that could be of some value. 

“I’m looking for a piece of gold. Let’s see if it comes out, anything that comes out of the earth. The mission is not to leave without anything. Leave with anything for the house,” said Daniel.


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My First Life

By Hugo Chavez

One of the most important Latin American leaders of the twenty-first century, Hugo Chávez was a military officer who became a left-wing revolutionary. This book tells the story of his life until the moment he was elected President in 1998. His energy and charisma shine throughout the riveting and historically important story of his early years, describing how he slowly uncovered the reality of his country – hugely unequal, with the majority of its citizens living in indescribably impoverished conditions – and decided that he had to do something about it. Among other things, it is a fascinating account of his long-planned military conspiracy – the most significant in the history of Venezuela and perhaps of Latin America – that led up to his unsuccessful coup of 1992, and eventually to his popular electoral victory in 1998. His collaborator on this book is Ignacio Ramonet, the famous left-wing French journalist (and Editor for many years of Le Monde Diplomatique), who undertook a similar task with Fidel Castro, My Life.


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