Supermassive

Quico says: I’m still not over Chávez’s speech in Copenhagen last week. It’s been a long time since Hugo Chávez has sent my blood pressure to those lofty levels. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but the speech’s mass of contradictions grabs me, calls at me. It is Exhibit A in this blog’s raison d’etre…

Ten Years on From The Stillborn Constitution

Quico says: …rumors, partly fueled by Aristóbulo’s keynote address to the National Assembly, are now heavy that Chávez is considering launching a fresh constituyente – a Constitutional Convention to draft yet another new constitution. Crazy enough to be true? Comments are now disabled on this site.Please comment on the new site.

Where the Maisanta Bodies Are Buried

Quico says: Venezuela is far from the first country where an autocratic regime has used its economic muscle to systematically punish dissidents where it hurts: in their pocketbooks. It may, however, be the first where the government has left an evidentiary trail meaty enough for economists to pick over and analyze. The following slide is…

ME-O bids adieu-o

Juan Cristobal says: Chile held the first round of Presidential voting yesterday, and since I’m married to the place Quico asked me to pitch in. While most news services focused on the strong showing of right-wing billionaire Sebastián Piñera and the stiff problems facing the governing Concertación coalition, to me the real story was the…

Book ‘em!

Quico says: As I think about it, the truly newsworthy aspect of the jailing of the judge who freed Eligio Cedeño isn’t that they jailed her – hell, that’s almost normal – but that they jailed the whole damn court! We’re talking bailiffs jailed for carrying out a judge’s order to release a prisoner. Apparently,…

Siempre queda por caer

Quico says: The decision to jail judge María Lourdes Afiuni, following a bizarre series of events that saw Hugo Chávez flip out after the judge ordered – apparently without permission – the release of disgraced Bolibanquero Eligio Cedeño (who promptly fled the country), is a timely reminder that, no matter how bad you think things…

Making believers out of us…

Quico says: The Latinbarómetro Poll, published by The Economist, always has an eyebrow-raising stat or two to offer. This year’s study, for instance, asks the age old question: in which large country in the region do people have the strongest faith in the market economy’s ability to help the country as a whole? …cálatelo! Read…

Technoutopian Chronicles

Quico says: If citizens’ ability to reason together on issues of common concern in the public sphere is the cornerstone of real democracy, Venezuela is in more trouble than we know. These days, in Venezuela, the public sphere looks like this. If we’re going to start the long, slow process of rehabilitating our public sphere,…

Caracas Chronicles 2.0: Sneak Preview

Quico and Juan Cristóbal say: The new software platform for Caracas Chronicles is finally here! After several months of intense work, the site is now presentable enough for everyone to look at. Check it out!For now, the new site is at EsferaPublica.com, which we hope will be the URL of the new, Spanish version of…

The three-legged stool

Juan Cristóbal says: Lately, this story about the 1988 Referendum that ended the Pinochet dictatorship keeps coming to mind. (Translated from Spanish Wikipedia): “At 12:18 AM on October 6th (the night after the Referendum, when results were trickling in), Pinochet meets his cabinet and informs them: “Gentlemen, the referendum has been lost. I want your…

Mental health break for the weekend

Juan Cristóbal says: – It’s easy to forget, but before we were oligarchs, squalid ones and betrayers of the homeland, we were simply – his invisible friends. I can’t think of a better tonic to Hugo Chávez’s vulgarity than the warm lessons of Arturo Uslar Pietri. See you all Monday.