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When Chaos Comes to Your Doorstep

Rafael Osío Cabrices writes a powerful personal essay on what it’s been like living half a block from Plaza Altamira over this last month. What’s the best way to protect a 7-month-old girl from the effects of tear gas? Is it dangerous for her to breathe the smoke from a pile of burning garbage in front…

Wipe your feet before entering

Nullifying the Constitution, One Article at a Time

Here’s one that’s flying under the radar: in a resolution dated February 13th, the government-controlled Supreme Tribunal gave itself the authority to decide which specific judge will hear which specific “sensitive” case, in 18 out of 23 states in the country, rather than using the long-established method of drawing lots to determine which judge hears…

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A Word on Blogs and Pogroms (UPDATED)

If, as the old cliché has it, “journalism is the first draft of history”, then blogging must be the note hurriedly scribbled on the napkin of history. A blog post, by nature, is a product of its moment – it’s either written “hot” or it’s not worth writing at all. I say that because it’s…

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Struggling to Breathe

by Alberto Barrera Tyszka, Gonzo translation by Francisco Toro “No shit-eating little bourgeois is going to come tell the majority of Venezuela’s youth what path our homeland should take! The path our homeland should take was settled by Hugo Chávez on February 4th [1992 - date of his failed coup]” This is what minister Víctor…

What kind of monster wouldn't be on these kids' side?

Visualize May

Look, I know it’s easy to get caught up in the YouTube videos, easy to cheer on the unbelievably brave gochos. Facing down a budding military dictatorship is no child’s play, and no one with a feel for liberty can failed to be moved by their derring-do. A mi tampoco me da la gana una…

San Cristobal

Gocho Uprising Update

San Cristóbal, where the protest movement started, remains an extreme outlier in the current crisis, with many residential neighborhoods essentially out of the control of the government. Luis Miguel Colmenares, a Gocho friend of the blog, sent us this status update – which was sourced through conversations with four people in the city. We’ve translated…

Endogenous Innovation

Why Venezuela is Entering a Dangerous New Phase

Here’s the thing to keep in mind about the escalating protests in Venezuela and, especially, the very heavy-handed repression they’re being met with: this never would’ve happened when Hugo Chávez was still in charge. Let’s be clear: I’m no fan of Chávez, and on this blog I spent 11 years harshly questioning his rule. But…

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Venezuela: The Game Changed Last Night

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden. What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood. Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries…

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Spoiler Alert

Some time I picked to stop blogging about Venezuela, right? Yeesh! OK, so call this the first of a series of – hopefully rare – Ilan Chester-style guest posts from the other side of retirement. -Quico. There’s a lot of ferment right now, a lot of excitement, as a brand new generation of kids relearning,…

And a popular hobby it is...

Could it be that the murder rate did peak in 2008?

Today, we have a guest post from Friend-of-the-Blog Dorothy Kronick,who’s researching crime in Venezuela for her Ph.D. As Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres and the Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia battle it out over the 2013 murder figures, most Venezuelans shrug their shoulders and believe who they want to believe. Government supporters instinctively trust the minister, while the…