2011 in review…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for Caracas Chronicles. Here’s an excerpt: London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 people. This blog was viewed about 650,000 times in 2011. If it were competing at London Olympic Stadium, it would take about 8 sold-out events for that many people to see it. Click here…

Full Confidence

Venezuela’s official condolences to the DPRK on the loss of their capital-L Leader were a bit underwhelming. Sure, Chávez’s expression of “full confidence” that the tinpottiest of all the tinpot dictatorships will lead its people to prosperity is galling in its own way. But what we didn’t get is what I’ve been expecting for quite…

“A city with wartime levels of violence but no war.”

Dorothy Kronick strikes again. First this, now this all-too-rare-in-foreign-media meditation on just how weird Venezuela’s urban violence epidemic is, with bloodletting on a scale normally associated with war spreading despite the absence of identifiable warring factions. Personally, though, I think Kevin Ávila-style thug eruptions like the ones at UCV last week aren’t the best way to illustrate…

Hitchens on Hugo

Christopher Hitchens is dead. Love him or hate him, man, did he have a way with words. His excoriation of Hugo Chávez is something to remember, well worth re-visiting. The money quote, in an article chock-full of them: “… there is film of the Americans landing on the moon,” [Chávez] scoffed. “Does that mean the…

PISA-tarios

In case you did not know, the government of Miranda recently applied the PISA educational quality test to students in its schools. Longtime reader and commenter Kepler has just informed me that the results from the test are in. His post on the subject is well worth a look.

Wiki-MUD

A few days ago, I received the first draft of the MUD’s platform. It is an all-encompassing 163-page document, filled with the opposition’s promises, hopes and wishes for the new government. There is a lot to digest in there, or not enough, depending on what you were expecting. But getting a grasp on the whole…

“But I’m not dead yet…”

Give your mind a second to reel at the sheer extravagance of the cult of personality in the mural below, now on proud display at the Guardia Nacional’s Regional Command 1 headquarters in Táchira State… Staggered much? Good. Now take a step back and consider…is this artist insane?! That’s basically a picture of Jesus welcoming…

The titanic struggle ahead

Today, Hugo Chávez launched a new social program: Misión Venezuela en Amor Mayor. Don’t ask me to translate that. The point? Making sure all senior citizens in Venezuela receive a pension. I caught a bit of the cadena today, and saw this amazing video. The production values are excellent, and the amount of money being…

Poll Nerd Heaven

Can it really be that Ricardo Sucre’s massive trove of Chávez era polling slides has been hiding in plain sight for all these years, and I didn’t know about it? I’m embarrassed, really…though, in fact, I’m too giddy with excitement to dwell on my embarrassment. Thanks to the trove, we can do something I’ve always wanted…

The state of play, video version

Trying to catch up with the state of the campaign videos. First off, this excellent biographical spot from the Pablo Pérez campaign. Next, a simple ad from Leopoldo López that won rave reviews from Daniel. Maria Corina Machado’s strong debate performances make inspired campaign videos. Finally, a solid performance by Henrique Capriles on Aló Ciudadano…

Quo IVADis?

The most suspicious thing about the supposed IVAD poll showing Hugo Chávez beating all opponents by 20+ points, and enjoying popularity ratings in the (stratospheric) seventies? The only people citing this clear outlier in the polls are José Vicente Rangel, Prensa Latina, Correo del Orinoco, Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, and Radio Nacional de Venezuela. All…