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Latina Reads: 9 Venezuelan And Venezuelan-American Women Authors To Make Room For On Your Bookshelves

Venezuela, known for its stunning beaches, gorgeous beauty pageant contestants and disheartening economic crisis, has a rich literary history — with several women contributing to the South American country’s canon.

Here, Venezuelan and Venezuelan-American female authors who used their words to call out unequal treatment and blazed their own trail in a world that wasn’t very welcoming to outspoken and literate women.

1. Ana Enriqueta Terán

One of Venezuela’s most renown 20th century poets, Ana Enriqueta Terán is known for her unique wordplay. Her poems mainly center on love, sensuality, nostalgia and the natural beauty of her homeland. In her long career, she published 12 works, including the compilation “Casa de Hablas” in 1991. In 1989, she was awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura, a literary prize awarded annually in Venezuela. Terán passed away at the age of 99 in 2017.

2. Enriqueta Arvelo Larriva

Una mujer de temple, con una poesía magistral. #poesia #poeta #enriquetaarvelolarriva #Repost @daritello (@get_repost) El cristal nervioso Es clara e inquieta. Es clara e inquieta  y ahueco hoy las manos para brindarla. ¡Cuánta contienen mis manos  de esta dulce agua! La cojo cuando ágil y naciente salta —plena de fragancia, de frescor,  de iris— mojando el follaje de mis ansias. Vértice de mi alma, en ti nace el agua. Tomad cada uno prolongado sorbo, los que váis sedientos de un cristal nervioso. Impaciencia lucen mis manos delgadas, vaso que palpita sintiéndose colmo. Bebed, que se apagan las burbujas pronto y será agua muerta  el agua bullente que en las manos porto. El agua está viva. ¿Tenéis sed de alma? Bebed, que casi oigo música, si acerco las manos al rostro. El agua está viva, y es para nosotros, los que váis sedientos de un cristal nervioso Enriqueta Arvelo Larriva

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Enriqueta Arvelo Larriva, born in 1886,  is one of the founders of the women’s poetry movement in Venezuela and one of its most well known avant-garde poets. For most of her life, she resided in Barinitas,where she taught herself, working as a teacher on her family’s estate. One of her most famous poems is “Destino,” which is written in the style of Venezuelan llanos and the prairie burn-off of the dry season. In 1958, she was awarded the Municipal Poetry Prize for her “Mandato del Canto.

3. Luz Machado

Luz Machado was a triple threat and all-around Venezuelan icon as a political activist, journalist and poet. She founded the Circle of Venezuelan Writers (Círculo Escritores de Venezuela) and in 1934 developed the magazine, Valores Intellectuales. Machado, along with Larriva and Terán, are considered the trifecta of poetry representative of Venezuela’s female creatives. In 1946, she was awarded the National Poetry Prize for the book “Vaso de Resplandor.

4. Tui T. Sutherland

The 39-year-old Venezuelan-American children’s book author Tui T. Sutherland was born in Caracas and currently resides in Boston. In her extensive career, she has written about 40 books for children and teens, including the bestselling fantasy young adult series, “Wings of Fire,” an 11-book epic about dragons with the latest, “The Lost Continent,” coming out this month. Her mother, hailing from New Zealand, named her after the tui, a bird native to that country.

5. María Calcaño

María Calcaño, born in 1906, established herself as a revolutionary poet later in life after marrying at the age of 14 and having six children by the age of 27. Her body of work is avant-garde, writing erotic poetry, during a time when women’s sexuality and literature were both taboo. She strayed from the common themes of her time and instead focused on women’s identity and physical experiences, writing three collections of poetry, though only one was published in her lifetime.

6. Eva Golinger

Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American lawyer, writer and journalist who specializes in immigration and international law. Called “La Novia de Venezuela” by Hugo Chávez, she was an avid supporter of the former president and has written several books about him, including the best-sellers, “The Chávez Code” and “Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela.” She is currently the host of two television shows on the international television network, RT Spanish.

7. Margaret Donnelly

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

Margaret Donnelly was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States at age 15, when her family relocated to Dallas, Texas. She’s the author of four books, including “The Spirits of Venezuela,” published in 2005, about Venezuela’s Indian and African spiritual underground, and “The Path of Lord Jaguar,” which combines historical and spiritual elements surrounding the diversity among immigrants coming to the U.S.

8. Teresa de la Parra

Considered one of the most important Venezuelan novelists of her time, Teresa de la Parra’s 1924 book “Ifigenia: Diary of a Young Girl Who Wrote Because She Was Bored” marked a definitive shift in Venezuelan literature. The novel is a portrait of Caracan society in the early twentieth century with a heroine who is confined by a society that doesn’t allow her to freely express herself. The story was partially inspired by her time in a religious boarding school. She died in Madrid at the age of 46 in 1936 due to tuberculosis and her remains were exhumed and brought to Caracas in 1947. In 1989, the 100th anniversary of her birth, she was reburied with honors at the National Pantheon in Caracas.

9. Sonia Chocrón

The multi-talented and internationally recognized Sonia Chocrón is a poet, novelist, screenwriter and playwright born in a Spanish-Jewish family in Caracas in 1961. Her 2012 novel “Las Mujeres de Houdini” follows the story of  three generations of women who embark on a journey of redemption and forgiveness. The book was a finalist in the Critics Award for best novel in 2014. She has written five books of poetry, including her latest “Mary Poppins and Other Poems” published in 2015.

