Sobremesa Chronicles

“Who comes from Colombia to Venezuela? These are people who come with no education, without a penny in their pocket, it’s the poor who come fleeing … Venezuela has become a magnet, a guarantee for social rights for the Colombian people. I have to say it, and I ask for your understanding … I don’t offend Colombia…

Santa Bárbara

It’s 6:30 PM, and it’s already pitch dark in Maracaibo, courtesy of Hugo Chávez’s tantrum that led to a change in the time zone a few years back. I’m having dinner with an old high school friend at the shore of the lake. The warm, humid July breeze brings with it a mixture of dust and nostalgia. We’re…

Sobremesa Chronicles

Upon my arrival in Caracas, I expected to hear lots of stories about Leopoldo, or about scarcity, or about the lack of freedom in the press. Instead, the latest gossip revolved around a party. The teenage son of a big-time chavista boligarch threw an unforgettable bash in a Caracas Country Club house last Friday: one thousand…

Sobremesa Chronicles

A new study by American University yields a result that, to some, might seem shocking: right after it changed ownership, Globovisión became an unbiased news outlet. Three academics linked to the University, led by Prof. Michael McCarthy, studied the station’s broadcasts between 2013 and the summer of 2014. They found that there was no bias in the station’s coverage,…

Sobremesa Chronicles

Bitching about our country is sort of our national sport. We all partake, more or less. But you know where I draw the line? When people say that “oil is a curse.” Oil is a blessing. A huge one. Folks – oil is the only thing we’ve got goin’ for us. Our agriculture is the pits pretty much everywhere…

Sobremesa chronicles

(For this week’s sobremesa, Rodrigo chimes in re. the “morality” of selling your dollar allowance) In Venezuela you get a yearly dollar allowance. If you use your allowance, nothing happens. If you sell your allowance, you could face jail time, and also be considered traitor to you Fatherland. But is it morally wrong to sell what the…

Sobremesa Chronicles

Ángel Rodríguez. Roy Daza. Walter Gavidia. Dalia Herminia Yánez. Carolus Wimmer. Quick – what do all these people have in common? … Well, unless you’re related to them, you probably do not know. They are four of Venezuela’s representatives to the Latin American Parliament, a useless waste of taxpayer money if I ever saw one. Look,…