The Week in Bullets

We came up with a name for the Weekend Recap column: The Week in Bullets. Even when you may end up drenched in blood with this edition, please know that it is not supposed to be a red pages section. Hopefully, next week we’ll be back to writing about chicken, payoffs, unicorns, and the like. In…

Habemus Landrieu-gate

OK, so it took a few days, but finally a major political news outlet in the US is following the scandal involving Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and her close, intimate relationship with Citgo’s money. The website Politico – one which *everyone* in Washington reads – has the story in its lead page. In fact, it goes beyond…

Evil in the Bayou

Over the past week, with the story of El Pollo Carvajal’s Aruba narco-escapade, and reports of an obscene dollars-imports-military scam, we have come to understand what we’re up against in Venezuela: drug-trafficking generals. Leave it to a last minute blocking of a U.S. Senate bill to clear things up a little more: we’re actually facing drug-trafficking…

Chávez eres (ta)tú

Anabella and Barbara tackled the wackiness of Chavez’s fandom a few weeks ago with a brief post on the man’s signature and all new typeface. Early this morning the good people of Aporrea announced there will be a cultural event held on the premises of OPSU (Oficina de Planificación del Sector Universitario) in downtown Caracas. This,…

Was immunity alone enough to free Carvajal?

There has been a lot of speculation on why the Kingdom of the Netherlands (sort-of) granted immunity to Carvajal and then let him go. We’ve said that immunity alone should not have been sufficient to protect Hugo Carvajal and have him delivered back home. Jose Ignacio Hernandez (@ignandez) has made some interesting points on what Holland…

Breaking: Chicken Run [Updated]

[Update: The Dutch confirm Carvajal will be freed and reports say he will board a Caracas-bound flight shortly. Teach your children to traffic coke, folks, it’s the only thing that pays.] Our favorite story of the week —that which took our attention from the really important stuff— has come to an abrupt end. According to Elías…

Weekend Recap

T’was a busy week for the press Venezuelan online media and tweet-pushers. Let’s take it from the top: Noodle Western: A new sheriff Venezuela was recently visited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived with a very tight agenda for the —now traditional— bestowing of the faux(?) Presidential sash ceremony in his honor, and to sign a few more cooperation agreements.…

El Gordo Bayón

Yorman Márquez, aka El Gordo Bayón, was gunned down a few days ago. His story is like a micro-cosm of chavista Venezuela – union leader, alleged murderer, ex-con, high-level political operative, victim. Read it and weep. (HT: OB)  

Missing the Point of Fonden

Long time readers know I have a special fascination with Fonden – the Chávez-created National Development Fund – and, as a corollary, with the Venezuelan press’s utter failure to explain it. It remains a subject of undying fascination for me: all these years later, even the newspaper reading elite – hell, the newspaper writing elite – doesn’t seem…

The scandalous Mr. Aveledo

Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the Secretary General of the MUD, got mired in a public relations disaster today. It all started this morning. During a hearing in the United States Senate, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said, under oath, that “members of the MUD” had explicitly asked her to not impose sanctions on representatives of the Venezuelan…

Fahrenheit 058

Over at Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog, I try and explain just why Venezuelan parents are incensed. The value added: In order to “promote participatory democracy,” the resolution states that all decisions in every school — public or private — must involve parents, teachers, students, workers, and even “the community,” represented by “communal councils.” Including communal councils in…

Graphs galore!

Twitter is just chock-full’a graphs today. Here’s one from Asdrúbal Oliveros on Venezuela’s car production. Vamos sobre ruedas!These two are from my partners-in-crime at ODH. The first is on how the World Bank viewed us in 1998, and how they view us now. Hmm, somebody in Washington doesn’t like the Revolution! And finally, I was…

Crime – and nothing else

Mónica Spear and her husband were not the only ones who died yesterday. There was also Guido Méndez, a university professor, and his mother Glory, both killed inside their Catia apartment. There was Kelvin Tortoza and his friend Alejandro Torres, both in their twenties, shot to death while they were talking on the street in…