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…

Boondoggles as non-traditional exports

From Sochi with love

Now that we are done with the introductions and the sappy posts, let us get down to business. I came across this viral article from the Washington Post that describes the hardships endured by sports journalists in their hotels while covering the Sochi Olympics. The tweets and pictures show unfinished facilities, incompetent personnel, pictures of Putin on…

ProPublica on Iran and Latin America

Pulitzer-prize winning ProPublica came out with a thorough look into the links between Iran and Latin America. ProPublica is considered by some to be left-leaning, so I was expecting them to not sound alarmist. It’s therefore a surprise to hear them sound, well, alarmist. There’s a lot in there for foreign policy / intelligence buffs…

Carito Chronicles

A guest submission by Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez, live from the Windy City. Yesterday, at DePaul University in Chicago, the following event was presented by the local Venezuelan consulate: The primary speakers were — rather fittingly — a couple of Cubans empowered by our consulate to speak for us (and, allegedly, vote for us as well). Content-wise…

The ethics of campaign consulting

It’s me vs. the Brazilians in this Simón Romero New York Times piece. The money quote: [Santana's] skills also came into focus in Venezuela, where both Mr. Chávez, who died of cancer last month, and his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, hired Brazilian consultants last year. Some critics of Mr. Chávez contended that it was an unfair…

Roy Chaderton joins the looney bin

In the last couple of weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Maduro campaign has bought a one-way ticket on the Mental Express. In spite of this, a few chavista figureheads have stopped short of endorsing the campaign’s unabashed lunacy. Enter Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS and a powerful figure of the…

Marco Aurélio García vs. Ernesto Villegas

One of Brazilian President Dilma Roussef’s top foreign policy advisors,  Marco Aurélio García, has gone on the record saying nothing will happen on January 10th, since the government can just call a 90-day “temporary absence” under Article 234 of the Constitution, and could even renew it for a further 90-days if need be. In fact, Mr. García…

Pepe ex machina?

Now this is interesting, Uruguayan president José Mujica will travel to Caracas on Wednesday, Montevideo daily El País has confirmed… The Uruguayan Senate plans to meet tomorrow Tuesday to authorize Mujica’s trip. Last Wednesday, Mujica cancelled a trip to Havana to visit his Venezuelan colleague given that “there is no possibility to see him. Mujica is…

Pretty please, could our next radical left wing president be a little bit more like Pepe Mujica?

If Simón Romero’s profile doesn’t make you smile, you have no heart. Polls show that his approval ratings have been declining, but “I don’t give a damn,” insisted Mr. Mujica, emphasizing that he considered re-election to consecutive terms, already prohibited by Uruguay’s Constitution, as “monarchic.” “If I worried about pollsters, I wouldn’t be president,” he…

Quico hits the New York Times Op-Ed page

A love letter to Brazil… As millions of Brazilians rose into the middle class, Mr. Chávez’s autocratic excesses came to look unnecessary and inexcusable to Venezuelans. Mr. da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff, have shown that a country does not need to stack the courts, purge the army and politicize the central bank to…