China Casts A Long Shadow Over Latin America

Unloading containers in the port of Pecém, Brazil. Credit: Mario Osava/IPSBy Jill RichardsonBOSTON, Jun 3 2014 (IPS) In the past 15 years, China has gone from being a relatively insignificant economic partner in Latin...

Venezuelans Thirsty in a Land of Abundant Water

The Cuao river, one of the fast-flowing tributaries of the Orinoco river. Credit: Humberto Márquez/IPSBy Humberto MárquezCARACAS, Jun 4 2014 (IPS) Although Venezuela has 520 long rivers, taps often run dry, many poor neighbourhoods...

Sanctioning Venezuela Unlikely to Defuse Tensions

By Jim LobeWASHINGTON, May 22 2014 (IPS) Pending legislation calling for U.S. President Barack Obama to impose sanctions against key Venezuelan officials is unlikely to defuse the ongoing crisis there and could prove counter-productive,...

Permaculture Poised to Conquer the Caribbean

Erle Rahaman-Noronha cutting produce on his farm. Credit: Mark Olalde/IPSBy Mark OlaldeFREEPORT, Trinidad and Tobago, May 22 2014 (IPS) Erle Rahaman-Noronha is not a revolutionary, not in any radical sense at least. He is...

Behind Glamour, Cannes Film Festival Puts Spotlight on Human Rights

A scene from 'Timbuktu' by Abderrahmane SissakoBy A. D. McKenzieCANNES, May 19 2014 (IPS) Forget about ‘Grace of Monaco’. Some of the most noteworthy films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival deal with human...

When China Sneezes, Latin America Gets the Flu

A smelter at the El Teniente mine, which produces 37 percent of Chile’s copper. Credit:Marianela Jarroud/IPSBy Michelle TulloWASHINGTON, May 16 2014 (IPS) China’s massive urbanisation has been built, literally, by metal, supplied mostly by...

The Opportunity of a Plastic Bag

Gunter Pauli, teacher, activist, entrepreneur and the author of "The Blue Economy: 100 innovations - 10 years - 100 million jobs", writes in this column about the benefits of replacing traditional plastic bags with...

Deforestation in the Andes Triggers Amazon “Tsunami”

The Beni river, a tributary of the Madeira river, when it overflowed its banks in 2011 upstream of Cachuela Esperanza, where the Bolivian government is planning the construction of a hydropower dam. Credit: Mario...

Is Puerto Rico Going the Way of Greece and Detroit?

Electric utility workers of the UTIER labour union protest for safer workplace conditions. UTIER spearheads the fight against privatisation and against the Puerto Rico government's unpopular emergency economic measures. Courtesy of Photo JamBy Carmelo...

IPCC Climate Report Calls for “Major Institutional Change”

Mitigation goes most directly to the heart of what can make the UNFCCC negotiations contentious: how to pay for the expensive changes required to move into a new, low-carbon paradigm. Credit: BigstockBy Carey L....

Government, Opposition in Televised Group Therapy in Venezuela

By Humberto MárquezCARACAS, Apr 12 2014 (IPS) Government and opposition leaders in Venezuela held a nationally televised debate as a first step to working towards solutions for the economic, social and political crisis marked...

World Bank, IMF Urged to Act on New Inequality Focus

Residents of Nairobi's Mathare slum, one of the largest in Kenya. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPSBy Farangis AbdurazokzodaWASHINGTON, Apr 10 2014 (IPS) Global income inequality threatens economic and social viability, according to a World Bank report...

Going Green Without Sinking into the Red

Dr. David Smith, coordinator of the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies (UWI), believes the Caribbean and other small states should look into payments for ecosystem services. Credit: Peter...

Cuba’s Youth Were the Target of USAID’s ZunZuneo

A young Cuban man wearing a New York cap and an Adidas T-shirt using a cell-phone in Havana. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPSBy Patricia GroggHAVANA, Apr 6 2014 (IPS) The generations born in Cuba in...

Wanted: Foreign Investment in Cuba

Construction of a railway running to the special development zone in the port of Mariel. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS By Patricia GroggHAVANA, Apr 1 2014 (IPS) A new law opening Cuba up to foreign...

UN to Investigate War-Time Atrocities in Sri Lanka

A U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. Credit: Jean-Marc Ferré/U.N.By Gustavo CapdevilaGENEVA, Mar 28 2014 (IPS) The bloody events that marked the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war between government and Tamil separatist...

In Venezuela, a Popular Uprising, or Class Warfare?

Faces of mothers whose children were killed in criminal violence peer out from walls in Caracas. Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Credit: Fidel Márquez /IPSBy Kanya D'AlmeidaUNITED NATIONS,...

Gun Violence Darkens Political Unrest in Venezuela

Pro-government “colectivos” on motorbikes follow behind National Police in central Caracas. Credit: Courtesy of an anonymous Twitter user By Humberto MárquezCARACAS, Mar 7 2014 (IPS) Seven of the 20 people killed in the street...

Vegetable Gardens Ease Poverty in El Salvador

Agronomist Francisco Ramírez, a member of the Cuscatlán vegetable producers’ cooperative, and his family, in one of the greenhouses where they grow tomatoes. Credit: Tomás Andréu/IPSBy Edgardo Ayala and Tomás AndréuEL CARMEN, El...

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Recent Wave of Looting Shows Extent of Hunger in Venezuela

The economic crisis and the food shortage in Venezuela is so serious that looting has become commonplace throughout the country. In January alone, nearly...

Gourmet Chocolate Becomes Economic Lifeline in Venezuela

Caracas (VOA) - In a modest apartment near a Caracas slum, nutrition professor Nancy Silva and four aids spread rich, dark Venezuelan cocoa on...

As Crisis Worsens, Venezuelans Turn to Perilous Escape Routes by Sea

On January 10, a group of Venezuelan rafters headed for Curaçao were met with tragedy. Many people on the raft died, and then the...

Venezuela Cuts Transport Connection With Neighboring Islands to Fight Smuggling

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the transport connection with the Dutch islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire will be cut amid the...

Venezuela’s Economic Woes Forces Women Into Prostitution to Feed Children

A three-story hotel in western Caracas has become home to a 50-year-old prostitute, Juana, who, along with her 30-year-old daughter, works in a brothel...

New Monthly Minimum Wage in Venezuela Barely Enough to Buy Daily Cup of Coffee

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced a new increase in the minimum wage this year, but it’s only worth enough to purchase one a cup...

Maduro Announces 40% Minimum Wage Increase for New Year

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday, just before the new year, a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage — as a protection for...