Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
    
Revolution Chronicles
Location: Ponta Delgada, Azores
Nationality: Portuguese
Biography: Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese documentary photographer based in Macau, China, that focus his work mostly in South East Asia. Previously he worked for several years in South America. He graduated in Journalism at Escola Superior de Jornalismo (ESJ)... read on
Public Story
Revolution Chronicles
Credits: eduardo leal
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - Ongoing
Updated: 10/07/17
Location: Venezuela

At the end of June 2011, I arrived in Caracas, the capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the objective to cover the celebrations of the 200 years of the independence from Spain. But at the time, there was a bigger story developing. President Hugo Chávez was missing from the national life.

Hated by some and idolised by many, Chávez revolutionised not only his nation but also other countries in Latin America, with his political views and what he called the “21st Century Socialism”, supported by the petrodollars from Venezuela’s massive oil reserves. He gave voice and hope to the poor people neglected by the country’s elite by creating social, health and housing programmes, and with their support, the Bolivarian Revolution went from strength to strength since he won his first election in 1999.

At that time rumours start spreading around the country that the President wouldn’t come back. Venezuelans were questioning if he was alive, inaugurations were lacking his presence, political instability was growing, and supporters were worried at the sign of losing their Comandante. It would be the beginning of the end of the Chávez era. He ruled the country for another year and a half, with months of treatment in between, winning the third re-election on the way until he passed away on the 5th March 2013.

With the Comandante gone, new elections were called to choose the new President. Nicolás Maduro, a Chávez protégé, won highly contested elections with 1% difference to the opposition. The country was then more polarised than ever, and dissatisfaction in the country grew, when scarcity of essential products, crime and poverty rose to higher levels due to the drop of oil prices that the country is so dependent on.

At the beginning of February 2014, students start protesting on the streets of the principal cities of Venezuela about security and conditions on University campus.  As the protest movement gained steam, the protests have become more about civil rights and the Right to Protest itself – rejecting the government’s criminalisation of all dissent – as about the original purpose. At the same time, it became an anti-government rebellion; with streets being blocked and running battles with security forces taking place night after night. In result of the protests, 43 people were killed, and hundreds were injured and arrested, due to the violent repression by Government forces. Opposition leaders were also arrested on the charge of inciting the protests even if they never went on trial.

Venezuela will never be the same. There will always be a before and after Hugo Chávez and only time and history will say if his legacy and his Revolution were a positive change or a mistake that took this wealthy country into the abyss.

8,833

By Eduardo Leal —

VISUAL STORY

Lockdown

By Eduardo Leal / Porto, portugal — “Lockdown” is a small series that focuses on my rearview window to the old town of Porto during..
VISUAL STORY

Hong Kong Protests

By Eduardo Leal / Hong Kong — Hong Kong was engulfed with months-long of protests due to an unpopular extradition bill to mainland China...
VISUAL STORY

Sangam

By Eduardo Leal / Prayagraj, India — India’s Kumbh Mela is considered the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. Just on the last Kumbh,..
VISUAL STORY

In the Ring

By Eduardo Leal / Chiang Mai, Thailand — About 15 years ago seeing women on a ring fighting Muay Thai in Thailand was almost unheard off, unless it..
VISUAL STORY

Plastic Sea

By Eduardo Leal / Capurganá, Colombia — Every year more than 448 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, of these between 5.3 million to 14..
VISUAL STORY

Cholita's Rise

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — As recently as 10 years ago, Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua women were socially ostracized..
VISUAL STORY

St. Bartolomeu

By Eduardo Leal / São Bartolomeu do Mar, Portugal — Every year on 24 August, faith and tradition join thousands of people at the feast of St. Bartolomeu do..
VISUAL STORY

Afterquake

By Eduardo Leal / Ecuador — On the 16 th April 2016 at 18:58 local time, the earth became alive for 75 seconds in Ecuador. An..
VISUAL STORY

Ghost Town Democracy

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Countries like the United States and the UK are trying to integrate elections seamlessly into daily..
VISUAL STORY

Copa do Povo

By Eduardo Leal / São Paulo, Brazil — Even if football was born in England, Brazil is considered the spiritual home of the game. During a month,..
VISUAL STORY

Bolivian Ball

By Eduardo Leal / Potosi, Bolivia — Travis Dupree comes from Eastman, a small town in central Georgia. He played basketball at Voorhees College..
VISUAL STORY

Killer Bean

By Eduardo Leal / Argentina — The soybean will in a few years become one of the most important food commodities on earth. No other fruit..
VISUAL STORY

The Island

By Eduardo Leal / Lençois do Maranhão, Brazil — Surrounded by sand and lagoons in Lençois do Maranhão National Park, an area that stretches 155 thousand..
VISUAL STORY

Wrestling Cholitas

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Every Sunday afternoon on the city of El Alto, once merely suburb of the city of La Paz situated at 4,150..
VISUAL STORY

Forcados

By Eduardo Leal / Portugal — Portuguese forcados lie somewhere between the bull riders of the Americas and the bloodier bullfighters of..
VISUAL STORY

Plastic Trees

By Eduardo Leal / Uyuni, Bolivia — The world consumes 1 million every minute, it was considered by Guinness World Book of Records as..
VISUAL STORY

Victims & Heroes

By Eduardo Leal / Colombia — Colombia’s armed conflict, which started in the 1960’s, might be close to an end. After almost four years..
VISUAL STORY

Bolivian Dreams

By Eduardo Leal / La Paz, Bolivia — Linked to the celebration of the harvest and the arrival of the rains in the La Paz region, the Alasitas..
Join us
for more access