Tracking Broken Promises

So, as we move towards Friday’s big flashy launch of Chávez’s pet Organization of American but Not North American States, I keep thinking someone, somewhere should be keeping a kind of searchable archive of crazy-ass regional integration schemes Chávez has promised that came to nothing. We can all remember the insane plan to send a natural…

Grand Theft Party

In the era of chavista social lunacy and decay, there’s always one more depth left to plumb. Today, we find out that the Supreme Tribunal is aiding and abetting the wholesale theft of a political party – by overturning the results of PPT’s leadership elections on its way to handing control of the party’s symbols…

Our sexist opposition

The other day, Carlos Ocariz, candidate for governor of Miranda, endorsed a group of 21 people who are vying for mayor in his state. Their names? Juan Carlos, David, Ramón, José Manuel, Guillermo, Raimundo, Richard, Julio Cesar, Luis Manuel, José, Iván, Enrique, Maximino, Roger, Oswaldo, Pedro, Ovidio, José Luis, Roberto, Orlando, and David. Leopoldo López,…

Thugs and their Thuggish Thug Things

Probably one of the more difficult things about my job is communicating to a First World audience that unmistakable taste of sheer thuggishness the Chávez government leaves in your mouth. There are certain taken-for-granted understandings an audience has about just what a government is and how far it might go in seeking its goals that…

We are geniuses

Well, that didn’t take long. A mere day after the SUNDECOP began “controlling” the prices for all goods and services in the economy, we are hearing from the Bolivarian National Guard that there is hoarding going on, that articles have “disappeared” from the shelves, and that they simply will not tolerate this. Coffee, cooking oil,…

The tyranny of the deadline

Dang it, I’m on deadline today so I really don’t have the time to give full flight to the furious, disgusted, downright marialejandralopezesque rant I have brewing inside of me over the simply incredible, puked-half-in-my-mouth-when-I-heard-it case of María Corina Machado’s 23 de Enero campaign stop. Turns out Machado first got shot at while trying to throw…

FAQCh

A FAQ about the new “Law of Fair Prices and Costs,” using chavismo’s own words. Q: So I hear there is a new Law of Fair Costs and Prices. What’s it about? A: The Law of Fair Costs and Prices is a tool to deepen socialism. It was written because the exercise of monopoly power…

Don’t cry for me

Venezuela’s cancer-stricken President, while addressing a group of young chavistas today, suggests time is not on his side: “You will finish the job. It’s up to you to finish it. We have started it. But time will not be enough. And what do I care? That is how processes are, that is how time is.…

Toxic Arria

Miss the good old days of never-ending, hyper-emotive, hyper-polarized political conflict narrowly focused on the figure of Hugo Chávez and ignoring the actual needs of Venezuelan people? Do you get nostalgic for the the way that kind of politics steered even people who knew perfectly well that the government wasn’t working to unthinking, automatic support…

No vetting allowed

The other night, the opposition’s presidential candidates held a debate. While the format literally did not leave much room for debate, we all came away thinking it was a success. The candidates were reasonably polished and highly respectful of each other. The tone was civilized and mature, and their focus was solely on the main…

What happened last night

So all the buzz after last night’s debate went to María Corina Machado and Diego Arria, candidates who, paradoxically, are trailing way behind in the polls. It’s no surprise: anyone who’s followed gringo nomination races with any interest could’ve seen it coming. (And I do apologize in advance for borrowing heavily from gringo-inspired tropes in…