DN-ST-87-09857

Economic war (a real one)

What do you call it when a country throws its military assets behind a campaign to bully and intimidate a much smaller, poorer neighbour for the purpose of spooking away foreign investors and preventing it from carrying out strategic investments? If the words “Economic War” are to mean anything, shouldn’t they mean that? This post is a call…

Tomas_Funes_000

The Deep Roots of the San Vicente Battle

Tomás Straka has a blockbuster post over on ProDaVinci on the Deep Historical Roots of last week’s field battle for control of San Vicente. A taste: Pero tal vez el ejemplo de Tomás Funes es el que mejor calaza para ilustrar el fenómeno que estamos describiendo. Representante de los caucheros muy disgustados por los tratos…

henry falcon

The appeasers

Venezuela’s economic crisis is showing no signs of abating, and people are increasingly frustrated – and rightly so. In lieu of this, the opposition umbrella group, the MUD, has called for street protests this Saturday. That people should take to the streets demanding some sort of solution should be a gimme. No government should be…

Castro Nixon

Live-blogging the Cuban thaw-mageddon

The decades-old feud between the US and Cuba is coming to an end. After exchanging political prisoners – one Alan Gross in exchage for three Cubans held in the US – Presidents Obama and Castro will make major announcements today. Sources are confirming they will announce the end a major easing of the embargo, and future diplomatic relations…

exp

Few groceries, fewer former leaders

Typically, when discussing a particular country’s fortunes, Investment banks, NGOs, Multilateral Development Institutions, and society as a whole expect some of its former heads of state to speak out about the country’s challenges. Their wisdom is often used as a barometer, their opinion on how they might address problems is sought after when an electoral…

Lusinchi Square

Jaime Lusinchi, 1924-2014

Jaime Lusinchi, whose 1984 to 1989 presidency is remembered as possibly the least competent of the 1936-1999 period, died last night in Caracas. The last of the old-style Acción Democrática populist apparatchiks to run the country, Lusinchi’s ruinous term in office was marked by rampant corruption, a pig-headed refusal to countenance evidently needed reforms, the accumulation of…