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Cracking down on street vendors

The central government has launched a new front in the economic war: going after street vendors (buhoneros) who sell groceries and other regulated products, as well as those who engage in the practice of smuggling (bachaqueo). The latest Official Gazette has a list of 42 products including food, hygiene products, medicines & medical supplies, school supplies, etc., that can no…

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Disarmament and Its Discontents

Take a look to this report from Brazil’s newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo: “The family nanny for Elías Jaua (currently the Venezuelan Communes Minister) was detained in the early hours of Friday morning in São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, charged of weapons trafficking. She was carrying a .38 revolver with ammunition, which she says belong to the…

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Breaking: Interior Minister Rodriguez Torres got sacked

Nicolas Maduro has just announced the exit of the Interior, Justice and Peace Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres and asked him to take a break. Defense Minister Cármen Meléndez will assume Rodriguez Torres’ post while the head of the Armed Forces’ Strategic Opreational Command (CEO) Vladimir Padrino López will take the Defense Ministry job. Question: If…

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How is the disarmament plan doing so far?

It has been almost a month since the voluntary disarmament plan I wrote about last week was first announced by Nicolas Maduro, and finally we have an official number from Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres. 800 guns collected. That’s it. To say unimpressive would be an understatement. But the government isn’t worried and will do a special…