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1987

A river swept El Limón town

Anguish, pain and death marked the lives of the people of El Limón, in the state of Aragua, as heavy rains led to the overflowing of El Limón river. Passion also broke lose in the border after Venezuela flew its F16 planes over Colombia's Caldas ship following the latter's incursion into Venezuelan territorial waters. Diplomacy eased the military tension between the neighboring nations

Over 300 people fell victim to the El Limón river after it overflowed on September 6, 1987 File Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation / Luis Bisbal

Nature had no mercy on the people of El Limón, in the central state of Aragua. Heavy rainfall over the first few days of September caused the river to overflow and take everything in its path with it, including roads, houses, cars and, worst of all, lives.

The effects were felt in Maracay and Ocumare de la Costa. Official reports indicated 100 people dead, 90 missing, 300 injured and thousands homeless.

In the country, in addition to efforts implement by Civil Defense, the media organized several relief efforts. 

On the verge of war
On August 9, ARC Caldas of the Colombian Navy was detected in Venezuelan territorial waters by missile patrol Libertad, under the command of officer Alfredo Castañeda Giral. Upon learning of the events, President Jaime Lusinchi authorized deployment of the armed forces, including F-16 airplanes, which flew over the ship awaiting the order to attack.

Colombian President Virgilio Barco also deployed several army units and sent submarine ARC Tayrona to the area.

On August 17, the crisis reached its breaking point as the Venezuelan government was about to order an attack on ARC Independiente, which was sent to replace ARC Caldas. 

Lusinchi sought advise from the domestic political sector, both opposition and government, as well as from OAS Secretary General João Baena Soares and Argentinean President Raúl Alfonsín. Under this pressure and by means of dialogue between both leaders, Colombia ordered the retreat of the ship from the Venezuelan Gulf.

Not all actions by the president would have a victorious outcome. The refinancing of foreign debt by the international banking sector dealt a harsh blow to the country because of the government's limitations in obtaining grace periods, which led to hefty payments to creditors.

This was also the year of an environmental scandal. It was discovered that a load of 11,000 barrels (2,000 tons) of toxic waste were dumped by Czechoslovakian ship Rahdost. Italian entrepreneurs sent it to Venezuela from the Di Carrara municipality, and the waste was deposited in warehouse Almacenadora Gáldica, located near residential neighborhood Cumboto II and was imported by the company Ileadil, without any control or knowledge by the Venezuelan government.

Venezuelans celebrated the Prince of Asturias Award given to scientist Jacinto Convit, creator of the leprosy vaccine, and the inauguration of El Llanito hospital with services and equipment comparable to those of the United States.

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Aniversary Edition / 100 years in the news

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Libro 100 años We are giving our readers a sample of the work “100 Years, 100 Pages,” to be available soon. On your left hand side, you will find a page of El Universal featuring what we consider the news of the year. The opposite page is a collage of reports and advertising that show significant events occurring that year.

Multimedia

Leo

100th Anniversary. Regarded as one of the best graphic humorists in Venezuela in the 20th Century(...)
Click here to view his cartoons

Leo

100th Anniversary Regarded as one of the best graphic humorists in Venezuela in the 20th Century(...)
Click here to view his cartoons

FLAX

100th Anniversary During the postwar years, El Universal gave room to the vignettes of multiple foreign cartoonists, mainly those of renowned Argentinean caricaturist (...)

YEPES

100th Anniversary Iginio Yepes found an ideal niche in the pages of El Universal, to overtly criticize the political and economic (...)

PARDO

100th Anniversary Since the mid seventies and for more than two decades, Joaquín Pardo delighted El Universal readers with his funny drawings (...)

RAYMA

100th Anniversary Called to and convinced of becoming a caricaturist, Rayma Suprani has accompanied El Universal during the last decade. Her keenness, ingenuity (...)

Beach resort Los Caracas

100th Anniversary A resort at the foot of the hill

Caracas at quieter times

100th Anniversary Shopping in the street market

City Memories

100th Anniversary A standard picture of the 19th Century in the 20th Century. This is neither Pacheco nor anyone else, but a peasant on his way to the market

El Silencio Housing Development

100th Anniversary The birth of the new Caracas, the modern city, is tied to the building of the Bloques de El Silencio, a vision of Venezuelan architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva

    


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The stories we will tell
  1. It is said that 100 years is nothing... and it is true
  2. From the newspaper to multiple platforms
  3. The state in the stage of transition
  4. The Earth needs some love
  5. Genetically customized medicine
  6. The century of births a la carte
  1. Oil, always oil
  2. Hypertechnological and identity war
  3. The major challenge is to defeat poverty
  4. Multipolar World and on trial
  5. Sports come to cyberspace
  6. The values of the future society
  7. Is our future already here?