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Visualize July

A few months ago, in the heat of the student protests, Quico wrote a post saying that, come May, the protest movement would have been forgotten. Among other things, by May, he said, “several high profile student movement leaders will be in jail, perhaps alongside some additional, household name politicians.” The student movement proved to…

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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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All your Torre de David are belong to us

If there’s a symbol of today’s Venezuela, is probably the skyscraper-turned-slum known as “La Torre de David”. The high-rise slum has become so famous abroad, that even Hollywood has taken note. But its days could be numbered according to this report from newspaper Tal Cual. Why is that? Because China. Our Chinese overlords want to turn the…

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Death is easy to find. Coffins? Not so much

Most Venezuelan businesses are having a tough time these days, but you would think funeral homes would be booming – what with a crime wave and all. Turns out funeral homes are just like any other business, albeit slightly creepier: in a recent interview, Ricardo Guedez, member of the Venezuelan Funeral Parlors’ Association (Canadefu), spoke of the multiple…

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Life meets pavement

Tents, bare mats, improvised shelters, tattered refrigerators, and used-up kitchen utensils cover the sidewalk of this stretch of Avenida Lecuna, in downtown Caracas. Several government-subsidized buildings on both sides of the street are adorned with propaganda. Women, men, and kids stand by, looking at each other and at the cars driving on this busy street. They sit on…

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Life in short supply

Dr. Martín Carvallo, who heads the Hospital Universitario’s HIV department, doesn’t know what to tell his patients when they ask what they can do when they can’t get the anti-retrovirals they need. “What can I say? There’s nothing I can do, and there’s nothing they can do,” he says. Paint is peeling off the blue walls of the Infectious Diseases Unit in what…

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What leaving Venezuela means to Jews

In February 1939, two ships approached the shores of Venezuela after a long, desperate voyage. The Konisgtein and the Caribia’s captains had already asked for asylum in many other ports, now they pleaded with the authorities to allow the entry of its 251 passengers. But it was 1939, and the ship’s human cargo was considered radioactive. Why? Because most of the passengers were…