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Sky-high debt

Oh, Conviasa… Just when you had finally paid the debt with the Italian company that leases you a Boeing 767 for your Madrid and Buenos Aires routes, now you have another aircraft retained for lack of payment. Sigh. In this case, an Airbus A340 is being held in Bordeaux, France (where it was under maintenance)…

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TSJ to citizens: the State’s too busy to be accountable

As Venezuela currently faces a major shortage of medicines (with, literally, deadly consequences), a related case of corruption involving the purchase of large amounts of medicine from Cuba moves ahead. The case was the reason behind a controversial, little known decision by the TSJ’s (Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice) Administrative Chamber last week. A few years…

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Stealth Censorship Chronicles

Since its acquisition by a mysterious, quite possibly bogus Spanish investment firm, Caracas newspaper El Universal has shown that it will follow the path of Ultimas Noticias and Globovision, media outlets in  the hands of the private part of the media hegemony (HegemonCorp.). The National Press Workers’ Union (SNTP) released a list of more than 30…

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Conviasa: The misery of (not) flying

Last week, the passengers of state-owned Conviasa flight 3013 from Madrid to Caracas found themselves trapped into a nightmare: the flight was suspended, and no immediate back-up plan was in place. They got stuck in a hotel for several days, left mostly to their own devices (at least they had lodging and food). Prodavinci’s Daniel Fermin…

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The tower, cont.

One week after a press report mentioned the possible sale of the high-rise slum “Torre de David” to the Chinese (and, consequently, the eviction of the 1,200 families that currently live there), the Minister of the Transformation of Caracas (yes, that’s a Ministry, given to the guy who lost the election for Caracas mayor) Ernesto Villegas…

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The Argentine middleman

Last week, Argentine newspaper Clarín offered some juicy details on the alleged sale of overpriced rice from Argentina to Venezuela thorugh a company linked to Julio De Vido, Cristina Kirchner’s longtime Planning Minister. The head of the Argenitine Rice Producers’ Federation (Fedenar), Jorge Paoloni, has denounced that a company named Bioart SA has taken over all…

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Rafael Ramírez’s Sky-high FAIL

Almost two months ago,while visiting Maracaibo, PDVSA President/Oil Minister/Economic Vice-President Rafael Ramírez tried to justify the drastic reduction of international commercial flights to Venezuela in recent months: “Aquí nadie se va de este país, las aerolíneas esas que andan yéndose están desviando aviones para el Mundial de fútbol. Pero no es que se estén yendo…

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Death is easy to find. Coffins? Not so much

Most Venezuelan businesses are having a tough time these days, but you would think funeral homes would be booming – what with a crime wave and all. Turns out funeral homes are just like any other business, albeit slightly creepier: in a recent interview, Ricardo Guedez, member of the Venezuelan Funeral Parlors’ Association (Canadefu), spoke of the multiple…

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What drives the blackouts?

In case you missed it, there was another nationwide blackout eleven days ago which caught Nicolas Maduro offguard right in the middle of a cadena broadcast. This new failure in the power grid wasn’t the only problem recently: the people of Maturin lost all electricity for almost an entire week thanks to “hurricane-like winds” that…