chapter  1
26 Pages

Discovering Telenovelas

WithJune Carolyn Erlick

The world's eyes were on Nicaragua, the small Central American country that had toppled a dictator and set up a revolutionary government. US president Ronald Reagan had deemed the small nation a threat to national security. The globalization through traveling scriptwriters did not stop in the Cuban post-revolutionary era. Indeed, history seems to be repeating itself with a recent exodus of telenovela writers and producers from Venezuela, under the tottering socialist government and a collapsing television industry there. Colombian Nobel Prize recipient Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said he thought telenovelas were a much more effective way of reaching people than books. Like the students in Acosta-Alzuru's class, telenovela viewers not only engage passively with what they are viewing, but also yearn to communicate with others—sometimes subjects that are not easily broached, but sometimes the mere sharing of a common experience.