Venezuela

Simon Nobile, 72, runs the Capri pasta factory in the capital Caracas, which was founded by his Italian-born father in 1940. Capri's two plants crank out 11 million pounds of pasta per month.

They could produce nearly twice that much. However, Nobile says a government policy designed to help the poor forces him to sell half of his inventory for just five cents a pound.

"There is no incentive because price controls mean that you lose money. So the more you produce, the more money you lose," he says.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Huge protests have engulfed Venezuela for several weeks now. The protests started with students and expanded to the middle class. Venezuelans angered by an economy in freefall, high inflation, and soaring rates of crime. At least 15 people have been killed and about 150 injured during the demonstrations.

There's a sad symmetry to the news from Venezuela, where anti-government protests in recent weeks have been fueled in part by outrage over the shooting death of a beauty queen — a death that underscored that nation's struggle to control violent crime.

One of the five people killed this week during protests against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro, it's now being reported, was another young beauty queen.

As is so often the case, discoveries are made by the back way. I was browsing today the upcoming 2014 programming of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, conducted by my old acquaintance Enrique Arturo Diemecke. I saw many familiar composers, but a sprinkling of unknown, mostly Latin American composers as well. Esteban Benzecry, an Argentine musician, was among them. It was a new name to me, and new music--they're playing his Violin Concerto in Buenos Aires.

La Vida Boheme, 'La Vida Mejor'

Oct 13, 2013

Titled Será, the most recent album by the Venezuelan band La Vida Boheme was a Latin Grammy-nominated epic; a post-apocalyptic opera prima that feels like it's about love and life in Latin America, perhaps more specifically in the group's tumultuous home country. Either way, La Vida Boheme continues to play brilliantly with mixing industrial rock, punk, disco, jazz and Latin rhythms.

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