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Hugo Chavez Hobbles Venezuelan Publishing

chavezlineas.jpgBetween roving book squadrons and his international book club urges, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has exerted an enormous influence on the literary scene in his country.

According to Publishing Perspectives, a recent change in government approval for books has hobbled the publishing industry. The Chavez government closely regulates foreign currency used to purchase imported goods, and the demand for foreign books has greatly exceeded the amount of book purchases approved by the government.

The article explains it more fully: “Venezuela’s non-governmental publishers and booksellers find themselves on the outside looking in, as the Chavez administration gives away thousands of copies of books like Victor Hugo‘s Les Miserables or the Diary of Che Guevara, and selling hundreds of other nationally produced and ideologically approved titles for under $2. Meanwhile, a lonely copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sits on a bare shelf in a Caracas bookstore with a prohibitive price tag of $132.” (Link via, image via)

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