Maduro plays the victim

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro shut down a piece of the border with Colombia a few days ago. Not happy with that, he has begun rounding up Colombian citizens and expelling them from the country, no questions asked. Their homes are being torn down. Maduro claims he is the victim of drug smugglers and paramilitaries. However, the…

State of Emergency Declared in Táchira

Last night, Tarek el Aissami, ex-Minister of Justice and current Governor of Aragua, was in charge of reading part of the State of Emergency Decree which will rule over five municipalities of the Western Venezuela border state of Táchira. The decree which, according to El Aissami, reflects “the supreme importance that Central Government places on Human…

Colombia’s Shockingly (to a Venezuelan) Mundane Election System

Less than an hour after the closing of the polling stations, we learned that Oscar Ivan Zuluaga –Uribe’s boy- pushed President Santos to a presidential runoff vote, actually beating him in the 2nd round of Colombia’s presidential election. What shocked Venezuelans the most? How quickly they announced the results. Venezuela is said to have one of…

Adventures in birtherism

The Venezuelan birther movement started out on the fringes of political discussion. It was a subject few people dared to touch, and when they did, it was a hush-hush thing. “Chico, ¿tú crees que de verdad Maduro es colombiano?” After a while, the story of Nicolás Maduro’s curiously missing birth records grew some legs. All…

Bye Bye Bucaramanga…

So the last few days at the ULibro book fair put on by the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga were just awesome: Bucaramanga was a real revelation, and the fair itself was wonderful. It was inspiring to see the drive, the energy, the intellectual ambition this little Andean university is able to muster. Real debate on…