Populistas

Is Populism beatable?

  Populism has been the driving force behind both our political landscape and our economic misfortunes. This trait has marked the misguided economic policies of several administrations, with Chavismo just exacerbating the problem. Because, in essence chavismo repeats a well’worn recipe: continue to fuel the spending binge, among other insane policies, with an unprecedented oil boom…

Ministros

Can’t Stop the Music

Vice-President Jorge Arreaza just announced that all the Ministers have offered their resignations to President Maduro in the midst of what the government has deemed The Shake: The Revolution within the Revolution (El Sacudón: La Revolución dentro de la Revolución.) This, of course, is not a new funky (yeyé-gogó) dance step promoted by Maduro, nor is it different to…

medalla moors cabot

Frank + Laura + Tamoa’s Special Day (Updated)

Three Caracas-based journalists were honored at the Columbia Journalism School’s Cabot Prizes this year: the AP’s legendary Frank Bajak takes a prize, while one time Ultimas Noticias investigative power duo Laura Weffer and Tamoa Calzadilla get a special citation. Their awards are richly deserved. Three of their highlights: Bayak’s story on the colectivos in Venezuela (co-authored with Fabiola…

TSJ

TSJ to citizens: the State’s too busy to be accountable

As Venezuela currently faces a major shortage of medicines (with, literally, deadly consequences), a related case of corruption involving the purchase of large amounts of medicine from Cuba moves ahead. The case was the reason behind a controversial, little known decision by the TSJ’s (Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice) Administrative Chamber last week. A few years…

chavezyfidel

Happy 88th, Fidel!

Actual caption under this photo in the VTV piece celebrating this joyous occasion: “Chávez y Fidel: La amistad de dos pueblos.” Check back in five years from now, when VTV will probably be running things like: Caracas, August 13th, 2019, VTV – Today the nation celebrates the 93rd birthday of Fidel Castro, the Cuban-born doctor and revolutionary…

Maleta-con-Dolares1-640x360

Out of the closet

It must be frustrating to cover Venezuela for international news organizations. The country is crappy enough to make it burdensome to live there, but not nearly crappy enough for you to earn journalistic prestige points for covering it as opposed to, say, Iraq. Add to that the notorious lack of transparency of the “no comment revolution,” and…

You know what happens to people we send to Cuba, right?

Fifteen years is nothing

I found this El Universal interview with chavista heavyweight Alí Rodríguez particularly galling. Rodríguez seems to have let his guard down, and we appreciate that, but in the process he lays naked the vast intellectual wasteland that is chavismo. Basically, he says that chavismo needs to define how much the State should do, and what they…

The week in bullets

The Week in Bullets

We came up with a name for the Weekend Recap column: The Week in Bullets. Even when you may end up drenched in blood with this edition, please know that it is not supposed to be a red pages section. Hopefully, next week we’ll be back to writing about chicken, payoffs, unicorns, and the like. In…