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Breaking: Interior Minister Rodriguez Torres got sacked

Nicolas Maduro has just announced the exit of the Interior, Justice and Peace Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres and asked him to take a break. Defense Minister Cármen Meléndez will assume Rodriguez Torres’ post while the head of the Armed Forces’ Strategic Opreational Command (CEO) Vladimir Padrino López will take the Defense Ministry job. Question: If…

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Fifty Shades of Default

Until a few weeks ago, I thought default was like pregnancy: you either are or you aren’t. Instead, 2014 is turning into an education on the grey area between default and defaaaaault. Take China. Under previous, hard-haggled-over financing agreements, Venezuela was supposed to send 330,000 b/d per day for the next three years to China as…

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$12,000,000,000 in the Hole (and Digging)

Bank of America today estimates that, if oil prices stabilize at the level they’ve already fallen to, Venezuela will have to find an extra $12 billion in foreign financing to balance its external accounts in the next year. That’s on top of the already massive import cuts that have already sent the economy into recession this year…

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How is the disarmament plan doing so far?

It has been almost a month since the voluntary disarmament plan I wrote about last week was first announced by Nicolas Maduro, and finally we have an official number from Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres. 800 guns collected. That’s it. To say unimpressive would be an understatement. But the government isn’t worried and will do a special…

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Hausmann vs. F-Rod through Aporrea’s Eyes

Chavismo has always had two big weapons: a gigantic wad of cash and an incredible compelling narrative. The importance of the latter is easy to overlook. So powerful is it that after 2 years of recession and the highest inflation in the world, chavismo still holds a relatively strong 30% popularity. The narrative is quite simple.…

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Monday morning polls

Two new polls continue to show that support for the Maduro government has never been softer. The first one is from Datanálisis. Obviously, one of the slides that jumps out is the one showing that support for Maduro has never been this low. Nevertheless, we should be careful. While the opposition is currently more popular than chavismo,…