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…

dialogo-justicia-y-paz-5-580x325

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…

Izarra-Risa

Perceptions of a crime wave

Venezuela’s Tourism Minister Andrés Izarra (infamous for having laughed about Venezuela’s high death rates on an international cable show in 2010), recently had this to say “[la inseguridad] es un problema real, existe. No lo negamos, estamos trabajando, como todos los países de América Latina lo están trabajando, lo están atendiendo (…) ¿cuál es la particularidad de Venezuela con ese…

panini album

PANINI-nomics in Venezuela

Over the past two weeks, Venezuelans have poured into the streets, but not simply to protest. Throngs are desperately trying to get the officially licensed sticker albums of this year’s FIFA World Cup from Panini. Every four years, soccer fans the world over buy the officially licensed Panini sticker album in order to get a glimpse of which of their favorite football…

quino1

Dialogue, actually.

Happy Dialogue Day, everyone! Time to put aside all your petty personal opinions and curb your oft-misguided emotions - today is a day for serious, rational discussion on the objective topic of the greater good. After two months of protests, dozens dead, hundreds wounded, three imprisoned opposition leaders (two of them acting mayors), one congress-woman stripped of…

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…