So, from this week I’m writing a weekly column on the What’s Next Venezuela? Blog, an excellent aggregator of Venezuela news in English that’s gradually moving towards having more original content.
My first piece deals with the Student Movement and the Elections:
With less than two weeks to go before the crucial legislative elections, Venezuela’s student movement is coming of age. Far from turning away from politics, students have quietly remade themselves into the backbone of a sophisticated election-day ground game. And while the movement can’t hope to match the seemingly limitless resources of a hyper-empowered petro-state, it’s already clear that, for the first time in the Chávez era, this election cycle the opposition is not about to wave a white flag in the ground war before a shot is fired.
“Back in 2008, we even called our organization here ‘Estudiantes en la Calle’ – ‘Students out in the Street,’” says Dayana Mendez, a 21-year-old journalism student active with the movement in Carabobo State. “This time, we’ve decided our role has to be different: instead of protesting in the streets, we’re giving people reasons to vote, and the tools to defend their vote.”