The Obvious Choice for Maracaibo

This Sunday, Maracaibo voters will select the unity opposition candidate to compete against chavista candidate Giancarlo DiMartino in the special election for mayor. The election – for what is arguably the most important mayor in the country – is scheduled for December 5th. The two candidates vying for the slot are Eveling Trejo de Rosales,…

Speaking of Mobsters

Don’t miss the fascinating saga of Rafael Ramos de la Rosa. Ramos de la Rosa is the head of the CNV task force in charge of the Unovalores case. The CNV is the Venezuelan equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Unovalores is a former investment bank currently “intervened” by the government. Unovalores has been…

We Sleep With The Fishes

Remember in The Godfather when, in the middle of the movie, Don Vito is shot after buying oranges? If my memory is correct, the ensuing thirty minutes or so consisted of a fascinating series of sequences highlighting open warfare between the families. Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey at an Italian restaurant, and Sonny makes an…

A Memo to the Drunks

Here’s a short memo to the drunks haggling over the empty bottle that is the opposition unity candidacy for Governor of Guárico. A few weeks ago, chavismo got 58% of the vote in Guárico, while the opposition (including the PPT) got 40%. We have no chance there. Absolutely none. So remind us again – why…

Industrial Policy, Chavista Style

(A nugget of a story that landed in my Inbox, courtesy of a long-time reader) Hey chamos! Wanna laugh a bit? Check out this story of how our glorious leader wants to “develop” our country. With a few partners, I own a medium-sized factory outside of Maracay. A few weeks ago, right before the election,…

MIA Report

Sorry to go all MIA on everyone all of a sudden. It’s been a horrible few weeks for me: first came the sudden loss of my dad, a personal tragedy that – following my strict policy of keeping my private life out of the blog – I chose not to write about at the time.…

In Defense of Andres Izarra

This is a tale of a twitter feed gone mad. Yesterday, I noticed an evolving twitter tiff between somebody named Vendetta_V and the president of chavista broadcaster Telesur, Andres Izarra. Apparently, Izarra and his wife were expecting twins, and they were spotted getting a medical check-up at a private clinic. For some reason, Vendetta_V found…

52-48. Case Closed.

There has been a bit of confusion among analysts about the real meaning of the September 26th election. While most in the opposition say that 52% of the voters rejected the government – which is a fact – and attribute that 52% to the opposition, others are doubtful you can make that analogy. Today, Lara…

A Bi-POLAR Government

Two random quotes from the same day: Vice-President Elías Jaua: “We have no plan of action against Polar.” Food Minister Carlos Osorio: “The people need to control Polar.” Don’t know about you, but if I’m Polar, I’m not feeling too comfortable at the moment.

The Case of the Missing Ethical Dilemma

A few years ago, I had a close friend named Samuel. Samuel barely graduated from college, and from an early age he dabbled with the wrong crowd. He began smoking pot heavily, and experimented with cocaine. One day, Samuel decided to leave Maracaibo and head to Denmark to live as an illegal immigrant. I never…

Prey for the Hunt

Today’s El Universal has an excellent article on the current state of Hato El Frío, a large farm and biodiversity research center “expropriated” by the Chávez administration in 2008. The article’s author, Francisco Olivares, chronicles the farm’s long history. El Frío once belonged to our first President, José Antonio Páez. It was given to him…

It’s Raining Victims

Eleven years into his Presidency, it’s an established fact that Hugo Chávez handles our country’s finances like his own personal pulpería. In spite of this, it never ceases to amaze me how the government’s fiscal decisions barely cause a ripple in our public sphere. Today’s announcement that he would sell PDVSA’s refineries in Germany to…

The Meaning of the Mine

Transfixed as we all were by the picture-perfect rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, something Michael Moore said last night on the otherwise ludicrous Larry King show stuck in my head. Moore – sometimes disagreeable, always entertaining – said: “Next time there’s a gush of oil in the Gulf, we should call the Chilean government!”…