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CARACAS — In his frequent television appearances President Hugo Chavez is known for springing surprises. He has insulted world leaders, caught his defense minister unawares by ordering unexpected military maneuvers — he has even danced to hip-hop, rolling punches like a prize boxer. After a decade, it would seem that Chavez's unconventional manner would no longer have shock value. But in a recent live broadcast he still managed to astonish some of his countrymen when he christened the first Venezuela-made cellular phone the "Vergatario."

Hugo Chavez: Re-writing history

CARACAS — Cipriano Castro was a dictator and a despot who grabbed power in Venezuela in a bloody coup in 1899. So say the history books. But now Castro — an important figure in Venezuelan history — is getting a new gloss: A revision of his career promoted by the government is underway here, and it paints him in a more favorable light.

The "E" word: Venezuela and the return of expropriation

CARACAS — It’s expropriation season in Venezuela. Emboldened by a comfortable win in a referendum last month that abolished term limits, President Hugo Chavez has issued a wave of decrees that has seen rice mills, farms and parking lots taken over by the state.

Venezuela's media is caught in a vicious circle

CARACAS — A community television station beams daily reports to the shanty towns that sprawl just above its offices in the converted stables of a former presidential residence. The station, Catia TVe, based in the western Caracas neighborhood of Catia, trains local residents, lends them equipment and broadcasts their reports. It is one of many such media projects that have flourished during President Hugo Chavez’s 10 years in power.

Dropping oil prices pinch Venezuela's economy

CARACAS, Venezuela — On a rooftop bar in Caracas, Venezuelans clad in Ralph Lauren shirts and Gucci shoes sip $16 cocktails and discuss their latest shopping trips to Miami.

Venezuela: a sunken village resurfaces

On Location: Venezuela — Chavez's new weapon


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Attention Venezuelan shoppers: Will this ID card keep you loyal to the revolution?

CARACAS — The government's handing out grocery loyalty cards that promise bargain prices and the chance to win amazing prizes. What's the catch?

Here's why Maduro's right about Venezuela's food shortages

CUCUTA, Colombia — In this town on the border with Venezuela, grocery traffickers are selling Venezuela’s cheap, subsidized produce for profit. But that’s only part of the story.
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