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Nicmer’s Terminal Case of Esto-es-el-colmo Syndrome

There’s a special fascination to the genre: the fallen-from-grace former true believer whose life embodies every stalinist fiber in chavismo’s body but who is just physically unable to grasp how his personal experience comprehensively  refutes his political ideology. The layers upon layers of self-delusion of sheer automojoneamiento involved are engrossing. And no one but no one is in…

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Sh!tstorm Chronicles

Last night, while Maduro was rambling on TV about how he and Russia will stabilize world oil prices, the El Valle river flooded. Before signing off from his weekly TV show, the disaster was brought to the President’s attention, and he went on to criticize the ultraderecha twitter commentators who blamed his administration for the flood. “Imbeciles” he…

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Why Tareck?

What exactly is the government trying to signal through Aragua Governor Tareck El-Aissami’s extremely high profile over the last few days? In the space of a week, he went from announcing a major security operation on the Colombian border to making a new batch of paranoid-schizophrenic allegations of opposition murder plots.  Why him? Technically, Tareck…

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State of Emergency Declared in Táchira

Last night, Tarek el Aissami, ex-Minister of Justice and current Governor of Aragua, was in charge of reading part of the State of Emergency Decree which will rule over five municipalities of the Western Venezuela border state of Táchira. The decree which, according to El Aissami, reflects “the supreme importance that Central Government places on Human…

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Everyone and their mothers is implicated in the Hergueta murder

In a move that has surpassed even the most permissive standards of batshit lunacy, the Venezuelan government has published its definitive list of suspects linked to Patriota Cooperante José Pérez Venta’s murder and hacking-up of Liana Hergueta. Along with your everyday presidential assassins (María Corina Machado), arsonist coup mongers (Leopoldo López) and paramilitary fascists (Álvaro Uribe), newcomer…

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Another Dakazo?

The episode is seared into the opposition’s collective psyche: with his approval ratings already in freefall, Nicolas Maduro headed into state and local elections in late 2013 facing a certain drubbing. Then, at the last minute, he had a great idea. Inviting people to quasi-legally loot a popular electronics-and-appliances chain of shops would be sure…

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“I am filled with my country”

Before Julio Coco. Before Irene Saez, and El Conde del Guácharo, and Luis Chataing. Before Hugo Chávez himself, there was Renny. Renny Ottolina was the ultimate political outsider. A cross between Ed Sullivan and Jon Stewart, Renny was a fixture in Venezuelan TV for much of the 1960s and 1970s. In the middle of that decade,…