When Model UN finally comes in handy

Just so we’re clear, I’m now working for the International Relations Dept. of Comando Simón Bolívar. I’m a grunt, not a spokesperson, but still, I’m pretty proud of it. Here’s why: Venezuela’s oppostion, after a 14-year long international relations coma, has more to show for its past three weeks of foreign activism than Venezuelan President…

Alexis Ramírez: Grand Media Inquisitor

The Chavista onslaught against independent media (domestic or foreign) has been escalating pretty quickly: Nicolás Maduro has now accused CNN en Español of promoting a coup against him and putting Venezuela to shame. This just after Maracaibo TV channel ATEL was taken off the air last week by the broadcasting authority, CONATEL, to block its…

Nope, not a Chigüire story…

Sigh… El embajador de Irán en Venezuela, Hojattolah Soltani, informó hoy que ofreció a los nuevos dueños del canal privado venezolano Globovisión la programación en castellano del canal iraní HispanTV, propuesta que fue bien recibida por los empresarios que ahora dirigen el medio. Hojattolah Soltani indicó, tras sostener una reunión con Juan Domingo Cordero, uno…

“The Last Bastion”

The choice of title (what is this, Lord of the Rings?) was unfortunate, as I do not believe it is indeed the last bastion. Still, I discuss Hojillas and Globos in my latest over at the Transitions blog. (Apologies to all you curmudgeons out there, but you need to register to read it) The value added:…

Tropical Hathos Chronicles

Andrew Sullivan defines “Hathos” (from “hate” + “pathos”) as those moments when you want to look away but cannot. Hathos is the attraction to something you really can’t stand; it’s the compulsion of revulsion. For a perfect illustration, read this simultaneously enthralling and stomach-turning ditty about Mariosilvagate from Aporrea. Asombra la declaración del Presidente de…

OPEC, fracking, and Rafael Ramírez

You know what’s hugely important and we don’t know much about? OPEC. This article from today’s Wall Street Journal talks about the fracking revolution, and how it creates cracks (fracks?) within OPEC. Surprisingly, it seems like the Africans have a lot to lose from fracking. Not surprisingly, so does Nicolás Maduro. The money quote: Nigeria…

Panfleto Negro and its non-requiem for Globovisión

A smart take on the Globovisión closure, by Panfleto Negro’s Reinaldo Chacón. The money quote: Yo tengo dos años sin ver televisión, porque no tengo, y tres que no veo globovisión. No he necesitado de globovisión para mantenerme informado y saber de las privaciones en las que hemos caído como sociedad.  ¿No tenemos manera de…

“It”

I’m sitting in a small conference room in e basement of a. Santiago hotel. A delicate breakfast is placed before me, and thirty people are gathered for an intimate conference on Venezuela. The attendees include former Chilean Cabinet members, members of the military, and powerful businessmen. The air is staid and the coffee may be bland,…

One man’s “acuerdo” is another man’s “privatización”

PDVSA has been very active as of late. On May 15th, it signed an agreement (“un acuerdo”) with China’s CNPC, to increase its production in the Carabobo area of the Orinoco oil belt. The agreement was for $4 billion. Then, it signed a $1.5 billion “agreement” with Russia’s Rosneft – same type of deal, apparently,…