I have no idea

The arbitrarily poor

Quico and I had a non-quibble a few days ago about poverty. I criticized poverty measures, and he beat me up about it. Truth is that I agree with him. Poverty is a very complex thing with many definitions: income, savings, choices, and even expenditure. People have tried to package it in a single indicator, but numbers end…

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Capriles, in depth

An interesting interview with Henrique Capriles, by the team of Juan Carlos Zapata and Elizabeth Fuentes, from the new Internet site konzapata.com. In it, Capriles tones down his criticism of the #LaSalida gang, and offers a more nuanced explanation of his views. Several money quotes: What I proposed was giving the economic and social crisis time to…

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Caracas’ mysterious religion

Ruben opened the buttons of his shirt to show me the tattoo on his chest. It was a large image of a 2-year-old’s face, with big sad eyes and thick lips. “That’s my son. I wasn’t able to have kids because I had a health problem but fíjate, after I was made a saint, I was able…

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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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Nothing is free

Our pal Setty has a thoroughly researched, hugely important story on a little footnote in the PDVSA financials. It turns out that, long ago, PDVSA seized some ships from one of its partners, and yadda yadda yadda, Venezuelans lost $644 million. In minute detail, Setty goes through the job of untangling this particular ball of yarn. The…