The plane! The plane!

The Carvajal plot thickens

The international press is going to town with this story. Three pieces stand out … ABC’s Emili J. Blasco (the well-sourced Washington correspondent with the juicy details on Hugo Chávez’s illness) says sources in Washington confirm Carvajal was the “main figure” in the drug-running operation set up between the FARC, the Venezuelan military, and Hugo Chávez…

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The “4” that matters

The official press in Venezuela is full of details on the state visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. As part of his Caracas tour, agreements will be signed, swords will be passed around, sashes will be worn, tombs will be visited, oil will be traded, and a full-blown one-directional slobber-fest will take place. But the only thing, the…

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The tower, cont.

One week after a press report mentioned the possible sale of the high-rise slum “Torre de David” to the Chinese (and, consequently, the eviction of the 1,200 families that currently live there), the Minister of the Transformation of Caracas (yes, that’s a Ministry, given to the guy who lost the election for Caracas mayor) Ernesto Villegas…

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Rafael Ramírez’s Sky-high FAIL

Almost two months ago,while visiting Maracaibo, PDVSA President/Oil Minister/Economic Vice-President Rafael Ramírez tried to justify the drastic reduction of international commercial flights to Venezuela in recent months: “Aquí nadie se va de este país, las aerolíneas esas que andan yéndose están desviando aviones para el Mundial de fútbol. Pero no es que se estén yendo…

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Telesur will now talk Güachington too

Last weekend, Nicolas Maduro announced in Bolivia that Telesur, the news/propaganda channel created in 2005 by Venezuela and its allies to “promote Latin American integration” will start broadcasting in English next month. Telesur has been Chavismo & Friends’ TV mouthpiece for years, but to many the channel has failed in its goal of become an alternative to CNN, BBC…

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What leaving Venezuela means to Jews

In February 1939, two ships approached the shores of Venezuela after a long, desperate voyage. The Konisgtein and the Caribia’s captains had already asked for asylum in many other ports, now they pleaded with the authorities to allow the entry of its 251 passengers. But it was 1939, and the ship’s human cargo was considered radioactive. Why? Because most of the passengers were…

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¿Te acuerdas, Quico?

El 10 de enero del año pasado, en Venezuela ocurrió una infamia. Un Presidente electo gravemente enfermo no pudo asistir a su toma de posesión, y contra toda lógica, en un atentado más contra la Constitución y el Estado de Derecho, se permitió una “toma de posesión” simbólica que permitió que Nicolás Maduro gobernase sin…

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Colombia’s Shockingly (to a Venezuelan) Mundane Election System

Less than an hour after the closing of the polling stations, we learned that Oscar Ivan Zuluaga –Uribe’s boy- pushed President Santos to a presidential runoff vote, actually beating him in the 2nd round of Colombia’s presidential election. What shocked Venezuelans the most? How quickly they announced the results. Venezuela is said to have one of…

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Bland to the bone

The Carter Center has just published a sprawling, 118-page report on the 2013 Presidential Elections in Venezuela (see PDF here in Spanish). It goes through what happened in that dramatic election using the scrupulously impartial, non-controversial tone of an organization trying to remain an honest broker between the two warring factions. Now, normally I would pass this off as…

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Sky-high excuses

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made it crystal clear: Venezuela could lose much of its aerial connectivity because of the large debt the government has with several international air carriers. But Economic VP/Oil Minister/PDVSA Chairman (and apparently an international air travel expert as well) Rafael Ramírez … disagrees. “No one is leaving the country. (The…