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Venezuela’s Book Import Controls Threaten Cultural Isolation

In Spanish World Book News by Julieta Lionetti

*+-“I know beforehand that I will not have the book the client is asking for in 90% of cases.” By Julieta Lionetti CARACAS: Just 1% of titles published in Spanish ever make it to Venezuela, says Roger Michelena, owner of Librerias Michelena and editorial director and founder of Ficcion Breve, an independent literary trade publisher in Caracas. Of the many …

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Hugo Chávez’s Color Coded “Revolutionary Reading Plan”

In Feature Articles by Emily Williams

*+-By Emily Williams No friend to publishing (see our earlier coverage here) Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has nevertheless started to implement his four-part color coded “Revolutionary Reading Plan.” Announced in May, the goal of the project as stated by the Venezuelan government, is “the democratization of books and reading, with a new conception of reading as a collective act under …

Bonus Material: One Bright Spot in Venezuelan Publishing

In Discussion by Emily Williams

*+-By Emily Williams The ideologically tinged reading initiatives announced by Chávez’s administration in Venezuela have caused alarm and economic hardship among many of the country’s publishers and booksellers, but there is one program — run with government support though not under its full control — that has won praise inside and outside Venezuela. Biblioteca Ayacucho is a 35-year-old publishing foundation …

Bonus Material: El Perro y la Rana, The Venezuelan Government’s Literary Voice

In Discussion by Emily Williams

*+-By Emily Williams El Perro y la Rana is the heavyweight champion among the national publishers and booksellers the Venezuelan government has set up with funding from the Cuban government. Established as an “editorial foundation,” it administers an ambitious and growing network of 57 bookstores as well as the National System of Regional Presses, spread across Venezuela’s 24 states. The publishing …