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Kick Copei out of the MUD

The recent decision by Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal, ordering Copei to put in place a board consisting of people they selected, presents a difficult conundrum for the opposition coalition, the MUD. The key thing here is that the Supreme Tribunal has ordered the Elections Council to only accept the roster of candidates the new Copei board proposes. Indirectly,…

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Venezuela – a great place for business (if you’re an accountant)

Yesterday was not a good day for businesses operating inside Venezuela. First, the government decided to expropriate significant parts of Polar, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi. The government claims the factories and distribution centers, located in Caracas’ working-class district of La Yaguara, were built on land they need for public housing. Never mind that the government is broke…

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Grand Theft Political Party

It’s become commonplace: our highest court gets involved in the internal affairs of political parties. This week the gauntlet fell on two more: Bandera Roja (Red Flag), a once guerrilla group that decided eventually to replace the armed struggle for the electoral one, and Christian Democratic party COPEI, one of the main Venezuelan political parties of the pre-Chavez era. On…

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Rafael Esquivel’s “family businesses”

EfectoCocuyo has fresh details on several companies connected to disgraced, jailed former Venezuelan Soccer Federation chief Rafael Esquivel that were handled by a small group of relatives and associates. According to EC’s report, Esquivel himself is personally involved in four Florida-registered companies: La Isla Corp., Esqui-care Center, Grupo Esquivel and Grupo Los Robles. Esquivel’s nephew, Luis Damián…

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Poll Wars: Middle-class alert

A new poll in Venezuela is showing continued deterioration in Venezuelans’ perceptions of their country, and of President Nicolás Maduro. The Venebarómetro poll, done by respected pollster Ivad in conjunction with Croes, Gutiérrez & Asociados, shows a worsening of the trends for Nicolás Maduro: 84% of Venezuelans think the situation in the country is “bad,” 57% of Venezuelans…

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Pan-Am Flim Flam

The 2015 Pan American Games ended last Sunday in Toronto. The U.S. delegation came on top in the medal table, followed by the host country Canada, which achieved their best performance ever in the history of this continental multi-sport event. What about the Venezuelan delegation? How it went up north to what the central government…

Leopoldo 2002

Leopoldo in depth

This Foreign Policy piece by Roberto Lovato has gotten a bit of pushback because of its less-than-rosy account of the public persona of Leopoldo López. And, in particular, for its cryptochavista fixation with the events of April, 2002. Putting that aside, though, it’s an accomplished, in-depth look at López’s life and career – where he grew up, who his…