bell pottinger

Spinning the revolution

I had to do a double-take upon learning that PDVSA had hired Bell Pottinger, the PR firm run by Margaret Thatcher’s former communications director to “clean its image.” Of course, no comment from the revolution, so we have no idea how much they (we) are paying for this, nor for what purpose exactly. The part that stood out from…

That's tiny!

Dude, Your Strategic Fund Has Less than a Week’s Worth of Imports In It

For years – literally years – we’ve been wondering exactly how much money the Venezuelan government had squirrelled away in its “parafiscal funds”: Fonden- and Fondo Chino-style unaudited, unreported, wholly discretionary accounting black boxes. Finally, yesterday, Maduro let the cat out of the bag: announcing he would finally unite all of these different pots into a…

MABY

The exile of the Infanta

I could begin this post by saying how insulting the appointment of María Gabriela Chávez as the Alternate Ambassador to the U.N is. I could say this is a slap in the face to all the International Studies students and professionals, how this is further evidence of the ways this government belittles higher learning, how people are chosen not by…

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Sky-high debt

Oh, Conviasa… Just when you had finally paid the debt with the Italian company that leases you a Boeing 767 for your Madrid and Buenos Aires routes, now you have another aircraft retained for lack of payment. Sigh. In this case, an Airbus A340 is being held in Bordeaux, France (where it was under maintenance)…

I love myself some oil money!

Habemus Landrieu-gate

OK, so it took a few days, but finally a major political news outlet in the US is following the scandal involving Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and her close, intimate relationship with Citgo’s money. The website Politico – one which *everyone* in Washington reads – has the story in its lead page. In fact, it goes beyond…