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Take 5 Venezuela: Prisoner Wives, Cheap Gas, Maduro On Maradona
Aurore Barlier and Pierre Labainville

We shine the spotlight this week on Venezuela:

PRISONER POLITICS

Plenty of glowing foreign press coverage of the arrival in Caracas of former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, who came to support opposition leaders who've been jailed by the government of President Nicolás Maduro. But El Correo del Orinoco, a state-owned daily, wrote that the vast majority of Venezuelan people "rejected the presence of the former Spanish prime minister in the country," and criticized his interference in internal affairs. Gonzalez's visit is part of a growing movement to challenge the government's policy of jailing political opponents, with Italian daily La Stampa reporting on a group of wives of imprisoned government opponents who call themselves the "Women In White." The group has also denounced the lamentable economic situation of the country and demanded transparent presidential elections.

SAVE THE CONDOMS

The Center for Biological Diversity has sent 12,000 unusually packaged condoms to Venezuela. The women's monthly Cosmopolitan writes that the condoms feature endangered species pictures on their packaging, as a way to raise awareness of nature conservation while responding to a well-publicized shortage of condoms the country has been experiencing. Last February, the media reported that Venezuela was running out of condoms which had led to skyrocketing prices and raised serious health concerns.

CHEAP AND EMPTY

Venezuela is a new favorite destination of young people who do not want to go broke on their holidays. But although you can buy a beer for a few pennies and find a decent hotel for $5 a night, Reuters says that last year's approximately one million tourists is four times fewer than in Colombia for example. In people's mind, Venezuela remains a place of crime and frequent shortages.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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