Chavismo’s LGBT Problem

A couple of weeks ago, CC fellow blogger Audrey M. DaCosta wrote about Tamara Adrian, Venezuela’s fist-ever transgender candidate for public office. Her story made headlines and shone a much needed spotlight on the LGBT agenda in Venezuela. Now, thanks to Chavismo’s handling of their own gay and transgender candidacies, Adrian’s run for office has…

Fact-Checking the Perrarina Canard

You’ve heard it. Everyone’s heard it. In the early 1990s, the Venezuelan economy got so bad, poor people were forced to eat “Perrarina”, the popular dry dog food brand. But…is there any substance at all to this story? El Pitazo, one of the new crop of Venezuelan digital media outlets created followed the dismantling of the…

In Defense of Guerrilla Capitalism

Rigid price controls, coupled with strict controls over the movement of food from one place to another, can break down society’s ability to feed itself. It’s a lethal combination. Put them together with enough political repression and the result can be famine. In Ukraine, in the 1930s, the combination of policies that made it impossible for…

Accountability, Jesse Chacón Style

Remember Jesse Chacón, Venezuela’s Electricity Czar? The guy’s useless at getting power flowing smoothly, of course, but you do have to give him credit for absolutely incredible, titanium-plated cojones. It was way back in April 2013 that Jesse famously promised to resign in 100 days if electric supply problems were not fixed. The supply problem was,…

VENZ/PDVSA: The Mixed Martial Arts of Bond Trading

Friend of the blog and Economist DAUZ shares a guest post about the Indiana Jones-meets-Wolf of Wall Street reality that is dealing in Venezuelan debt instruments. Interested parties (read: tropical adrenaline junkies, Bloomberg enthusiasts, and PDVSA bondholders) will surely geek out on this colorful, slice-of-life from the trading floor.  It’s days like February 10th, 2015, that…

Baduel Paroled

General Raúl Baduel was granted parole yesterday after serving six years out of an eight year sentence on trumped up charges of embezzlement. Chávez’s one-time Defense Minister, and the man who organized his return to power by mobilizing the Parachute Regiment in his defense on April 13, 2002, General Baduel had been tried on transparently…

Another Return to Caracas Chronicle

Caught the red eye to Barcelona. Barcelona, Anzoátegui, that is. Blood-shot eyes. Mosquitoes big as helicopters, and the wait. That absurd time-bending wait while an immigration officer chats on her phone, one kid cries, the other drools over your shoulder, and you are about to lose your connecting flight. As the immigation officer giggled, a…

The One about Chávez’s Hearse

Carolina Acosta-Alzuru has a good riff about the need to wait until a country is ready to tell its stories. Venezuela isn’t ready to start telling its story yet, but one day, when the dust has settled and the country begins to find its voice, it’s going to be incredibly spoilt for choice: the one item where production has…

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About the War for Miranda’s Second Circuit, But Were Afraid to Ask

Last Friday saw the end of a nasty and self-destructive struggle for supremacy within the opposition coalition for the right to nominate the candidate for the safest opposition seat in the country: the Este-del-Este‘s Miranda Circuit #2. The outcome was…discomfiting: an AD-Voluntad Popular stitch up that sold Maria Corina Machado down the river in a nasty, vindictive slight…

Come for the crime, stay for the petting zoo

RunRun.es has a blockbuster piece on Tocorón Prison in Aragua State, quickly becoming the epicenter of #PranNation. Run by a business savvy “Pran” (prison gang leader) with a growth vision, Tocorón has been on a building frenzy of late, blurring the lines between vacation resort and jail. Charmingly, the jail has become the one place…

Another day, another party-jacking

It wouldn’t be an ordinary week in today’s Venezuela without the highest court in the land taking over a political party to appoint a pro-government clique to lead it. This week saw the turn of the National Integrity Movement, better known as MIN-UNIDAD. The Constitutional Chamber admitted a motion by Alix Ramon Medina, head of the MIN’s Barinas State branch, who…

Time’s Up, Minister Osorio

Remember this? The headline ran on June 7th in Ultimas Noticias. Major General Carlos Osorio, Minister for Food, pledged solemnly that the food availability crisis would have ended by…today. We’ll be expecting your resignation by the end of the day, Felix. Right? RIGHT!?