Santos pummels Mockus (updated twice)

We all but predicted Antanas Mockus would coast to victory in the Colombian election, but Colombia’s voters had another plan. Today, in the first round of voting, Colombian voters gave Uribe protegé and Chávez nemesis Juan Manuel Santos a whopping 46% of the votes in the first round. Mockus, in turn, came in second with…

Where we live

A few days ago, I wrote a piece for the Venezuelan Internet magazine Prodavinci on the importance of property rights in Venezuela’s poor barrios. (Click here if you’d like to read it, it’s in Spanish) A commenter left a link to this audio-visual essay, which I found fascinating. You should check it out. Make sure…

Economy Crashes, Government Rejoices

Yesterday marked another insane low in the festering of Hugo  Chávez’s Revolution. In the process of slamming the opposition for supposedly rejoicing over the first quarter drop in GDP, Chávez, in effect, rejoiced over the first quarter drop in GDP.  It’s hard to contain the sheer, blind rage this response sets off in me. In celebrating…

Chabuki watch, #3 (updated)

Former taxman José Vielma Mora will now be known as something other than "the only chavista who is semi-competent": a traitor to the Revolution! Here is Vielma Mora’s hilarious, totally unbelievable attempt to stake out a position as some sort of moderate chavista, a position he conveniently expressed only after he didn’t get the cambur…

Wiki-constutionalism

The New Republic’s website has a nice article by Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez on the tendency in Latin America to write and re-write our Constitutions, a phenomenon he cleverly calls "Wiki-constitutionalism."    We haven’t had the pleasure of Lansberg-Rodríguez acquaintance yet, but he signs off as a graduate of Carleton College and the Kennedy School, and now…

They’re not even trying anymore

Seen this morning on the National Assembly website: tons of information about the governing PSUV party, not much on the institution itself or the work they claim to do. The use of government resources to promote their partisan agenda is so blatant, and impunity is so widespread, chavista hacks have long stopped trying to cover…

Six Terrorist Training Camps Around Caracas?

If the extraordinary allegations in this documentary book pan out, we’re through the looking glass here. El Palestino comes out on Tuesday. The journo who wrote it, Antonio Salas, seems bona fide. He spent six years working on it, and he’s done similarly daring, immersive reportage before. He claims he has the first fresh photo of…

In Defense of Speculation

Like "neoliberalism", speculation is a concept people feel comfortable decrying before they’ve quite understood it. Used by government and opposition alike as a term of abuse, the whole notion that speculation plays a constructive – indeed vital – role in the economic life of society seems alien, almost willfully obtuse to people. And yet, if…

Chabuki watch, #2

Chavista svengali José Vicente Rangel puts on quite a performance: "The government has not stopped and will not stop trying to establish a dialogue with the opposition on the future of the country." 

Chabuki watch #1

With the election season upon us, Hugo Chávez is going to try to convince voters that he is not the fire-breathing socialist leviathan that we’ve come to know, but rather a meek social democrat wishing to make society simply more humane, pretty please. We’ve seen this theater before, most notably in his infamous "I do…

Up is down, down is up

An anonymous reader points out an interesting paradox. Instead of rehashing it, I’ll just reproduce her point verbatim: "I know you’ve already gone on at great length about the Fat Man’s slender grasp of basic economics. But I don’t think I’ve yet seen anyone point out the gaping hole in the President’s logic when it…

The Other Mander

To the list of unfair practices that could conspire to keep a chavista minority in the country as a chavista majority in the National Assembly, add this one: while Venezuela’s six most urban states contain 52% of the voters, they elect just 39% of the National Assembly. This one is different from traditional Gerrymandering practices:…