Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome Back

I feel at home in Latin America, much more so than the Middle East. I think I’ve spent most of my adult life kicking around the countries down here, and when I arrived I felt a great sense of familiarity, almost a relief in a way.

Caracas is a city in turmoil right now. Both the city and the country of Venezuela as a whole are facing an election on a constitution amendment that would give current President Chavez almost unlimited powers. The streets are littered with “Si” or “No” propaganda as the people head towards the referendum. There have been marches both for and against, with more than just a little violence.

It will be interesting to see how this polemic comes out, but for the time being we’re covering various stories associated with the elections, and are getting plenty of opportunities to travel around the city to visit neighborhoods, both pro and anti- Chavez. The scenes are frantic with highly politically charged emotions that can only be experienced in Latin America. I had forgotten how passionate Latins are with their politics. Welcome back.

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