Clotilde Palomino, middle class warrior

Is Venezuela a middle class country?

The past few days, I’ve been going back and forth with Amherst Prof. Javier Corrales on the issue of whether Venezuela is a middle class country. This was with regards to an article he just posted on Foreign Policy on the subject. His money quote: Venezuela has been classified as an “upper middle-income” country for…

We're following you

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…

Juliococo

The tragic momentum of @juliococo

As I argued in my previous post,  the political and economic crisis that Venezuela is facing gives ample room for outsiders to appeal to the people who are not convinced by chavismo, the MUD block, or both. Take a look at the following video from Julio Jimenez (aka, @juliococo), and tell me if he’s not grasping…

BkodqZcCMAEDcBE

The notorious P.N.B.

Having the second highest homicide rate in the world is not an honor that any nation wants to carry on its shoulders, and the burden is particularly high for those in charge of protecting the lives of its citizens. With so many government plans against crime launched in the last few years, it’s difficult to see how…

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…

escasez-carn-e1358780838553

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.…