All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Rest

Before you take me for some gun-toting nut, let’s get one thing straight: "Peace", in Colombian political parlance, doesn’t mean what it says in the dictionary. In the context of Colombia’s 45-year old civil war, "Peace" is code for political engagement with the guerrillas on terms that, in the past, FARC has cunningly exploited to…

Software

After a few days with the new layout and the software updates, we figured we could use the comments board to this post to get some feedback on how the site is working. So far, we know there are problems with the RSS feed, people find the pop-up annoying (and it contains a spelling error),…

Is Wellisch this year’s Antonini?

This article by Argentine newspaper Clarín puts a name to the recent bribery scandal in Argentina: Roberto Wellisch, CEO of Palmat International, the supposed Miami intermediary in the middle of the bribery embroglio. Gustavo Coronel’s blog has some background on Wellisch here, and here. Apparently, he’s a citizen of Argentina, Venezuela and the U.S. Here…

Well, if Johns Hopkins says so

Apparently, there is more meat to the mystery of Simón Bolívar’s death than meets the eye. Dr. Paul Auwaerter, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, claims that poisoning by arsenic cannot be ruled out. Apparently, the Liberator’s symptoms, which included coughing up green fluid, are consistent with slow arsenic poisoning. This would be confirmed by the…

Full of air

Venezuela’s state news agency ABN recently announced that Venezuela plans to install 10,000 MW of wind power capacity in the next 15 years.  Seriously, they said that. To get a sense of how preposterous this is, some context is appropriate. 10,000 MW amounts to 6% of the world’s total current wind-power generating capacity. It’s roughly…

The hat makes the man

I want to listen to what Enrique Mendoza has to say. I want to take him seriously. I really do, but I can’t. The sight of an overweight, middle-aged, gray-haired man with his cap on backwards … is just wrong. The worst part about it – he’s putting the cap on his billboards. The preposterous…

Blame it on the rain

Don’t look now, but the water level at Guri has stopped going up which, as even a chavista understands, means it’s going down. The combination of less rain, fragile transmission lines, unreliable thermoelectric generation, and unstable people at the helm is the reason. We’re not out of this mess yet.

In praise of Goicoechea

Rarely does an op-ed piece move me as Yon Goicoechea’s piece in El Universal did today. First, a bit of back-story: Goicoechea was the leader of the student movement in 2007. I wasn’t much of a fan, but a lot of people were. Upon graduating, he entered politics and joined Primero Justicia, insisting that party politics…

Don’t bribe for me, Argentina

Tal Cual has an interesting article on some of the shenanigans between the Venezuelan government, the Argentine government and Argentine companies. It claims contracts to service some of Venezuela’s largest hydroelectric plants were awarded to Argentine companies that did not meet basic standards and were awarded without a competitive bidding. Insiders claim this was simply…

Picture it

El Tiempo is reporting the results of a new poll, showing Antanas Mockus leading Juan Manuel Santos in a second-round runoff… by double digits. Two questions pop up: 1. What did Mockus mean when he said he admired certain aspects of Chávez’s policies? 2. Is it too early to start picturing a summit between the two?…

Mendoza in his labyrinth

Following Venezuela’s opposition requires a non-trivial dose of patience. The comings and goings of the opposition unity table (MUD) have produced a somewhat final list of candidates for the Parliamentary elections. While only a few were selected in a primary that has yet to yield satisfactory numbers (see today’s comments) and others were agreed upon by…