venezuela-blanco-y-negro-proyeccion-de-mercator

The big black hole “al norte del Sur”

One of the things I’ve been doing this summer vacation is catching up on my academic reading. In doing so, I came across a paper by Santiago Levy and Norbert Schady, both at the Inter-american Development Bank, titled “Latin America’s Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution.” Cool, I thought, let’s see what they have…

Sesión Ordinaria del Consejo Permanente de la OEA

The useless Insulza

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza finally opened his pie hole with respect to Venezuela … and he should have kept his mouth shut. In a letter long on analysis, Insulza whines, frets, and pouts about how polarized and difficult the situation in Venezuela is. He says that he usually keeps quiet because whatever he…

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…

Sky high ordeal

It has become very hard for foreign airlines to keep working in Venezuela. Thanks to currency controls, the government (through CADIVI) owes them around two and half billion dollars. After a proposed trueque deal of bonds and free fuel didn’t quite fly, some airlines are starting to consider the idea of just packing their bags…

Government applies the “Andrade doctrine”

Remember that Chavista deputy from Merida that was a little too honest while talking about how Asian inmigrants must toe the line and stop speculating? Well… Vice-President (and Chávez’s son-in-law, lest we forget why he got this job) Jorge Arreaza has upped the ante, by calling “Asian business owners to adjust their prices this week,…

The FT rings the alarm bells

The folks at the FT are worried. Very worried. Two money quotes, given their annoying firewalls: “In a report last week which was otherwise bullish on supplies, analysts at Citigroup called Venezuela “probably the biggest bull risk to the oil market in 2014 outside of the MENA [Middle East and north Africa] region.” “The current…

Michelle CAP-chelet

(Note: a rare non-Venezuela post on the Chilean election … viewed from a Venezuelan point of view) It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Michelle Bachelet. After returning from a supposedly glorious stint at the UN, after numerous polls gave her a commanding, overwhelming lead, this election was supposed to be a cake-walk. Her…

Tail-between-my-legs Chronicles

Venezuela is now the riskiest country in the world. This damning-yet-not-completely-unexpected development is not unrelated with what is happening in Buenos Aires. Argentina, who for years has been the international financial community’s “enemigo público número uno,” has lost a string of court battles in the World Bank’s ICSID arbitration court. They have even lost battles…

Peking (lame) duck

A few weeks ago I wrote an article for Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog about Nicolás Maduro’s China trip. Given the influence China is playing in how Venezuela shapes its policies, I labeled Maduro the Manchurian President. (If you have trouble accessing the article, here it is in Portuguese) Tom O’Donnell expands on this and provides…

Where are the China bashers?

Nicolás Maduro is wrapping up a trip to the piggy bank visit to China. The deal that he signed means that China gives us money so that we can buy trinkets from them and continue subsidizing the scam that is Cadivi. In exchange, they get our oil. In the end, China keeps their money and…

SIBCI’s Syria

A popular, patriotic government, supported by a near unanimity of the international community, besieged on all sides by blood thirsty terrorists, facing imperial aggression. A blameless government scrambling to protect its people from islamist aggression, its soldiers slaughtered without provocation, its streets car-bombed, its people gassed by terrorist forces now backed by the greatest imperial…