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The ex-presidents club

Three former Latin American Presidents – Andres Pastrana of Colombia, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Sebastián Piñera of Chile – were in Caracas in the last few days to attend a Citizens’ Congress organized by Maria Corina Machado, VP, Ledezma, and various other groups. The visit caused quite a stir in Venezuela when Pastrana and…

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Maduro-in-China

After Richard Nixon went to China, historians began coining the phrase “Nixon in China” or “Nixon goes to China” to signal an unexpected shift by an ideological politician who decides to embrace and engage a foe. After this week’s calamitous visit to China, where he came away empty handed, we should coin the term “Maduro in China”…

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The Cuban dissidence speaks

This video deserves to be seen. In it, four prominent members of the Cuban dissidence movement make their case. They basically feel betrayed by Obama, in the words of Guillermo Fariñas. They feel the lifting of the embargo is a reward to the Castros, and will end up benefitting the regime. And they also had…

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We applaud the sanctions

Up until now, we´ve resisted taking a position on the Menendez-Rubio act imposing sanctions on Venezuelan human rights violators. That stops now: all of the CC bloggers agree that this is not something we are going to oppose. This bill is targeted at certain individuals. The idea that these sanctions are somehow hurting the Venezuelan people is…

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Sanctions are go!

One day after the historic reboot of U.S.-Cuba relations, Barack Obama has signed into law what will officially be known as the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (and unofficially as the Rubio-Menendez Act), which sanctions specific members of the Venezuelan government involved in human rights abuses in response the protests early this year. Looks…

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Lessons from the Cuban snow job

It is too soon to tell just what the recent détente between the US and Cuba will produce, but there are already a few lessons the folks currently governing in Caracas can take from it. The first is that the announcement creates the first real gap between Caracas and Havana in years. As Quico rightly pointed out yesterday,…