Winston

Trolling the World Cup, TVes Style

Still haven’t caught the fútbol bug? Here is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s answer to all those schnazzy capitalist World Cup promos, courtesy of the genius and overfunded producers over at Televisión Venezolana Social (TVes), who, by the way, are celebrating today seven years since RCTV went off the air. It is hard to comment on…

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Ramo Verde To You

Please press play, and read.   Today, Leopoldo López is celebrating – if that’s the right word – his 43rd birthday from solitary confinement in Ramo Verde military prison, which he has called home for 70 days now as he awaits trial for charges of arson and criminal instigation. His cell, where he spends 22 hours a day,…

Green-collar jail

A Morning in Ramo Verde

¿Have you met our sheep? Asked the Coronel, beaming with pride as he oozed a viscous, sticky brand of tropical cynicism. “One is actually half-goat, half-sheep. They keep our lawns nice and mowed as they feed. Its really a win-win.” Coronel Calles is the ranking army officer in charge of the Centro Penitenciario para Procesados…

quino1

Dialogue, actually.

Happy Dialogue Day, everyone! Time to put aside all your petty personal opinions and curb your oft-misguided emotions - today is a day for serious, rational discussion on the objective topic of the greater good. After two months of protests, dozens dead, hundreds wounded, three imprisoned opposition leaders (two of them acting mayors), one congress-woman stripped of…

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Painting the Grey Lady Rojo Rojito

So did you hear the one about the tinpot dictator who wrote an OpEd in the New York Times? Maduro’s inaugural romp in what is arguably the world’s newspaper is filled with the usual half-baked, SIBCI-tested propaganda that’s been shoved down our throats in hundreds of cadenas over recent months: the protests are violent, they are tiny, and…

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Cuartel de la Montaña: A Monument to an Unknown Legacy

The first question the tour guide asked was easy. “To pay homage to Chávez’s legacy,” was the resounding answer he got from the 50 or so visitors when he asked why we were all there that day. The next question he asked was met with complete silence. This was a Saturday afternoon, and I was…

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San Cristóbal Falls Apart [UPDATED]

This morning, around the same time Táchira State Governor enjoyed an easygoing chat from an air-conditioned Caracas radio booth about how not a single gocho has died during protests on his watch, Jimmy Vargas, 34, was on his way to his charcutería job, as usual. Finding the mall where he worked besieged by the National…

Tachira Today

Dark Days in San Cristóbal, Where It All Started

No place in Venezuela has been hit harder by the recent violence than San Cristóbal, the city of 650,000 up in the Andes where the current bout of protests started 18 days ago. Last night, the authorities shut down internet service to the whole city, which explains why so few YouTube videos have emerged from  San Cristóbal.…

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Day of protest #15

From the wee hours, the National Guard blocked all access to Municipio Libertador, barring any chance that the march could reach the Ministry of Justice. Heavy riot police and military contained the rally to Francisco de Miranda Avenue at El Rosal. Under the metallic noon-day sun of Caracas, blocks filled up with thousands of expectant…

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Hey Quico: here’s a steaming pile of words for you to eat.

Check out this protest in non-middle-class-sifrino-stronghold-Altamira, but very-much-western-Caracas-working class Caricuao. That’s a grand total of three subway stops from Antimano, the neighbourhood where Quico was telling us just this morning we’d never see  protests.* El oeste del oeste, pues. Pics were taken around 5:00 p.m. today. *(see subway map for reference: Zoológico Station)

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Collective violence

As I left yesterday’s march, having reached our announced endpoint in front of the Fiscalía (the Prosecutor General’s headquarters), I made a point to note the total absence of law enforcement personnel in the area. There had not been a single policeman in sight for the entire route of the protest. I started my subway ride back home…