telenovelas. Corny, cheesy soap operas are as much a part of Latin American life as caudillos and coups (mix of languages that English uses there!). My own first direct experience was "Y la Luna también" (Ruddy Rodríguez, image) back in the 1980s. There is an interesting and sad juxtaposition of this way of life written by Venezuelan playwright and essayist Ibsen Martínez in the New York Times.
"In Venezuela, the violence is driven by gangs that were, originally, organized around petty drug businesses in the slums... Many of these gangs have been co-opted by the Chavista government and given an innocuous name: colectivos, a misleading word with progressive overtones of communal solidarity. In fact, colectivos are now feared paramilitary forces that harass street protesters and are responsible for many of the 39 casualties during recent demonstrations."
..."Every so often, filming is interrupted when a cast or crew member receives a text message alert that some staple is available at a nearby supermarket. The studio empties before the rationed stock of toilet paper, milk or corn flour runs out. Many Venezuelan telenovela actors also moonlight as theater players, but rampant kidnappings and armed robberies have cast a melancholy, self-imposed curfew over Caracas’s once glamorous night life, limiting what actors can do off the set."Hat-Tip: Caracas Chronicles.