Credibility Gap …or: the broken record defense December 5th Inter-Press Service In a nationally broadcast message Thursday, Chvez stated emphatically that “I will not allow our leading industry to be brought to a halt.” December 8th Reuters “They are not going to break PDVSA, they are not going to stop it,” the president said on…

Credibility Gap …or: the broken record defense December 5th Inter-Press Service In a nationally broadcast message Thursday, Chvez stated emphatically that “I will not allow our leading industry to be brought to a halt.” December 8th Reuters “They are not going to break PDVSA, they are not going to stop it,” the president said on…

A plausible defense of the lunatic’s legacy… As I talk about Venezuela with people abroad, some variation on it always comes up sooner or later. “Come on, Chávez can’t be all bad…he must have some redeeming qualities, right?” It’s usually an awkward moment, cuz I really can’t think of any, so I end up coming…

A plausible defense of the lunatic’s legacy… As I talk about Venezuela with people abroad, some variation on it always comes up sooner or later. “Come on, Chávez can’t be all bad…he must have some redeeming qualities, right?” It’s usually an awkward moment, cuz I really can’t think of any, so I end up coming…

Extra! Extra! Nothing happens! Today, the streets of Caracas are witnessing a totally unprecedented development: calm. For the first time in the lat 17 days, there are no marches in the streets today. For the first time since the strike started, tens of thousands of people will not march to demand the government’s ouster. The…

Extra! Extra! Nothing happens! Today, the streets of Caracas are witnessing a totally unprecedented development: calm. For the first time in the lat 17 days, there are no marches in the streets today. For the first time since the strike started, tens of thousands of people will not march to demand the government’s ouster. The…

First casualty: everyday life… Last night, my sister Cristina asked whether I’d go visit her today, relieve some of the tedium of these claustrophobic strike days, and chat about the project the NGO she belongs to is working on. I was a bit weary of using up the carefully hoarded gas in my gas-tank, but…

First casualty: everyday life… Last night, my sister Cristina asked whether I’d go visit her today, relieve some of the tedium of these claustrophobic strike days, and chat about the project the NGO she belongs to is working on. I was a bit weary of using up the carefully hoarded gas in my gas-tank, but…

The President Must Be Crazy Last week, VenEconomy outlined three scenarios for the brewing crisis here: the government, it was argued, might end the crisis by negotiating an agreement with the opposition; or it might win the war of attrition and break the strike slowly; or the two sides might radicalize their positions, pushing the…

The President Must Be Crazy Last week, VenEconomy outlined three scenarios for the brewing crisis here: the government, it was argued, might end the crisis by negotiating an agreement with the opposition; or it might win the war of attrition and break the strike slowly; or the two sides might radicalize their positions, pushing the…

Cold Civil War (…or is it Civil Cold War? Which do you think sounds better?) Another march in Caracas today, a really bloody big one this time. I’m no expert, but it looks like the better part of a million people are out there waving flags and blowing whistles. They cover all 6 lanes of…

Cold Civil War (…or is it Civil Cold War? Which do you think sounds better?) Another march in Caracas today, a really bloody big one this time. I’m no expert, but it looks like the better part of a million people are out there waving flags and blowing whistles. They cover all 6 lanes of…

Crisis? What crisis? The BBC News write-up is hysterical. José Vicente Rangel’s story is, of course, an incredible howler, and this guy knows it. Of course, it’s the BBC, so the writer can’t quite launch into attack mode like, say, I can. Still, the guy manages to write it in a way that leaves you…

Crisis? What crisis? The BBC News write-up is hysterical. José Vicente Rangel’s story is, of course, an incredible howler, and this guy knows it. Of course, it’s the BBC, so the writer can’t quite launch into attack mode like, say, I can. Still, the guy manages to write it in a way that leaves you…

Three scenarios For years, it’s been the proverbial “nuclear option” for the opponents of successive Venezuelan governments. Protests and strikes might embarrass or pressure a government, but ever since 1936 Venezuelans have known that the ultimate tool against a petrostate is to cut off its lifeline: the oil industry. The notion of a massive oil…