Caracas-sangrante-1996

“¡Aquí fue!”

“I haven’t had tenderloin in two years.” I’m having lunch with Leticia and her husband Gonzalo in an upscale Santiago beef restaurant. I don’t know them very well, but they are friends of a good friend, so I invited them out to show them the city. They live in Caracas, passing through Santiago because Gonzalo, a mid-level manager…

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Where have all the dollars gone?

Reading the Venezuelan press, it’s easy to forget this is a petro-state, and that the barrel of oil is selling at prices close to its historic high. Just today, we found out that airlines can say goodbye to repatriating their profits at the agreed-upon rate, as expected; scarcity of basic staples has shot up to 60%, as…

yoani-sanchez

I heart dialogue, says @yoanisanchez

Hit it, Yoani: “Last Thursday, spellbound Cuban TV viewers were able to watch a debate between a portion of the opposition in Venezuela and representatives of the government. The controversial encounter was broadcast by TeleSur, which has always supported chavismo. This time around, the channel was forced to broadcast the other side’s concerns and points. The…

Googlis

Ventura aces it

I’m late discovering Marcel Ventura’s work (here is his stuff for Prodavinci) but … what a stylish writer. His latest for The Daily Beast – on the military, drugs, and how it all gels together in a government he somehow stops short of calling a narco-state - is a keeper. The money quote: “According to every reliable poll, Maduro…

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Eight things you and I can agree on

(With my apologies to those who think “dialogue” is a bad word) A few days have passed since the session where two different countries collided in Miraflores. Most of us left convinced of what we believed going in – that chavistas and the opposition simply do not have anything in common because, well, chavistas are crazy.…

Maduro desde mi corazon

The longest election

One year ago today, Nicolás Maduro was elected President of Venezuela. One year ago, Henrique Capriles was elected President of Venezuela, and Nicolás Maduro stole the election. It’s safe to say that each and every Venezuelan believes one of those two things. Venezuela’s drama is that each one of the camps of believers is extremely large. With…

ibsen-martinez

Telenovela politics, by @SimpataXKingKon

Ibsen Martínez is a Venezuelan playwright and essayist who needs no introductions. His latest OpEd for the New York Times links the Spear murders, telenovela productions, Teodoro Petkoff, and scarcity to paint a smorgasbord of the surreal reality of Venezuela’s TV industry. The money quote: This violence seems far away from the sleek air-conditioned studios where our telenovela…

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On a wing and a prayer

The ongoing saga between international airlines and the Venezuelan government continues. Just when you thought airlines were going to get their money, the government is now suggesting they will only get paid in part, and at a much higher rate than previously thought. According to El Mundo, the government is playing hard ball as usual,…

guarimbas

Should protests end? Polls suggest so (Updated)

Two recent polls from opposing pollsters (one leans chavista, the other leans opposition) suggest patience with the protests is wearing thin. IVAD, a local pollster that has long leaned towards the government, says that roughly half of Venezuelans want the protests to stop, and this figure is slightly higher than those that agree with the protests. On the other…

tear gas

Violence on campus, by @Naky

Chavistas love to repeat the tired old canard that the protest movements are “contained,” and “limited” to well-to do areas of Caracas. Just yesterday, the President was boasting in the New York Times that the protests “have received no support in poor and working-class neighborhoods.” What they deliberately fail to mention is the tiny fact that opposition protests in…