Zapata

Capriles, in depth

An interesting interview with Henrique Capriles, by the team of Juan Carlos Zapata and Elizabeth Fuentes, from the new Internet site konzapata.com. In it, Capriles tones down his criticism of the #LaSalida gang, and offers a more nuanced explanation of his views. Several money quotes: What I proposed was giving the economic and social crisis time to…

Oil Venezuela

The lost money in oil

Ramón Espinasa, former chief economist of PDVSA and currently a professor at Georgetown, published an outline of the oil industry fifteen years after Chávez was elected (here, in Spanish). I thought it contained interesting tidbits. For example: In 1998, each PDVSA employee was responsible for producing 83 barrels of oil per day on average. Today, it…

Sairam-Rivas 2

Visualize July

A few months ago, in the heat of the student protests, Quico wrote a post saying that, come May, the protest movement would have been forgotten. Among other things, by May, he said, “several high profile student movement leaders will be in jail, perhaps alongside some additional, household name politicians.” The student movement proved to…

Cuartel de la montana

The “4″ that matters

The official press in Venezuela is full of details on the state visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. As part of his Caracas tour, agreements will be signed, swords will be passed around, sashes will be worn, tombs will be visited, oil will be traded, and a full-blown one-directional slobber-fest will take place. But the only thing, the…

MaduroEnElAire

What passes for “pragmatism”

This blog has been trying to follow the ongoing debate about where economic policy is headed under Rafael Ramírez. Today, for example, we eagerly awaited a presidential address where – we hoped – new measures would be announced. We were fools. Nothing of substance was announced. All Maduro said was that every company that had gotten…

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Rafael Ramírez’s Sky-high FAIL

Almost two months ago,while visiting Maracaibo, PDVSA President/Oil Minister/Economic Vice-President Rafael Ramírez tried to justify the drastic reduction of international commercial flights to Venezuela in recent months: “Aquí nadie se va de este país, las aerolíneas esas que andan yéndose están desviando aviones para el Mundial de fútbol. Pero no es que se estén yendo…

gulmarbig

Nothing is free

Our pal Setty has a thoroughly researched, hugely important story on a little footnote in the PDVSA financials. It turns out that, long ago, PDVSA seized some ships from one of its partners, and yadda yadda yadda, Venezuelans lost $644 million. In minute detail, Setty goes through the job of untangling this particular ball of yarn. The…