Annals of historical name-changing

The new Chavista governor of Mérida Alexis Ramírez has decided to roll up his sleeves and do some serious work, with the help of the State Legislature (controlled by the PSUV). Is this about solving the never-ending problem of trash recollection? No. It is about building a necessary new road for the state? Nanay. Or…

The crowded bandwagon (cont)

Note: Long-time reader Dago takes the Torres/Monaldi/Morales/Rodríguez proposal for handing out oil rents to citizens and then taxing them, and frames it in an interesting, approachable way. He also talks about the likely amount we’re dealing with here, and he ends with practical implementation issues, and how to (easily) overcome them. I found it thought-provoking.…

All Roads Lead to Repression

Here’s a thought someone put in my inbox – and a good one. The major paradox of the Chávez era is what you might call the Case of the Missing Repression: governments as authoritarian as Chávez’s, with an eliminationist rhetoric towards opponents and all state power consolidated under a single leader are normally far, far…

A timely reminder

This nifty BBC interactive feature serves as a timely reminder: gasoline in Venezuela isn’t so much “cheap” as it is, for all intents and purposes, free. [Hat tip: Anelim]  

Hugo Chávez, darling of Wall Street

Bloomberg’s Ye Xie and Nathan Crooks have a very interesting article profiling the cozy relationship between Hugo Chávez and his bondholders. They make the case that, in spite of all his rhetoric, Chávez has never missed a bond payment, and the 14.7 percent per year Venezuelan bonds have yielded in the last 13 years or…

Games people play

When the final chapter in chavismo is written (and I’m one of the few that think this will happen sooner than most think) one of its most glaring mistakes will be how they sacrificed governance for politics. We elect governments, in part, because of politics, because of the game they bring to the ring. Many…