Read: Latina Reads: 13 Guatemalan And Guatemalan-American Women Authors To Make Room For On Your Bookshelves

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Black Water That Looks Like Crude Oil And Smells Like Sewer Is Pouring Out Of Taps In Venezuela


Black Water That Looks Like Crude Oil And Smells Like Sewer Is Pouring Out Of Taps In Venezuela

On Wednesday, in San Diego, Venezuela, a country with one of the largest oil supplies in the world and the poorest, hungriest populations, woke up to black water pouring out of their taps. After weeks of power outages and months of water supply problems, residents are reporting a thick, dark liquid that reporting looks like oil, or black water coming out of their sinks and showers. There are also reports that the water smells like sewage, and some believe that the water lines are damaged and have been contaminated.

Black water running from taps in a country in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis and political upheaval is another major blow to every day citizens where food, medical supplies, and practically all other basic needs are scarce. Thirteen thousand doctors have left Venezuela in the past four years, jobs are scarce, and the country has one of the world’s highest crime rates. More than three million Venezuelan’s have left the country since 2015.Many have fled to nearby Columbia and many to the United States.

President Nicolas Maduro blames the US backed opposition leader Juan Guadio for launching cyber attacks on the country’s power and water systems, while Guadio blames Maduro, who has been the country’s leader since 2013, of neglecting its infrastructure. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, cites Maduro’s socialism which he says has resulted in years and years of neglect to Venezuela’s energy system, saying, in a speech on March 11  that “socialism is a recipe for economic ruin.”

Meanwhile residents of San Diego are unable to bath or find clean water, and citizens all over Venezuela have had to resort to searching local drains and sewers for water to drink.

Many in the US are turning to Twitter for Venezuelan citizen news on the conditions in their country.

While the black water streaming from taps is a new development, people have been unable to get the needs met in hospitals for months. Sarita Cancion couldn’t help pointing out yesterday’s American concerns over the Instagram outage while people have been dying in hospitals during the most recent energy blackout.


Is U.S.-backed Guaidó sabotaging Venezuela and the Maduro government, or has Maduro neglected the country and its people?

Many suffering in Venezuela are optimistic about Guaidó and what he could bring as the leader of the country. Some are concerned that Guaidó is only being supported by the Trump administration because of US interests in the countries vast oil reserves. Guaidó has vowed to open the reserves after Chavez and Maduro have kept them nationalized.


Carlos Lasek, who recorded a video of black water coming from a tap in San Diego, Venezuela, blames Chavismo, or Chavez-style governance adopted by Maduro, for the situation there.


“You ask for water, they give you bullets.”

Widespread protests have been reported in Venezuelan cities and reports of Venezuelan police forces attempting to block protesters. The man in this video accuses armed Maduro supporters and the National Bolivarian Police of trying to stop protesters for exercising their constitutional rights, saying “While we have not power; we have no water; we don’t have the basic public services of any normal country in this world, and we are here raising our voices to ask them to stop, to demand them to stop, to give us minimal conditions. And here they are armed to the teeth with weapons and with a anti-riot gear and everything that they shouldn’t answer the people with. Let everyone in this world know, that you ask them for water, they give you bullets.”

Some on Twitter are not trying to get involved in the politics. Some are just trying to send help.


Due to the confusing rhetoric on both sides, it’s easy to get confused when trying to figure out if Maduro is failing his people because he’s greedy or because he’s a socialist. And it’s difficult to fully understand whether Guaidó can bring about positive economic change for the country by opening its oil reserves for profits, or if the US only supports him because they could make profits too. What is true is that is that the majority of people in Venezuela need help now.

Read:The Tragic Reality of Latinas Part Of The Migrant Caravan: “At least I know where my daughter is buried”

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Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series


Netflix Is Turning Gabriel García Márquez’s Classic ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ Into A Series

Fans of magical realism rejoice. On Wednesday, Netflix announced it acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will be turning the literary masterpiece into a Spanish-language series.

This is the first time the 1967 novel, considered “one of the most significant works of the 20th Century,” will be adapted for screen. For years, the author, who died in 2014, refused to sell the film rights, believing the story could not be done justice through a two-hour project, according to Deadline.

Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo García Barcha, García Márquez’s sons, who are serving as executive producers on the show, believe a series is an appropriate approach to the book.

“For decades, our father was reluctant to sell the film rights to Cien Años de Soledad. He believed that it could not be made under the time constraints of a feature film, or that producing it in a language other than Spanish would not do it justice,” Rodrigo Garcia told BuzzFeed News, adding that the “current golden age of series,” with “the level of talented writing and directing, the cinematic quality of content,” changed the family’s mind.

“The time could not be better to bring an adaptation to the extraordinary global viewership that Netflix provides,” he continued.

The series will be filmed in Colombia.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tells the story of the multi-generational Buendia family, whose patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia founded Macondo, a fictional town in the South American country.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages.

In a statement, Francisco Ramos, Netflix’s vice president of Spanish-language content, said, “We know our members around the world love watching Spanish-language films and series and we feel this will be a perfect match of project and our platform.”

He’s right. Since announcing the adaptation, fans of the magical realism novel have been celebrating the news.

There’s no word yet on when the series will debut and who will star in it.

Read: This Film About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is At The Center Of The Most Expensive Sundance Documentary Deal Of All Time

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