The Pablo Principle

Your top general, one who has vowed that the Armed Forces would resist any non-chavista government, stands accused of drug smuggling. So if you’re Hugo Chávez, what do you do about it? Why … you name him Defense Minister, of course! You see, in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, the closer your possible links to criminal activities,…

Nurses ¡Sí! Aluminum-lined Moneypits ¡No!

Honestly, Juan, I think you’re malversando your outrage, spending-wise. If you really want to get your fiscal responsibility juices flowing, forget about the pay settlement for nurses and chew on this for a while: Alcasa is going cap-in-hand to hit up the government for Bs.23 million. To meet payroll. This month! What a fucking surprise!…

Candidate Watch: Where they stand

The opposition campaign for the 2012 Presidential election is going to heat up faster than an overworked Planta Centro generator. To help guide the discussion, we thought it would be fun to break the field down for you, as it currently stands. First Tier Henrique Capriles Primero Justicia, Governor of Miranda Pro: Smart, disciplined politician.…

Candidate Watch: Look Who’s Coming to Rio

So, guess who raids Caracas Chronicles for her travel schedule? Just days after we highlight Rio’s innovative barrio pacification strategy, MCM surfaces alongside Rio’s police chief, Marta Rocha. Coincidence? Almost certainly. And yet… For my money, the most interesting bit of the N24 write-up on this is the Photo Credit: “Foto: Prensa María Corina Machado”.…

Marquise de Sader

Now that chavista Health Minister Eugenia Sader has shown the nation that sewing your lips, bleeding on the flag, going without food for 38 days, and crucifying yourself can land you a pay raise of upwards of 150%, the question we ask ourselves is: who is next? What grotesque spectacle will result from the government’s…

Check (Updated)

The Carabobo newspaper Notitarde is citing unnamed sources as saying Venezuela’s Electoral Council is considering holding the Presidential elections in July or August of next year. In the case of July, it would leave the opposition’s candidate (supposed to be elected in a February 2012 primary) all of five months to campaign. The MUD has…

The INE Household Survey: Have It!

So, our volunteer-led effort to pave the way for a Conditional Cash Transfer program for Venezuela is really getting going now. It’s exciting! Yesterday, courtesy of some amazing volunteers, we got our hands on the latest version (1st Half of 2010) of INE’s Household Survey in Stata format. This, I think, will be the main…

Small detail

Our old friend Henry Ramos Allup is at it again, claiming that ideological differences within the opposition’s MUD are not a big deal, because Chile’s Concertación was made up of socialists, marxists, and Christian Democrats. Only … that’s not what the Concertación was about at all. Marxists were specifically excluded from the Concertación, and to this day…

Why Innumeracy Matters

Last year, your salary was Bs.100. And you could buy a sack of potatoes for Bs.100. This year, a sack of potatoes costs Bs.130. And your salary went up to Bs.125. So, did you get a pay hike? In economic terms, not at all. Your salary buys 2.4% fewer potatoes now than it did a year…

Barrio Counterinsurgency

Newsweek’s Mac Margolis has an excellent report from Rio de Janeiro outlining the scale of police action it will take to make real inroads into our own problem with urban violence. Really essential reading. Brazil’s approach is…not for the fainthearted. It relies on mobilizing massive, unprecedented police and military resources to short-circuit the spiral of…

So, how did we get screwed this Semana Santa?

Ah, the holiday-smoke-screened Fuck-You Decree: it’s almost as much a Venezuelan Easter Tradition as enormous traffic jams and Bipolar Pisillo. This year, Chávez stuck to the classics. Nothing fancy, just a good, old fashioned nobody’s-reading-newspapers-this-week massive money grab. With Venezuelan oil export prices topping $108/barrel, Chávez signed a decree to grab 95% of windfall profits on…

May 10th: Save the Date!

 On May 10th, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London is publishing a massive dump of never-bef0re-published Raul Reyes laptop docs: courtesy of a leak-cum-final-parting-fuck-you-from-Uribe-to-his-onetime-protegé. Now that FARC is pretty much licked and evicted from the Venezuelan side of the border, this stuff is no longer really strategically relevant: more like tittle-tattle. Still, I’ll…

Hugo & the Bunnymen

My first reaction, seeing this somewhat macabre Easter-week Chart of the Day in The Economist, is that it has to be a mistake: Really? Venezuela is like a world power in bunny-meat production?! And most of it is consumed internally? Maybe I’m just as out of touch as y’all think I am, but…really?! Where is…

One more call for volunteers

Just a reminder that CaracasChronicles is still looking for volunteer geeks, data-heads and assorted hangers-on to carry out a unique research project: crowdsourcing a specific, costed, budgeted, worked out model for a Conditional Cash Transfer scheme in Venezuela on the basis of real data taken from INE’s Household Survey. Whether you have 15 hours a week or 15…

Good news for once

It’s Holy Week, so in the spirit of reaching out, and finding common ground, a positive story for once: Chinese officials are touring Venezuela’s ports ahead of a major new South-South cooperation drive to facilitate trade. One of the major obstacles any non-Chávez government will face is Venezuela’s rickety infrastructure. There is simply no way we will…