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Sobremesa Chronicles

Yesterday, Venezuela lost one of its greatest artists. I dare say Pedro León Zapata was THE greatest artist of the last era of our history. Why is this controversial? Zapata was a cartoonist. Doesn’t sound like high art, right? Large crises are usually fodder for artists. Picasso’s greatest painting was inspired by the carnage of Guernica. Steinbeck would not…

FOURTH Rev

What is the state for?

The Venezuelan government headed East last week to beg for funds from the Chinese in order to save their Revolutionary State. Yet chavismo’s global treasure hunt, regardless of the outcome, is not the only race in town. All over the world politicians, scholars, businessmen and ordinary citizens are pondering a new purpose for the state, and what it is good for in…

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Among barbarians

December 2nd, 2014. 8:06 am. I am walking north from the Plaza Venezuela subway station toward La Florida. I cross Libertador Avenue. The blind man is there, as always. A couple of weeks before, I witnessed how a National Guard unit blocked traffic in this same intersection to allow two black luxury SUVs with tinted glass…

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Venezuela’s common touch

Some people believe that the crisis we are suffering is just a manifestation of something deeper, part of a set of unresolved cultural tensions. Key among these is the tension between modernity and rural life. We just can’t shake it off. Rural life is still present in our cities, in our families, and in ourselves. The late Venezuelan…