The red scissors are coming too

The upcoming paquetazo could be coming in more ways than one. After the Chavernment’s Finance Minister hinted at the possibility of future tax hikes, the National Assembly is now saying it could take a look at how to reduce the large payroll of our public sector. Funny that, during the campaign, Chavismo mocked Henrique Capriles’ pledge of…

MIA Report

It seemed only fair, back when I asked my wife if she’d move to Venezuela with me if Capriles won the election, to answer yes when she asked “but would you move to Japan with me if he lost?” Cunning, huh? Turns out she had a better read on 7-O than I did. Long-story short, Kyoto…

Is stupidity a pre-existing condition?

A few readers criticized me for implying, in a previous post, that the more educated you are, the less likely it is (or should be) that you are chavista. Putting aside the obvious correlation that leads me to this, I get where they’re coming from. Hopefully, they will make an effort to get where I…

Giordani wants more of your money

Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani said in an interview with State-owned newspaper Correo del Orinoco that according to him, Venezuelans don’t pay enough taxes: “It doesn’t reach 11% or 12% (of what the State taxation should be collecting). There’s no current legislation about that, but there’s room to grow…” It doesn’t matter if we…

Major shake-up in Trujillo

Trujillo State Governor Hugo Cabezas announced that he has declined to run for a second term, even though he was endorsed by the comandante presidente himself weeks ago as his candidate. In a press conference, he acknowledged the lack of support of Chavista bases, to the point that the Tupamaros decided to support their own…

Do it for Socorro

Socorro Hernández is one of those chavista creatures that really tick me off. I can sort of understand people like Aristóbulo Istúriz, or Freddy Bernal, or Elías Jaua, or Diosdado Cabello, or even Iris Varela being chavistas. Their backgrounds, their pre-existing conditions so to speak, predispose them – whether it is growing up poor and…

The CNE pulls off a magic trick

Six of Chavismo’s candidates for State governorships in the the 16-D regional elections have something in common beside being chosen via “neurological primary”: they are not residents of the states where they were sent to run. In fact, they couldn’t vote for themselves in December as the electoral register will be the same one used…

New budget = New military toys

The Chavernment presented this week its blueprint for the 2013 National Budget, which includes a huge total: 396.406 Millions of Bs. (33% higher than its predecessor). FONDEN and the other parallel funds will have no problem, as the price of the oil barrel is calculated in 55 US$ and the exchange rate will remain at…

Road to 16-D Update

The final list of candidates for the December 16th regional elections, where we will elect Governors and State legislatures, is out. Even though Chavismo and the MUD are united in most states, both sides face splits in some important races. For the opposition, the biggest concerns right now are the races in Táchira and Monagas.…

Another milestone for the revolution

The World Bank’s “Doing Business 2013” report just came out. It measures the favorability of different countries toward business, by putting together a series of indicators such as the ease of opening a business, getting hooked up to electricity, and making cross-border shipments. Venezuela is at the bottom of the list. I guess that’s another…

The majority is coming for … your kids?

On the heels of a massive landslide, what does the ruling majority want? Well, none other than do away with private education as we know it. The government published a decree apparently abolishing Parent Associations at all schools – public and private. It replaces them with an Educational Council, made up of administrators, teachers, parents,…

Other Voiceless

I don’t think I’m the only one going through this but, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found it harder and harder to write. It’s a disorienting experience – this sense that everything that might usefully have been said has already been said far too many times before. Juan has been calling for other…

The perfect campaign

Last Friday, I was honored to be mentioned (twice, no less) in the Op-Ed pages of El Universal, one of Caracas’ main newspapers. I thank Miguel Ángel Santos and Maruja Tarre, both of whom found my little rant on this blog (my post “Other Voices) worthy of further comment. Upon reading their articles, I think…