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The Bank That Sells $10 Bills for $1

Over on the FT’s Beyond Brics blog, Francisco Rodríguez explains why saying that since Venezuela can’t keep goods markets supplied, it should default on foreign debt is like telling someone with a toothache that he should call the plumber: Imagine for a moment that a central bank – any central bank – decided to put up a…

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Torre de David Avant la Lettre

A visionary Caracas urban development abandoned amid political turmoil, squatted on, turned into an epicenter of urban legends and violence…El Helicoide was Torre de David before there was a Torre de David. Celeste Olalquiaga picks up the fascinating, mostly forgotten story of what’s now Venezuela’s Security Policy headquarters for Failed Architecture. Nelson Rockefeller tried to…

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Barrio-a-Visa

Turns out Cuban doctors sent to work in Venezuela are defecting to the U.S. in huge and fast-growing numbers. Chris Kraul gifts us a rivetting read over on the LA Times: Nelia, a 29-year-old general practitioner from Santiago de Cuba, arrived in Bogota last month after what she said was a nightmarish year working in Venezuela’s…

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An Election Fraud as Big as the Ritz

Last week, the government announced that addressing the country’s deep-seated economic distortions…just wasn’t something they were going to worry about. A few days have passed since the economic non-announcements that made this patently clear. So what does this tell us about the political road ahead? That the 2015 National Assembly elections are going to be rigged. Big time.…

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Of grandmothers and bicycles

There’s a good reason why seasoned politicians are careful never to answer questions about hypotheticals. Trying to take positions about what you would do if something that isn’t currently the case were the case is a good way to get yourself into all kinds of trouble. Politicians know hypotheticals sow misunderstanding, give opponents openings for attack, and generally leave you…

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Dime a quien no le defaulteas y te diré quien eres

Over on Project Syndicate, Ricardo Hausmann and Miguel Angel Santos have a fun riff on the state of the debate on whether Venezuela will go into default in the coming months. Because, viéndolo bien, Venezuela is already in default with regard to a huge range of obligations.  Cancer patients? Check. Food importers? Check. Car-makers, airlines, PDVSA suppliers? Check, check, check.…