Eduardo Leal

Documentary Photographer
    
Revolution Chronicles
Location: Macau, China
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.

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By Eduardo Leal —

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Sangam

By Eduardo Leal — India’s Kumbh Mela is considered the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. Just on the last Kumbh, that finished on Prayagraj last March, it..
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In the Ring

By Eduardo Leal — About 15 years ago seeing women on a ring fighting Muay Thai in Thailand was almost unheard off, unless it was in a ceremonial fight in the local..
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Plastic Sea

By Eduardo Leal — Every year more than 448 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, of these between 5.3 million to 14 million tons enter the oceans, meaning..
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Cholita's Rise

By Eduardo Leal — As recently as 10 years ago, Bolivia’s indigenous Aymara and Quechua women were socially ostracized and systematically marginalized. Known as..
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St. Bartolomeu

By Eduardo Leal — Every year on 24 August, faith and tradition join thousands of people at the feast of St. Bartolomeu do Mar, for an unusual ritual that mixes the..
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Afterquake

By Eduardo Leal — On the 16 th April 2016 at 18:58 local time, the earth became alive for 75 seconds in Ecuador. An earthquake of the magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter..
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Ghost Town Democracy

By Eduardo Leal — Countries like the United States and the UK are trying to integrate elections seamlessly into daily life—you can vote by mail as if you were..
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Copa do Povo

By Eduardo Leal — Even if football was born in England, Brazil is considered the spiritual home of the game. During a month, from the 12th June 2014, the world will..
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Bolivian Ball

By Eduardo Leal — Travis Dupree comes from Eastman, a small town in central Georgia. He played basketball at Voorhees College in South Carolina but after graduation..
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Killer Bean

By Eduardo Leal — The soybean will in a few years become one of the most important food commodities on earth. No other fruit is produced with comparable..
STORY

The Island

By Eduardo Leal — Surrounded by sand and lagoons in Lençois do Maranhão National Park, an area that stretches 155 thousand hectares on the State of Maranhão in..
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Wrestling Cholitas

By Eduardo Leal — Every Sunday afternoon on the city of El Alto, once merely suburb of the city of La Paz situated at 4,150 meter high, hundreds of Bolivians and..
STORY

Forcados

By Eduardo Leal — Portuguese forcados lie somewhere between the bull riders of the Americas and the bloodier bullfighters of Spain. Unlike in Spain, where the bull..
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Plastic Trees

By Eduardo Leal — The world consumes 1 million every minute, it was considered by Guinness World Book of Records as “the most ubiquitous consumer item in the..
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Victims & Heroes

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

Bolivian Dreams

By Eduardo Leal — Linked to the celebration of the harvest and the arrival of the rains in the La Paz region, the Alasitas Festival is the feast of the dreams for..
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