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Relying on the newsprint of neighbors (2nd Update)

As more visible forms of pressure against the media are gaining in prominence, the newsprint shortage faced by most newspapers in Venezuela (which I coined Newsprint-geddon) is still on the march. On Sunday, El Universal announced that it would reduce its printed edition from Mondays to Saturdays, starting April 15th. Weeks ago, Barquisimeto’s El Impulso said that…

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Painting the Grey Lady Rojo Rojito

So did you hear the one about the tinpot dictator who wrote an OpEd in the New York Times? Maduro’s inaugural romp in what is arguably the world’s newspaper is filled with the usual half-baked, SIBCI-tested propaganda that’s been shoved down our throats in hundreds of cadenas over recent months: the protests are violent, they are tiny, and…

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Esequibo blues

For generations, all maps of Venezuela have included the term “Area in Contention” (Zona en Reclamacion) to highlight the Guayana Esequiba, currently administered by our neighbor to the East, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. It is the largest part of what they say is their territory. Instead, our maps are the only exception to the rule, which sees…

The bit they don't show the tourists

The Petrocaribe Trap

A guest post by Alexis Caraballo, who makes her living as a Caribbean regional analyst. A failing economy, where everything for sale in the shops is imported, with dwindling foreign reserves and on the brink devaluation. Sound familiar? It does to folks in Jamaica, a country that breaks records not just in the 100-meter dash (9.58 seconds) but also in debt-to-GDP ratio (139%)…

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Give us the CNE

Dear UNASUR Foreign Ministers: Thank you for your interest in the Venezuelan conflict. Now that you helped make the OAS a veritable “circus,” we can start discussing the visit you agreed with the government, the one to help jump-start “dialogue” with the opposition. People in the opposition have nothing but contempt for most of you, but, you’re…

por Población

We’re not THAT isolated

It was galling to see Venezuelan dissident voices effectively muzzled at OAS today, as the organization voted by 22 countries to 11 to hold a closed-doors session, far reducing the impact of the speech María Corina Machado had planned to give. But it’s easy to overstate the extent of the Venezuelan opposition’s isolation, too. Nearly…

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Why Venezuela matters to Brazil

(Note: A guest post by one of our resident Brazilian readers, André Oliveira. This is my loose, butchered translation from the original Portuguese – the first time I have ever translated anything from that gorgeous language. Enjoy) Back in December 2005, Presidents Hugo Chávez and Lula laid the cornerstone for the Abreu e Lima Refinery Complex…

Grandpa, where do you keep your wallet?

Dilma Rou$$eff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, she for whom everything is “an internal affair” unless it involves left-wing Latin presidents, is calling for an emergency meeting of UNASUR next week here in my adopted hometown of Santiago. As we all know, Foreign Minister Elías Jaua went on a whirlwhind tour of South America last week, desperate to…

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Dangerous games

“The Venezuelan geographical space is an area of peace. No foreign power or coalition may establish foreign military bases nor any other kind of military-purpose installations.” That is part of Article 13 of the Venezuelan Constitution, and it is crystal clear. Which is why the news that Russia was looking to build military bases in,…