BlackBerry Nation

Quico says: So I flew into Maiquetía yesterday and man, what a let down. Not one dirty look, or extra check or even the vaguest hint of intimidation. Buenas noches – stamp – in you go. And that was after I’d announced I was coming, right here on CC! My Q-Score must really be in…

Mad with Power Chronicles

Quico says: I swear when I first heard that Chávez wanted to do a 96-hour marathon version of Aló, presidente to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary on the air, I just took it for granted the story was a Chigüire Bipolar-style spoof. But no. He’s really doing it. It just started…runs through Sunday night.

Radicalism and its consequences

Juan Cristóbal says: – In the last few months, the Chávez administration has gone into overdrive radicalism. Whether it’s the forced takeover of vast sectors of the economy, the harassment of private opposition media, the passage of draconian new legislation, the attacks on opposition politicians or the massive tax increases recently passed, there seems to…

Cubanization is a process, not an event

Quico says: A year ago, when I went to Caracas, it seemed as if everyone I met had a single thing on their minds – Cadivi. Every conversation seemed to circle back to it: how to get dollars, the latest tips and tricks on how to skirt the bureaucratic hassles and reach that promised land…

The Buffoon Meme

Quico says: Here’s a sobering thought: it’s a good bet that this month worldwide many more people have heard about Hugo Chávez giving a state-produced cel phone a vaguely cock-associated name than about his moves to silence dissenting broadcast media, strip most elected opposition politicos of any real power, steal dozens of private businesses (“nationalize”…

Oligarcas Temblad!

Quico says: So, there’s an earthquake. It wakes you up. You turn on the TV and see a report about it. What do you think is more likely to leave you feeling alarmed, fearful, anxious or panicky? The earthquake, or the news story about it? Gah…it’s like fish in a barrel, this story…except we’re the…

Crafting a Chavista Court

Quico says: Five years ago today, the court-packing Organic Statute of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice came into effect. As I’ve recently discussed, I think that event should be recognized as the moment when Venezuela ceased to be a constitutional democracy in any recognizable sense. To continue our commemoration of the event that made our…