Semana Santa, Politics, and a side of Pescao Frito

Semana Santa, along with Carnavales, Christmas vacation, Indigenous Resistance Day and any other holiday that does not fall on a Wednesday and can therefore become part of a puente, are all venerated occasions for packing your coolers full of rum, calling up your fellows-in-suffering and getting the fuck out of Caracas for much needed respite…

Book of the Week: Comandante

Rory Carroll’s Comandante: Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela is BBC Radio 4′s Book of the Week: an abridged version is being read on air in five instalments – 10 minutes each -throughout this week. It’s a great chance to hear Rory’s book read by a professional, but hurry: they don’t leave these online forever. Episode 1 Episode 2…

0% Vickrey

So after much confusion, I finally found a reasonable explanation of the SICAD’s Auction mechanism, courtesy of Bank of America. The long and the short of it is that there’s just nothing Vickrey about this auction – it’s a straight Giordani botch: The auction designed by Venezuelan authorities for the dollar auctions is not a modified Vickrey…

Sistema Complementario de Administración Monetaria – SCAM

Just when you thought the government’s arcane currency control system couldn’t get any weirder, along comes the Complementary System for Currency Administration (officially SICAD, though I still think my acronym is more a propos.) We’ve already described the way SICAD creates red-tape on a scale Kafka might think up if you slipped some burundanga into his…