Tocorón or not To corón, that is the question

I wonder if in writing all these prison insanity posts for a foreign audience I’m not guilty of exoticizing Venezuela too much, rendering it so foreign, distant-seeming and culturally alien that normal Western people will stop seeing it as part of their cultural and moral orbit. Then again, the stories are just too much fun not to…

My theory r.e.: Dan Rather’s theory (Updated)

The one thing we know for sure is that Cuban doctors monopolize all the first-hand information on the state of Chávez’s health, and when we say Cuban doctors, what we mean is G2. So how can you take those lemons and turn them into some juicy intelligence lemonade? Simple. You produce three different versions of…

The “S” Word

Last week, the second game of the Venezuelan Basketball League’s final series was underway in Puerto La Cruz between Marinos de Anzoátegui and Trotamundos de Carabobo. It was a great game; trotamundos were up 94-87 with 15 seconds left on the clock when this happened: All of a sudden, “The Devil’s Boiler” went pitch black. The game was…

Know Hope

The MUD forcefully condemns the Hula Massacre and Chávez’s ongoing support for mass murder in Syria. La colaboración venezolana con el gobierno de Damasco constituye un menosprecio a las decisiones de la comunidad internacional en defensa de los derechos humanos del pueblo sirio y un irrespeto a todos los venezolanos que, una vez más, vemos…

Betting on the end

Wanna make a buck or two off of Hugo Chávez’s illness? Ethical issues aside, Intrade gives you the chance. They are running a future’s market on whether Hugo Chávez remains President of Venezuela by December 31, 2012. If Chávez is no longer President by midnight on that date, for whatever reason, you earn $10. Buying…

Caracas Chronicles – presente!

Turns out we had a Caracas Chronicles mole at that Estudiantina Komaba concert in Tokyo last week. Represent! The mostly Japanese audience of about 250 threatened to overwhelm the small space for the concert. As for the atmosphere, we can exclusively reveal that, The few Venezuelans present started clapping to the music and singing soon…

“Dejar salir es entrar más rápido”

Many of my recent writings on this blog have touched upon the frustrating reality that people in Venezuela have a hard time understanding basic trade-offs. Our collective inability to comprehend that a dollar spent here is a dollar you can’t spend there helps explain, according to this theory, the yawning disconnect between the public policies…

Another day, another failure

Back in January 2010, Hugo Chávez announced that his administration wanted to promote non-oil exports. As is customary, he didn’t have a plan, but he had a catchy name for it anyway – in this case, a toll-free number, 0800-EXPORTA, to assist potential exporters. The end result? Exports in the first quarter of the year…

Fuelling a massacre in Hula

Now that the U.N. has documented the stabbing and shooting massacre of 92 civilians, including 32 children, by the Assad Regime in Hula, Syria; what do you think are the chances of a statement from our very own, busy-supplying-the-murderers-with-fuel cancillería? The Hula Massacre is a turning point in the Syrian conflict, the moment when it…

Policy Evaluation as Subversive Activity

My new piece on that FP Blog takes one more look at that 2006 research into Misión Robinson. I’m totally fascinated by that paper, and only wish I’d seen it much sooner. The contrast between its plodding, sober, evidence-based appraisal of Misión Robinson and chavismo’s breathless propaganda lies about it strikes me as all anyone…