The Real Winner in Honduras

A longer version of this post appears on The New Republic’s blog, The Plank. Juan Cristóbal and Quico say: The Honduran tragicomedy that has consumed the hemisphere’s diplomats for months is at an end (read the details here). Barring the unforeseeable – which is always an iffy thing to do in Honduras – Micheletti is…

The view from your window: Reading

Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. 10 AM. Send us the View from Your Window: caracaschronicles at fastmail dot fm, or nageljuan at gmail dot com. Please ensure the window frame is visible, and tell us the place and time the picture was taken. And don’t try to “pretty it up” – just show us what you see…

Dear Editor

Quico says: I was about to send this as an email to an editor who asked me to write something about Chávez’s hypertrophied presidential office budget. But as the rant took shape, I found myself thinking… “hmmmm, did I just write a post without meaning to?” Dear [Name withheld], Thanks for getting in touch. It’s…

Chávez thinks you suck; you agree

Quico says: As Chávez takes to blaming more and more of the nation’s problems on you, the latest Datanalisis poll confirms it: 23.9% of respondents identify “la gente” (the people) as the main culprit for the nation’s problems, just beating Chávez (23.2%) for top spot. You suck, and you know it.

Killing capital

Quico says: Hernando de Soto’s conception of “dead capital” is one of the genuinely intriguing ideas spawned by the development literature in recent years. For de Soto, the problem facing the third-world poor is not just that they own too little, but that the things they do own are economically “dead.” In the absence of…

Our future at fire-sale prices

Juan Cristóbal says: – Not content with issuing debt to finance capital flight, as they did a few weeks ago, the Chávez administration recently announced a new round of debt to finance even more capital flight, this time backed by the third-world thrift store that is PDVSA. One small problem stood in its way: not…

What El Sistema teaches us about social policy

Juan Cristóbal says: – The well-deserved, near-universal praise heaped on Venezuela’s Youth Orchestra Program (“El Sistema”) is a source of pride for all Venezuelans. And yet, reading the latest article to sing its praises, this time courtesy of The Toronto Star, I was left wondering: what is it about El Sistema that makes it so…

With no electricity, nobody can hear your cadenas

Juan Cristóbal says: – The two short videos are fascinating. In a few short minutes, you can see Chávez the deranged (hiring “planes” to bomb the clouds and create rain), Chávez the amusing (telling people three minutes are more than enough for showering, saying that’s what he does, “and I don’t stink”), Chávez the authoritarian…

Your apartment is their heritage

Quico says: Chavismo has surely entered its churrigueresque period when the government decrees a gas station as a protected historical site, an irreducible part of the nation’s cultural and ethnic heritage. Yet there it is, in the official black and white of Official Gazette No. 39,272. Mind you, Estación de Servicio Los Caobos is merely…

The final frontier

Juan Cristóbal says: – Loyal reader Kepler has a post on his blog about Amazonas state. It’s well worth a read, if anything for the links and the work he has put in mapping demographic and political trends in the state (inasmuch as there can be “trends” in a crimson-red state such as this).