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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…

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Telesur will now talk Güachington too

Last weekend, Nicolas Maduro announced in Bolivia that Telesur, the news/propaganda channel created in 2005 by Venezuela and its allies to “promote Latin American integration” will start broadcasting in English next month. Telesur has been Chavismo & Friends’ TV mouthpiece for years, but to many the channel has failed in its goal of become an alternative to CNN, BBC…

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“Media Plot:” The hegemony’s permanent excuse

Last week, the government organized a high-profile conference about what they like to call “the media plot against Venezuela.” This was the usual blame-it-all-on-the-Evil-Empire gig, with a few minor power players and so-called international pundits on hand to bash the usual enemies. It also pointed to a heightened interest in clamping down whatever freedoms are left…