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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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Sky-high excuses

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made it crystal clear: Venezuela could lose much of its aerial connectivity because of the large debt the government has with several international air carriers. But Economic VP/Oil Minister/PDVSA Chairman (and apparently an international air travel expert as well) Rafael Ramírez … disagrees. “No one is leaving the country. (The…

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Can I have MY number?

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) – the ability to change carriers without having to change your phone number – is becoming a hot topic of debate all over the world. In Latin America, several countries have already implemented this regulation, and many more are well on their way to doing so. This is particularly important for…

Boondoggles as non-traditional exports

From Sochi with love

Now that we are done with the introductions and the sappy posts, let us get down to business. I came across this viral article from the Washington Post that describes the hardships endured by sports journalists in their hotels while covering the Sochi Olympics. The tweets and pictures show unfinished facilities, incompetent personnel, pictures of Putin on…

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Uneasy Riders

Bikers in Venezuela – locally known as “motorizados” – are a fascinating subculture. Going from motopirueteros to mototaxis to messengers, they are a definitive part of the Venezuelan urban ecosystem, albeit one not held in very high esteem.  To many, motorizados are a big, emotionally charged problem. My experiences with motorizados have been bittersweet. My side…

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The suckiest way to fly

In recent days, passengers of flights by Venezuelan air carrier RAVSA, better known as La Venezolana faced long delays. Really, really long delays. As other airlines started to help out and the government began getting involved, rumours over the fact that company is now operating with only one aircraft sound kinda feasible. Over the years…