The option on the table

A few days ago, Barinas Governor and Presidential brother Adán Chávez, rumored to be next in line to the throne, warned the nation that “armed struggle” was another mechanism to obtain and hold power. You might think this is mere bravado talk. But as commenter ErneX correctly points out, Chávez made this comment with full…

The “C” Word UPDATED

Yes sir. The “C” word crossed his lips. In weirdly circumlocuitous, adjetival form – as though “Células Cancerígenas” meant anything other than…well…that. Poor guy. Update: The video is now up and it’s weird. Chávez reading. Leaning on his “S”s. Sounding like the narrator from Nuestro Insólito Universo. Took the guy 12 years into his presidency…

The opposition’s restless base

After my post a few days ago criticizing Henrique Capriles for being vague, I got an earful from those on the other side. People close to the Governor gently called me out for being in too much of a hurry. And I guess in a way they are right. Their main thing right now, as they…

My governor joins the fray

Tal Cual is reporting that Zulia Governor Pablo Pérez will anounce his candidacy on July 5th, when he will address the Zulia parliament. I landed in Maracaibo and was promptly greeted by his face, smiling at me from a number of enormous billboards, advertising his every policy. Classy! He’s got my vote … not.

The math of NPI

A slimmed-down Chávez goes on TV, chats with Fidel in Cuba + Chávez suspends the all-important 5th of July Latin American Summit for health reasons = Nobody knows anything. Seriously folks, I’ve talked to a number of informed people in the past week. And nobody really knows what’s going on. We can entertain the different…

Who is this guy?

An interesting interview with opposition front-runner Henrique Capriles. The interview is chock-full of good quotes. The guy is undoubtedly good, stays on message, is appealing without being abrasive, and is comfortable enough with himself to pass the “guy-I-wanna-have-a-beer-with” test. And yet, the details on what he intends to do with the country are hazy. The money…

Attention Deficit Disorder: El Rodeo Edition

One time, covering an opposition march, I found myself right in the thick of a National Guard tear gas cloud. The next 20 seconds were easily the most uncomfortable of my life: it feels like your entire body is on fire, and your eyes are about to pop out of their sockets. At El Rodeo…

Chávez in the Past Tense UPDATED

Chavista National Assembly Member Israel Sotillo (a.k.a. el Diputado Mozilla) is now tweeting about Hugo Chávez in the past tense: “Chávez was a great man and will live forever in the heart of our great nation.” Weird. My tune-it-out-it’s-just-noise instinct is starting to crack now. Update: I’m an idiot. It has to be a fake account.

1000 Word Chronicles

El Rodeo I after the riot: Amazingly, the uprising at El Rodeo II is ongoing, with 1300 inmates still living there (eating what? surviving how?) And in case you’re wondering, no, there’s no room in Venezuela’s other jails for the prisoners lucky enough to be taken out of El Rodeo alive.

Opposition proposals for dealing with jails are not one in the same

In the past few days, both Leopoldo López and Julio Borges (who I assume was speaking on behalf of Henrique Capriles) unveiled plans for dealing with Venezuela’s horrific prisons. López basically wants nicer jails; more jails; to separate prisoners according to the seriousness of their offenses; a tighter schedule of activities for prisoners; psychologists, drug…

It’s a renter’s market

Venezuela has a severe housing shortage, a crisis of titanic proportions, if you will. Yet any casual foreign observer would wonder why, in this context, there aren’t rental properties sprouting up everywhere. The answer lies in Venezuela’s Soviet-style rental property market. On May 6th, Hugo Chávez pulled new Rental Housing legislation from his hat of…

Let’s Play “Chigüire or Not”

Simple game, really: I give you a headline, you try to guess if it’s a Bipolar satire or a real story before clicking on it. Ready? “Our Commander in Chief Is in the Best of Shapes” (“Nuestro Comandante en Jefe está en las mejores condiciones”) Caracas Stock Exchange Up 2.5%… (Bolsa de Valores de Caracas…