Does up mean down in legalese?

Once in a while, in the privacy of my own home, when no one is looking … I enjoy taking a peek at codes and statutes. I did it again today. See, one of the more recent controversies the opposition is embroiled in is a legal one – the appointment of PSUV Congressman Carlos Escarrá…

Somebody’s watching … and recording

My new favorite blog is Monitoreo Ciudadano. The decent folks there are putting up a nice little stock of videos, documenting the use of government media – from good’ol VTV to the unwatchable ANTV – for partisan purposes. It’s good to put things in perspective, just to get a sense of the scale of abuse…

Where does Fonden money go?

So now that we have those Fonden disclosure documents, it’s time to jump into the minutiae. Of course, we only have detailed 5-year disclosures for $40 billion out of the $69 billion Fonden has apparently assigned, but beggars can’t be choosers, so… The first thing that jumps out at you is that by far the…

Fonden isn’t just “Big”, it’s this big.

Perhaps the most important aspect of The Fonden Papers doesn’t have to do with the $29 billion tabulation screw-up. Indeed, innocent explanations might account for that. Perhaps the big deal instead has to do with simply getting, for the first time, a sense of Fonden’s scale, of its weight in the Venezuelan government’s overall fiscal…

How exactly do you misplace $29,342,391,393.66?

This isn’t a massive, government-shaking scandal. But it should be. That’s right, it’s the full, scanned version of the Fonden report we promised you two weeks ago: the one sent by Finance Minister Jorge Giordani, in response to a parliamentary question from UNT Assemblyman Carlos Ramos, which he leaked to our very own Miguel Octavio,…

Procolonial Chronicles

The “procolonial forces.” That’s how Venezuela’s state news agency, AVN, now describes the Libyan rebels. Believe it! Ok, I admit it: I get this weird, dirty pleasure reading the government media’s treatment of the Libyan uprising. It’s just fascinating.

Illegal Mining Outlawed

MINCI’s propaganda pitch on the virtues of expropriating the Gold mining sector pushes the boundries of revolutionary non-sequitur. Consistently recasting mining practices that are – and always have been – illegal as “capitalist”, MINCI’s case comes down to saying the new law is good because it outlaws illegal mining.

Live-by-the-sword Chronicles

The Venezuelan Embassy Ambassador’s Residence in Tripoli is being ransacked and looted. Or, as Hugo Chávez would put it, it’s in the way of a “popular rebellion,” a “spark” that will ignite “the engines of a revolution.”

Exponential

It used to be that when the government wanted to shut down a TV station, or a radio broadcaster, they’d at least go through the motions of couching the moves in  neutral-sounding bureaucratese. RCTV went down not to a “shutdown“, you’ll remember, but to a “non-renewal of its broadcast license”. Such absurd circumlocution amounts to…

The Libyan uprising through rojo-rojito-tinted glasses

AVN: “Obama demands Gaddafi’s resignation as a condition to stopping the blood-bath in Libya.” TeleSUR: “Cameron affirms that aggression against the Libyan people was ‘necessary’” Aporrea: “NATO using sonic bombs to terrorize [Libyan] women and children.” Correo del Orinoco: “NATO’s attacks on Tripoli leave 1,300 dead and 900 wounded.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say…