“Beisbol” Blues

After 15 years of having a recruitment center in the country, the Seattle Mariners are packing their bags and leaving town for the Dominican Republic. It’s the latest Major League Baseball team to abandon Venezuela (sixteen in the last decade), leaving only four MLB franchises in the Venezuelan Summer League (VSL), a league dedicated to…

#TropaTelesur under siege

Imagine what would happen to your business if you discriminated among your employees based on nationality alone, and they knew about it. What would your workers do if they found out that some of their colleagues earn 100 *times* their salary by virtue of simply being foreign? Well, could you blame them if they took the story to…

Sobremesa Chronicles

You know what I miss? I miss the truth. I yearn for a politician that speaks his or her mind, damn the torpedoes. Consider, for example, the past few weeks in the thorny, cantankerous, dysfunctional relationship between the US and Venezuela. You know what’s happened: embassies are being downsized, then not. Sanctions have been imposed. Marches have…

The Misguided MUD

Boy, this communiqué from the MUD in response to Barack Obama’s recent Executive Order is a clear example of the old adage about a camel being a horse designed by a committee. What a mish-mash. Let’s break it down – what is the text saying? 1. Venezuela is not a threat, and the only thing that…

An important point on the Venezuelan “threat”

A friend from the States calls me up to say: “the word ‘threat’ and the declaration of an emergency is a technical requirement. The legal body that gives the President the authority to impose sanctions on Venezuelan human rights violators is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, known in Washington by its acronym IEEPA. In it,…

What’s in Roy’s head? (Updated: Chaderton sort of apologizes)

Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS, has always been a curious little beast. A product of Venezuela’s ancien regime, he is one of the few highly-educated diplomats that remained in good standing with Chávez after the Revolution came to power. After the tides turned, many people in top positions turned in their resignations in disgust – Ambassador…

Is he a threat?

In today’s Executive Order imposing tough sanctions on seven mid-ranking cogs in the chavista repression machine, Barack Obama had this to say: “I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela’s erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press…

Former presidents continue to speak out

Honorable President Nicolás Maduro Moros and Foreign Minister, Delcy Eloina Rodríguez Gómez We write to express our concern over the recent arrest of Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma and investigation of 33 mayors in your country.   Last week marked a year since the arrest of former mayor Leopoldo López Mendoza.  Mr. López has been held…

An UNASUR-ing visit

What a disaster the recent UNASUR visit to Venezuela has become. If you don’t know, UNASUR is the main international body for South American nations. A brainchild of Hugo Chávez and his allies, the body has struggled to gain international recognition. When they announced they were traveling to Venezuela to help foster dialogue, few in…

Diplomatic Inanity

Canada is in da house! Today we have a Guest Post from Sancho Panza, who went to see Venezuela’s Ambassador designate to Ottawa give a bit of a speech and lived to tell the tale… On Thursday, February 26th in a balmy Toronto, in a beautiful room of one the University of Toronto’s most beautiful…

Revolutionary TPlomacy

It hasn’t been an easy week for Nicolas Maduro here at home, so he decided to go back to his old hobby for a spot of foreign affairs. On the agenda: a visit to our Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago. Heading a delegation of ninety-five, Maduro met with the T&T Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (who, btw, is facing a political crisis…

Hegemony goes global

Since the efforts of lobbyists and PSFs are not yielding positive results lately, the central government has decided to take a new direct approach in the “media war”: the Vice-Ministry of International Communication, under control of the Communication & Information Ministry (MinCI). The mission of this new Vice-Ministry will be to not only present the government’s side…