Uribe and Obama should scrap their deal

Juan Cristóbal says: – As you probably know, the recent controversy surrounding Venezuela and Colombia has to do with an agreement allowing the US Armed Forces to use 7 military bases inside Colombian territory. The deal has caused a diplomatic firestorm. The combination of hot air coming from Miraflores and the carbon footprint from Uribe’s…

The Other Media Crisis

Quico says: Everyone knows that the Big Crisis affecting Venezuelan journalism is that the news business just doesn’t gel with a government congenitally allergic to criticism. Chavismo now openly advocates substituting a free and vibrant press with a subservient, quasi-statist “community media”. But the open intimidation and harassment the private media faces is only one…

Prominent chavista pans new Media Law

Juan Cristóbal says: – Former Constitutional Assembly member and former Ambassador to Mexico Vladimir Villegas wrote a stinging op-ed piece trashing the new Media Law under discussion in the legislature. Villegas, who is also a former president of government mouthpiece VTV, sensibly blasts the law for “legalizing censorship” and “criminalizing journalism.” He claims the law…

Our Insane New Cycle

Quico says: Can you believe that the revelation that Venezuelan army AT4 rocket launchers were found in FARC’s possession is less than one week old!? After Twittergate, the Ley CDM, the closing of three dozen radio stations, Chávez’s groin injury, Rangel Silva trying to get FARC anti-aircraft weapons, the P.R.-destroying, constitution-defying Electoral Processes Law being…

Gas del Bueno

Quico says: A group of some 35 pro-Chávez thugs, have just stormed Globovisión and tossed multiple tear gas canisters into the building. The group, led by notorious Chavista shocktroop leader Lina Ron, subdued the station’s security personnel using firearms and wounded two people: a guard, and a local cop. I don’t like to throw words…

#freemediave and the boiling media war

Juan Cristóbal says: -The government’s takeover of 34 radio stations over the weekend has gained considerable attention. In spite of the bad PR it is getting and bound to continue getting, the assault on free speech is picking up speed. More closures have been announced, and the National Assembly will begin studying the Media Law…

Moratinos = Franco

Juan Cristóbal says: – Over the weekend, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos opined that the freedom of expression situation in Venezuela is “satisfactory.” Reports linking that view to the sweet deals the Venezuelan government recently signed with Spanish company Repsol YPF are…well, “destabilizing the State’s institutions.” (Kudos to the brilliant Rayma Suprani for that…

Mutatis Mutandi

George Orwell might have said: In our country, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the abolition of Proportional Representation, the arbitrary seizure of private firms , the open politization of the judiciary and the closure of opposition radio stations, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which…

Play it again, S.A.M.

Quico says: Simón Romero’s NYTimes story today detailing new evidence of Venezuela’s continued, close cooperation with FARC will send a chill down your spine. We learn that he-who-shall-soon-have-the-power-to-block-access-to-Caracas-Chronicles, Gen. Henry Rangel Silva, was involved in helping to provide FARC with Russian made, man-portable SA-7 Surface-to-Air-Missiles (SAMs). If true – and the Times says it doesn’t…

E Pluribus Chigüirum

Quico says: El Chigüire Bipolar long ago cemented its position as the place for the most incisive, wicked and hilarious satire in Venezuela today. But their last few posts – especially adapted to the Ley Contra Delitos Mediáticos (CDM) – have been superlative. That friggin’ rat has more chispa in its little toe than most…