¡Véngase!

When did freedom die?

Last night, Nicolás Maduro announced that all purchases at every supermarket, convenience store, and mom-and-pop abasto would have to be verified through a fingerprint scanner in order to prevent people from purchasing too much – an electronic rationing card. The cadification of the Venezuelan economy is complete. Listen, about ten years ago, some distant relatives from Venezuela…

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The stillborn adjustment?

One of my girls’ favorite bedtime stories is “Seven Blind Mice,” by Ed Young. The book tells the story of seven blind mice who meet with an elephant, only they don’t know what it is. Each one of them inspects a different part of the elephant, and they always make a mistake when saying what the…

Carrasquero

Ten years of funk

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the day the opposition lost its groove. On August 15th, 2004, a recall referendum on Hugo Chávez’s rule was held. The referendum came on the heels of massive protests, numerous roadblocks, and a populist spending binge that marked the chavista approach to governance until this day. After numerous hours…

Violacion DDHH

Paging Miss Marple

A few weeks ago I was researching all the material I could find about Venezuela’s human rights violations, both pre- and post-Chávez. Lo and behold, I came across this report put out by the People’s Ombudsperson, the main human rights protection agency of the Venezuelan state, also known as the place where the “talented” Gabriela del…

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Out of the closet

It must be frustrating to cover Venezuela for international news organizations. The country is crappy enough to make it burdensome to live there, but not nearly crappy enough for you to earn journalistic prestige points for covering it as opposed to, say, Iraq. Add to that the notorious lack of transparency of the “no comment revolution,” and…

You know what happens to people we send to Cuba, right?

Fifteen years is nothing

I found this El Universal interview with chavista heavyweight Alí Rodríguez particularly galling. Rodríguez seems to have let his guard down, and we appreciate that, but in the process he lays naked the vast intellectual wasteland that is chavismo. Basically, he says that chavismo needs to define how much the State should do, and what they…

I love myself some oil money!

Habemus Landrieu-gate

OK, so it took a few days, but finally a major political news outlet in the US is following the scandal involving Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and her close, intimate relationship with Citgo’s money. The website Politico – one which *everyone* in Washington reads – has the story in its lead page. In fact, it goes beyond…

Zumaque

One hundred years of oil

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of commercial oil production in Venezuela. On July 31st 1914, the Zumaque I oil well in Mene Grande, Zulia, became the country’s first oil well. In its initial years, the 135-meter deep well produced 264 barrels of oil per day. Zumaque I has been an eyewitness to many of the country’s most…