Dragged Kicking-and-Screaming Into Clandestinity

The events in the Assembly today were deeply shocking. With dissident congresspeople now not merely barred from speaking, not merely deprived of their salaries but repeatedly physically assaulted,  just for showing up, Venezuela’s parliament is as good as dissolved. Venezuela’s democratic movement is being violently shoved into the kind of underground resistance it never envisioned…

Why go to the Circus when you have the AN?

While Maduro and his train of flunkies were busy governing watching a private Cirque du Soleil showing (and ticket holders are lined up out in the rain), the regularly scheduled National Assembly Session got underway, only to be interrupted by this official communiqué smear campaign against Capriles (min. 1:54). While cameras were not rolling inside the National…

Overheard at a Tool convention

It must be nice to work for Centro Internacional Miranda: get a hefty salary, spout off a bunch of clichés, and be bathed in the veneer of official intellectual responsability. En tierra de ciegos and all that … Here are some things I learn while watching this video of “intellectual” chavistas making sense of the…

The fate of Lácteos Los Andes

More than five years ago, Hugo Chávez announced that the government bought private dairy company Lácteos Los Andes, making it part of his “food sovereignty” plan, along with other companies like coffee maker Fama de America. For years, it was presented to the public as an example of what socialism can achieve. Its products even had…

Tim Tracy and the April connection

New Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres made public last week details about what he calls the “April connection”: an alleged plot where student groups were financed by an unnamed nation to create unrest in the country. The main announcement was the detention of U.S.-national Timothy Hallet Tracy, whom Rodriguez Torres referred to as “a counter-intelligence…

The flip side of Quico’s post

Over at Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog, I lay out the reasons why Capriles has a case. My main point: One has to wonder: How could chavistas get away with this? The explanation, according to Capriles, lies in the fingerprint scanning machines. According to him, these machines allow anyone to vote, regardless of whether the fingerprint…

What happened this weekend

Say you’re challenged to a boxing match. As you approach the ring, you notice your opponent is not wearing any boxing gloves. He’s just bare-knuckle. And you’re gloved. The referee can see your opponent isn’t wearing any gloves. The fight judges can see that too. They don’t bat an eyelash. At this point, you have…

Public blackmail as State policy

The President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, is a man who doesn’t beat around the bush. Case in point: his recent announcement that opposition legislators who refuse to recognize Nicolás Maduro as President will not get to talk in the Assembly … and will not get paid. It’s refreshing to see chavistas violate the…

Burocracia o nada! (Updated)

Because having more than thirty Ministers, six Vice-Presidents and six Regional Coordinators was not enough for his Cabinet, Nicolas Maduro has now named three brand new Presidential Commisioners to help him out. One of these commisioners will be in charge of “Strategical Affairs of Government”. Sounds pretty important. Perhaps it is, as Deputy Foreign Minister…

Once bitten, twice shy

Maduro wants dialogue. He wants to sit down and have a chat with the murderous, fascist, imperialist, anti-homeland, drug-snorting, baby-eating, racist, mysoginist haters of the poor he calls the opposition. That means you and me. We’ve been through this before. Remember the “Mesa de Diálogo“? Last time the government and the opposition sat down to…

It’s war

When the opposition first claimed fraud, back in the Recall Referendum of 2004, it had very little to go on. Quickly, we were split into two camps: those that thought we had lost (albeit uncleanly), and those that thought we had won, but a massive fraud perpetrated by the chavista CNE had switched the results.…

Workplace bullying as public policy

In the last few days, mutiple press reports indicate that some public sector workers have been fired and others have suffered harassment because of their political stance after the presidential election. Audio clips of several heads of public bodies (like the Zulia Sports Director or the Director of Bolipuertos in Puerto Cabello) have been leaked…