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Money for baseball (and trips for free)

Before the baseball season began back in October, the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) publicly thanked government currency distributor CENCOEX for handling their requests right on schedule. But now it looks like the relationship between the state and the LVBP has reached an unprecedented level of intimacy. According to El Universal’s political correspondent Pedro Pablo Peñaloza, the central…

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Venezuela’s encripted devaluation

An obscure document was published yesterday by Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV), allowing PDVSA to sell the dollars it makes via oil exports to the BCV for deposit into an undeclared, secret fund at a more comfortable rate. Up until now, the rate that PDVSA got for its hard-earned dollars was the cheapest of the four…

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Things you find in your septic tank

Over the years, we’ve been hard on traditional Venezuelan media outlets. Sometimes, we’re really hard on them. So it came as a refreshing surprise to read the latest reportage from El Nacional’s Siete Días, written by the paper’s investigative journalism unit. (Sorry, in Spanish) The folks in charge of the piece went through the painstaking…

¡Véngase!

When did freedom die?

Last night, Nicolás Maduro announced that all purchases at every supermarket, convenience store, and mom-and-pop abasto would have to be verified through a fingerprint scanner in order to prevent people from purchasing too much – an electronic rationing card. The cadification of the Venezuelan economy is complete. Listen, about ten years ago, some distant relatives from Venezuela…

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The Ripping-The-BandAid-Off-Sloooooowly School of Devaluation

Today, International Air Travel was “switched to the SICAD II rate” – a wonderfully euphemistic way of saying the bolivar was aggressively devalued in the international air travel sector. In for-dummies terms, the cost of airline tickets for bolivar holders just went up about five-fold. And, just like that, one of the most cherished chavista…

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Curious in Bogotá

As you may remember, I (Anabella) decided to bid on Sicad II the same day that I handed in my Cadivi folders. The trámite was due to my need to go to Bogotá for my sister’s wedding. The second I put a foot in Colombia, I had the urge to register some of the anecdotes of what…

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Cadivi dies, and so does the middle class

(Since Cadivi is gasping its final breaths surrounded by controversy and not a minute too soon, this guest post by Iesa professor Pedro Luis Rodríguez could not be better timed. Rodríguez takes on Javier Corrales’ assertion that we’re mostly middle class, and concludes that it was all a mirage. Take a read and let us know how you view…