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Grand Theft Political Party

It’s become commonplace: our highest court gets involved in the internal affairs of political parties. This week the gauntlet fell on two more: Bandera Roja (Red Flag), a once guerrilla group that decided eventually to replace the armed struggle for the electoral one, and Christian Democratic party COPEI, one of the main Venezuelan political parties of the pre-Chavez era. On…

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Leopoldo in depth

This Foreign Policy piece by Roberto Lovato has gotten a bit of pushback because of its less-than-rosy account of the public persona of Leopoldo López. And, in particular, for its cryptochavista fixation with the events of April, 2002. Putting that aside, though, it’s an accomplished, in-depth look at López’s life and career – where he grew up, who his…

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Maria Corina won’t back down (Update: Scarano banned too)

Yesterday, Maria Corina Machado offered a press conference to react to the Comptroller-General’s decision to bar her from holding public office for 12 months, which would leave her out of December 6th’s legislative election. Machado said that the formal reason given for her punishment is that she failed to declare her CestaTickets (a kind of private food-stamp often included…

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Worse than Wrong: Meaningless

Capping off a horrifically depressing news day, Henrique Capriles gave a “major speech” on economic policy today that barely merited the name. Capriles portrayed himself as presenting a short-term package of emergency economic recommendations, but the speech itself was so disjointed and incoherent it was hard to make heads or tails of what he was proposing.…