A pretty serious amount of my political formation has to do with the 4 months I spent in Venezuela back in Fall 2002 while doing a study abroad during my undergraduate days at Pitzer College. I learned about the power of the media in fomenting lies and violence and the resolve of the masses. That said, it was clear that the personage of President Chavez was quite complicated and due for criticism. What was undeniable was his support among the poor masses.
Venezuela had just come out of a 2002 military coup, an incredible moment when Chavez was actually brought back to power by the strength of popular protests. The events are chronicled in documentary form by two Irish filmmakers with unimaginable access.
While I was there Venezuela was going through what has been described as the "economic" coup. The oligarchs of the country attempted to organize a general strike that was clearly only supported by the wealthy and large industries. Small shopkeepers kept their doors open. Our group was one of the last to leave Venezuela as we were ordered to evacuate. What was striking was the way the media openly demanded for the resignation and assassination of Chavez and simultaneously beaming 24 hour appeals to hit the streets against Chavez. The media also constantly repeated allegations that Chavez was in Cuba having sex with Fidel Castro. Recent events in Venezuela and most importantly their coverage seem eerily similar.
I will try to draw your attention to what I believe are reputable sources of information and also draw attention to sources that are painfully biased. I probably missed some, please add any to the comment field.
A good run down by Latino Rebels.
Another nice rundown, many of which are in Spanish.
One of the crazier pieces I have read so far comes from Venezuela Analysis. Apparently a retired general's tweets have led to beheadings and his own arrest. "Angel Vivas...promoted the use of wire at blockades in order to “neutralise” people on motorbikes. One government supporter on a motorbike died by such a method last night."
Policy Mic notes the use of fake photos put out by mostly the opposition to foment sympathy with anti-government protestors.
For Spanish speakers one of the most respected news outlets in Mexico, La Jornada, offers their take.
The Washington Office on Latin America, based in DC, has always been a trusted middle of the road source in offering a dispassionate analysis. They have a whole blog page devoted to Venezuela.
Jacobin, The Nation and Democracy Now offer their own progressive analysis of the situation not found in any other publication, while Mother Jones takes a surprisingly conservative tone.
Boing Boing offers a classically conservative view from the elite in Venezuela.