Winning ugly

Not necessarily. The opposition’s only plausible path to victory on September 26th is simple: turn out your base and hope the other side’s soft-supporters stay home. And, within that game plan, "¡pa que coja mínimo!" is not necessarily the wrong message.  It’s, in essence, the 2D playbook. It’s easy to forget that in 2007 the…

Chabuki watch #7

  You know how playwrights talk about "the arc" of a character? They’ll go on and on about a character’s "inflexion point", the moment when they come to an important realization that changes them. Here is Hugo Chavez, pretending he’s reached some sort of an inflexion point: "The State cannot be the owner of everything… I…

Chavismo’s Crap-o-rrific Swing-o-meter

It simply makes my blood boil to think the hacks who made this probably got paid thousands upon thousands of petrodollars while I burn the midnight oil just for the satisfaction of scratching my own OCD itch. Compatriotas revolucionarios, whatever you’re paying these, I’ll do it for half…hell, I already did it, and, very socialistically,…

At war with the people (Updated)

The Pérez de León hospital in Petare is, by law, managed by the Sucre municipality. The mayor is Primero Justicia’s Carlos Ocaríz. Yesterday, Hugo Chávez said he would not approve funding for the hospital’s new wing. Chávez’s excuse for not approving the funds is that, according to him, any money earmarked for the hospital would somehow…

Oliver Stone Watch #4

Why just today, they might say, we learn of the CNE’s Tibisay Lucena (aka Rojisbeth) threatening the State-run (Read: Chávez-run) Broadcaster with a fine (read: slap on the wrist to be paid with the same public funds that pay Lucena’s salary) for exceeding the limits of coverage (read: acting as Chávez’s P.R. arm) of the government’s campaign (a.k.a.: the…

New Legislative Election Forecasting Tool Now Available

The new and much improved Caracas Chronicles Forecasting Tool for the 26S Elections is now available. You can download it here. (Users of older versions of Excel should download this version. Descárgala en español aquí.) This new tool, developed with invaluable help from longtime-reader and professional-number-cruncher Omar, improves on the old-Swingometer in several ways. First, you’ll…

National Assembly 2010: It’s on…

With an increasingly unpopular government, and the country mired in stagflation, the opposition heads into this campaign stronger than ever: united, setting the debate, and mobilized around a common goal. But the government’s massive built-in advantages – overwhelming funding superiority, unimpeded access to broadcast media, and unambiguous control of key institutions, including the National Electoral…

Meet Nancy Wexler

The Columbia University professor has been coming to this impoverished village on the western shores of Lake Maracaibo for many years. The reason? Barranquitas has the world’s highest concentration of people suffering from Huntington’s Disease – also known as Mal de San Vito. Huntington’s is a fatal genetic disorder that affects the body’s ability to control its…

Taking it out on seriously ill kids…

A group of PSUV candidates just went to the Prosecutor General’s office demanding they take the nineteen thousand one hundred and thirty three murder files from last year and shove them in a drawer so they can direct those resources to the real problems facing Venezuelans today: getting to the bottom of just how it…

The Opposition’s Rural Problem

OK, it’s back to electoral number crunching, this time on the Monte-y-Culebra Problem. First, some context. From our high point in the Constitutional Reform Referendum of 2007, when we got 50.3% of the National Vote, the opposition has lost considerable ground both in the cities and in the countryside. <p> But while our vote-share has…

“The world’s murder capital”

The New York Times’ Simón Romero gets it all right: the scale of the problem; the government’s efforts at censorship; and chavistas’ continued reluctance to blame the President. The article is balanced and comprehensive, and the problem is scary, so it’s no wonder that it won coveted real estate in the paper’s print edition.  The…

Tienen Razón

Spain’s La Razón publishes the kind of detail-oriented, intensely observed report on Caracas’s Bello Monte morgue that Venezuelan newspapers – for reasons that continue to baffle me –  seem plainly unable to produce. The report quotes a former morgue director saying: "My colleagues are overwhelmed. When I left Bello Monte we were 13 pathologists, by…