Smudging the line between public and private

Private pictures of Hugo Chávez’s daughters and other assorted members of their inner posse were leaked this week on a Twitter account that was subsequently closed. In them, the girls and their friends are shown in various countries and parties, enjoying the perks of their salaries, I presume. A lot has been made about these pictures, but…

Is Venezuela dipping into recession?

Before devaluing the Bolívar, the government was predicting Venezuela would grow by 6% in 2013. We already addressed how this was way higher than what most other people were predicting, as consensus was forming around a 2.5% figure. Now that Venezuelans’ purchasing power has taken a massive hit, what can we expect? To my mind,…

27F, from East to West

Two articles, both published by Prodavinci (in Spanish), are the best thing I’ve read lately on the Caracazo. The first, by Mayé Primera, tells the story of Hilda Páez, whose son Richard was killed by a soldier’s stray bullet. Páez lived with her family in a shack in Petare, in the East of Caracas. Primera…

Going “bachaquero” for groceries

Grocery shopping is becoming more and more of an ordeal for ordinary Venezuelans. But in Maracaibo, where getting sugar and corn flour means waiting hours under the sun, there’s a new problem: organized groups of people who crash the city’s supermarkets and buy everything they can, a kind of Wayuú flashmob that leaves almost nothing…

Dead men don’t pay

“Right now, I have six of them ready to go that I can’t ship because there’s no glass.” I’m sharing a few beers with an old friend. A cool February breeze makes its way through the skyscrapers of La Castellana, into the second floor of the arepera. A few yards away, the daily gridlock nightmare…

Excess baggage

Just when you think you have heard everything about the Venezuelan prison system, Ultimas Noticias nos trae esta perlita… A young woman was leaving Yare II Prison last Sunday afternoon after finishing her visit and she was carrying a heavy suitcase. When a National Guard soldier tried to help her, he found out that a…