The Looking Glass Revolution

Quico says: For such a familiar object, there’s something quite bizarre about a mirror, that strange device that seems to represent reality “as it really is” while quietly reversing it, making your right side your left side and your left side your right. The effect is at once familiar and, when you think about it,…

Chronicle of a Devaluation Foretold

Quico says: So, as I mentioned, in the middle-class-to-escualidón circles I tend to frequent in Caracas, Cadivi has become a constant, ever-present worry, a universal obsession. Everyone you meet seems to be at some point along the process of getting Cadivi dollars, everyone you meet has a Cadivi story to tell. Which, really, shouldn’t surprise…

Chronicle of a Devaluation Foretold

Quico says: So, as I mentioned, in the middle-class-to-escualidón circles I tend to frequent in Caracas, Cadivi has become a constant, ever-present worry, a universal obsession. Everyone you meet seems to be at some point along the process of getting Cadivi dollars, everyone you meet has a Cadivi story to tell. Which, really, shouldn’t surprise…

No Hay Material

Quico says: Ask anyone at all and they’ll tell you: hands down, the three most feared words in Venezuela’s bureaucratic vocabulary are “there’s no material.” It’s a kind of code phrase, meaning something like “no, seriously, there’s no use trying to bribe me: I genuinely can’t help you.” The cargo gods have not come through.…

No Hay Material

Ask anyone at all and they’ll tell you: hands down, the three most feared words in Venezuela’s bureaucratic vocabulary are “there’s no material.” It’s a kind of code phrase, meaning something like “no, seriously, there’s no use trying to bribe me: I genuinely can’t help you.” The cargo gods have not come through. For whatever…

Striking Oil in Terrazas del Avila

Quico says: My arrival in Caracas seems to have coincided with Milk’s. Everyone was real happy about that. It was all UHT, no fresh stuff, but I guess it’d been months since there’d been any kind of milk around so people weren’t minded to be picky. Personally, I don’t really have much use for the…

Striking Oil in Terrazas del Avila

Quico says: My arrival in Caracas seems to have coincided with Milk’s. Everyone was real happy about that. It was all UHT, no fresh stuff, but I guess it’d been months since there’d been any kind of milk around so people weren’t minded to be picky. Personally, I don’t really have much use for the…

Bring Back the Maisto Doctrine!

Quico says: So, wondering why posting’s been so light recently? Here’s the deal: I spent the last three weeks in Caracas. Elementary paranoia kept me from disclosing as much before coming back, but now that I am safely ensconced in a forgotten little bit of the Dutch countryside I will, of course, be posting at…

Bring Back the Maisto Doctrine!

Quico says: So, wondering why posting’s been so light recently? Here’s the deal: I spent the last three weeks in Caracas. Elementary paranoia kept me from disclosing as much before coming back, but now that I am safely ensconced in a forgotten little bit of the Dutch countryside I will, of course, be posting at…

The foreign correspondent’s POV

Katy says: Posting will be light in the next few days. Quico is traveling and I’m full of work and family duties. But friend and all-too-infrequent poster Lucía sends us a link of yet another foreigner’s impression of the full Venezuelan treatment. The traffic, the wait in the hospital, the milk shortages, the panaderías, the…

The foreign correspondent’s POV

Katy says: Posting will be light in the next few days. Quico is traveling and I’m full of work and family duties. But friend and all-too-infrequent poster Lucía sends us a link of yet another foreigner’s impression of the full Venezuelan treatment. The traffic, the wait in the hospital, the milk shortages, the panaderías, the…

Chávez for Spaniards

Quico says: Julio Rivas Pita, the man-on-the-ground here for Spain’s El Mundo, is running extracts from his upcoming book, Chávez para Españoles, in a new blog. His latest piece is on the backstory to the operation that got Raul Reyes. Worth a look…

English court OKs partial privatization of PDVSA

Quico says: So, it turns out English courts have no jurisdiction over the PDVSA/ExxonMobil pissing match. They’ve just lifted the preliminary asset freeze on PDVSA, handing chavismo a massive propaganda win and a chance to sell anything and everything PDVSA owns abroad. Effectively, it took an English judge to authorize the privatization of a big…

English court OKs partial privatization of PDVSA

Quico says: So, it turns out English courts have no jurisdiction over the PDVSA/ExxonMobil pissing match. They’ve just lifted the preliminary asset freeze on PDVSA, handing chavismo a massive propaganda win and a chance to sell anything and everything PDVSA owns abroad. Effectively, it took an English judge to authorize the privatization of a big…

Hello, fat man!

Katy says: Every Monday I get in my inbox the abridged transcript from the previous day’s political reality show, “Hello, Mr. President!” While I wouldn’t be caught dead watching this show, I always make it a point to read the summary just to see what the Fat Man in the Palace emphasized and what his…