Ten Years Ago Tonight

There’s a strange symmetry to it: exactly ten years ago tonight, amid the outbreak of collective mass delusion that was the 2002-2003 Paro, tens of thousands of us were gathered on the Distribuidor Altamira for a flag-waving, slogan chanting New Year’s Eve-cum-political protest. Tonight, as the country huddles around for a muted celebration in expectation of news…

Things I know

The next few days are full of uncertainty, but there are a few things I know. 1. Whatever we do, however much we restrain ourselves, as much as we show respect for the passing of the President, chavistas will cut and paste the few signs of happiness (I’m looking at you, Plaza Altamira) and play…

Bocaranda’s freakin’ me out now…

Over the last couple of years, Caracas gossip-monger Nelson Bocaranda has made up (partly) for his long and inglorious record of getting sensitive stories wrong by, miraculously, seeming to have the kind of inside-line on Chávez’s condition that even high ranking chavistas could only dream of. Which is why his tweet-stream tonight makes me think…

Our long, national psychodrama continues

Taking advantage of the long weekend, I was going to sit down and write one of several posts lurking in my head. There is one on education, another one on political parties, and yet another one on Venezuela’s fiscal situation. But it all seems pointless. Today, we spent yet another day drowning in a swirl…

Preparing for the wrong conflict

The new Defense Minister Diego Molero Bellavia visited this week the new missile complex of Paraguaná (located near the Josefa Camejo Airport) and told reporters it will be ready in 2013. The new base, armed with the Russian S-125 Neva/Pechorawill SAM missile system, will protect our territorial seas and the CRP oil refining “strategic” facilities.…

República Chavista de Venezuela

The level of sycophancy chavista figureheads are displaying lately is worthy of psychiatric evaluations.  Reuters’ Daniel Wallis paints a picture, Punctuated by occasional bulletins on the president’s condition, government media have pushed their always Chavez-heavy output to hagiographic levels – es pecially ahead of the Dec. 16 regional elections in which his ruling Socialist Party hammered…

Crystal Ball Chronicles

28 December, 2016 – CARACAS From his hospital bed in Havana, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez decreed a raft of new revenue-raising measures to deal with the country’s chronic fiscal imbalances today, the country’s vice-president Nicolás Maduro announced. Though President Chávez has not been seen in public for over four years now, Mr. Maduro assured the…

¿Por qué no te callas?

Remember the problem we have with the sencillo? Well, it’s no longer a domestic issue. Spanish newspaper ABC reports that the one Bolívar Fuerte coin is now used by small con artists there to pay in stores, buses or bars. Given its similar appereance with the one Euro coin, it can fool those who don’t look…

A closer look at Maduro’s superpowers

Press reports about Nicolás Maduro’s new powers on economic issues don’t really do justice to what is going on. When you scratch beneath the surface and actually read the text, you realize chavismo is getting ready for an election. The timing of the decree – and its announcement – suggests the President’s health is worsening.…

Driving the nation

The latest Official Gazette informs us that the Vice-President (and appointed succesor) Nicolás Maduro has been given broad new powers in economic matters. Those duties include overseeing the budget and other public credit operations, authorizing expropiations and matters related to imports, creating public entities, and naming their board members. Meanwhile Maduro got a lot of…

A holiday respite

Barring unforseen circumstances, i.e. The Man dying, we are going to go offline for a few days. We’ll be back toward the end of next week. Happy holidays, everyone. Hug your loved ones, and appreciate every moment. Don’t put your faith in idols with feet of clay, for you are bound to be disappointed (and…