BOMBEROS

In search of lost empathy

(A guest post by friend-of-the-blog and sometimes-collaborator Moraima García) As a long-time reader of the blog, I have to confess I was more than a tad skeptic when Juan announced where he wanted to take the blog, talking about trying to be optimistic. After all the destruction, can hope still live? No, I said to myself. Then … my grandmother got…

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Rationing the secrecy of the vote

Buenos Aires’ La Nación newspaper has a thorough feature story on the Tarjeta de Abastecimiento Seguro, the government’s new fingerprint-activated card to control how much you can buy at government stores. For example, did you know the CNE is behind the whole operation? And that when you register for the card, they ask for a…

Massiel-Pacheco-chavista-presa

Massiel

We’ve been meaning to write about the sad case of Massiel Pacheco for a while, but … así estarán las cosas … things are so bad that the case has gotten lost in the shuffle of news coming out of Venezuela. Massiel Pacheco is a working class food vendor in Caracas’ Parque del Este. A…

Wiping away the tears

Venezuela’s orphaned parents

(A guest post by Daniela Alexandra Porat, a Toronto-based Venezuelan ex-pat and CC reader) Venezuela’s current crisis finds a mirror in the stories of the country’s padres huérfanos. These so-called “orphaned parents” are the older Venezuelans who send their offspring abroad to save them from the the brutal crime in Venezuela’s streets, helping them start…

Incitatus

Incitatii Bolivariani

… or a modest proposal for Venezuela (A guest post by friend-of-the-blog Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez) The Emperor Gaius Caligula Caesar enjoys a hallowed a place within popular imagination. With the possible exception of Nero, whose alleged stint at fighting fire with music has historically received mixed reviews, it is Caligula’s reign that is remembered as the very…

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…