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teleSUR, the Workers’ Paradise? A Caracas Chronicles exclusive

(The full 5,500-word leaked email in Spanish and English) As teleSUR prepares to launch an English-language satellite station in July 2015 (its 10th anniversary), there is unrest in the Caracas and Quito headquarters. Several high-level employees have been mistreated and/or expelled by the inner circle in Caracas, and disparities in wages, shift schedules and workloads are…

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Sanctions are go!

One day after the historic reboot of U.S.-Cuba relations, Barack Obama has signed into law what will officially be known as the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (and unofficially as the Rubio-Menendez Act), which sanctions specific members of the Venezuelan government involved in human rights abuses in response the protests early this year. Looks…

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The Intelligence Blunder of the Decade

Cuba and the U.S. spent a year and a half secretly negotiating the normalization in their diplomatic relations through a Canadian back-channel. A year. And a half. Still, when it was announced this morning, the Venezuelan state seemed caught totally off-guard. State media went into deer-in-the-headlights panic mode, defaulting to silence for hours on end while…

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The Precise Instant Everything Went to Hell

It’s a luxury, really: not that many countries are able to pinpoint the exact moment when the wheels came off their economic institutions and macro-chaos became inevitable. We can. It happened on November 9th, 2003, during Aló Presidente #171: Esta es mi discusión con el Banco Central y yo quiero hacerla pública porque tengo tres meses en esto…

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The “pet cock” gave them away

Five weeks ago, our pal Setty published a terrific article for the Columbia Journalism Review on scams and the media. Using Arevenca, the scam Venezuelan company whose president, Francisco Javier González, has allegedly been involved in several shady deals, Setty goes on to explore the role of the media in (sometimes) publicizing scams. The money quote: “The website looked fine—dozens…