“I am filled with my country”

Before Julio Coco. Before Irene Saez, and El Conde del Guácharo, and Luis Chataing. Before Hugo Chávez himself, there was Renny. Renny Ottolina was the ultimate political outsider. A cross between Ed Sullivan and Jon Stewart, Renny was a fixture in Venezuelan TV for much of the 1960s and 1970s. In the middle of that decade,…

Eulogio, Venezuela’s mighty oil Czar

On Tuesday evening, President Nicolás Maduro announced what in revolutionary newspeak is referred to as a sacudón (shake-up), otherwise known to the rest of the globe as cabinet reshuffle. The most noteworthy replacement happened in the Ministry of the Popular Power for Petroleum and Mining. Eulogio Del Pino, who is, and will continue to be, the chief of state oil company PDVSA, will be taking…

BCV: Who needs numbers when you have a well-dressed waitstaff?

Somewhere between not publishing official economic data and overseeing a banknote printing frenzy on steroids, Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) still finds time for the mundane. According to this tweet from Bloomberg News correspondent Nathan Crooks, our maximum monetary authority just announced an open tender for the procurement of (and I’m not making this up) tuxedos for waiters. As in,…

Paranoid much?

Want to make Rafael Ramirez really uncomfortable? Start talking about the need for a Transitional Government, no matter what the context. The United Nations Security Council expressed support for Syria mediation efforts on Monday, but in a rare move Venezuela dissociated itself from references in the statement to any mentions of political transition and or transitional…