Beyond satire

Quico says: I wanted to make fun of this little rant, but on second thought, the thing satirizes itself: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has vowed to expel foreigners who publicly criticise him or his government. “No foreigner can come here to attack us. Anyone who does must be removed from this country,” he said during…

Role confusion

Quico says: So within the last 48 hours, we’ve found out that Four years on, PDVSA still can’t figure out a way to hire enough drills to keep oil output from falling, and Chávez thinks this is a great time for PDVSA to start growing beans and making shoes and stuff Watch this space for…

Role confusion

Quico says: So within the last 48 hours, we’ve found out that Four years on, PDVSA still can’t figure out a way to hire enough drills to keep oil output from falling, and Chávez thinks this is a great time for PDVSA to start growing beans and making shoes and stuff Watch this space for…

The Petroleum Tax Credit

Quico says: Over the last two posts (here and here), I’ve explained why I think the Venezuelan state should distribute all of its oil income (yes, all of it) to the population and finance itself like any normal government would: through tax. (This is an idea that reader Torres first put in my mind, but…

The Petroleum Tax Credit

Quico says: Over the last two posts (here and here), I’ve explained why I think the Venezuelan state should distribute all of its oil income (yes, all of it) to the population and finance itself like any normal government would: through tax. (This is an idea that reader Torres first put in my mind, but…

Torres for dummies

Quico says: Yesterday’s post was probably too long and convoluted, so today I’ll make it as simple as I can. Everybody loves a PowerPoint, right? Here, in barest outline, is how distributing natural resource rents directly to people would change the way money and power flows through Venezuelan society. (Solid arrows represent money flows:) Petrostate…

Torres for dummies

Quico says: Yesterday’s post was probably too long and convoluted, so today I’ll make it as simple as I can. Everybody loves a PowerPoint, right? Here, in barest outline, is how distributing natural resource rents directly to people would change the way money and power flows through Venezuelan society. (Solid arrows represent money flows:) Petrostate…

Torres in Bethlehem

Quico says: Everybody knows Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t from Nazareth at all: he was born in a barn in Bethlehem. But what on earth was Mary doing gallivanting around Galilee nine-months pregnant? Luke’s gospel explains the Romans had ordered everyone back to their hometown for a census, so Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem…

Torres in Bethlehem

Quico says: Everybody knows Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t from Nazareth at all: he was born in a barn in Bethlehem. But what on earth was Mary doing gallivanting around Galilee nine-months pregnant? Luke’s gospel explains the Romans had ordered everyone back to their hometown for a census, so Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem…

Caracas: De Informele Stad

Quico says: It’s great to run into a film about Venezuela that sets the politics to one side and focuses on the way the society actually works. Caracas: De informele stad (Caracas: The informal city) was made by VPRO, the Dutch public broadcasting corporation. It chronicles architects Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner as they show…

Breakdown

Katy says: It’s a beautiful Saturday in Caracas, and I’m standing on the shoulder of the Cota Mil, because the cab I was riding in just broke down. I begin to panic, sure I’m about to get kidnapped, expecting my driver’s accomplices to jump up from the hill at any moment. I think about hailing…

Breakdown

Katy says: It’s a beautiful Saturday in Caracas, and I’m standing on the shoulder of the Cota Mil, because the cab I was riding in just broke down. I begin to panic, sure I’m about to get kidnapped, expecting my driver’s accomplices to jump up from the hill at any moment. I think about hailing…

The politics of fiscal retrenchment

Quico says: So, Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas finally figured out that if you prime the pump long enough, the thing just breaks. In a rare outbreak of economic common sense, he announced that the government plans to fight inflation by slowing public spending and mopping up $2.8 billion worth of liquidity. Even then, he knows…

The politics of fiscal retrenchment

Quico says: So, Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas finally figured out that if you prime the pump long enough, the thing just breaks. In a rare outbreak of economic common sense, he announced that the government plans to fight inflation by slowing public spending and mopping up $2.8 billion worth of liquidity. Even then, he knows…