Sundde did it again. For the fourth year in a row, it went through one of Caracas’ main commercial areas, making shopkeepers do business at a loss. This time, many stores are going under.

Twenty Years is Nothing

Your daily briefing for Friday, December 15, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Law & Order: Stupid Venezuelans Unit

At last, the “narcosobrinos” have been sentenced, guilty of drug trafficking. What the court transcripts reveal, however, is a circle of corruption and connivance only possible in revolution.

Falling Into Line

I went to the heart of chavista territory to see why people voted red and played along with the dictatorship. My worst fear is that, eventually, we will all play along as well.

Sinopec Settles PDVSA’s Cabilla Shaft

Just when you think PDVSA's penchant for criminal mischief can't get any more malignantly self-destructive, they go off and stiff the Chinese on a $43.5 million contract for re-bar.

That Bitter Scribble

Like a mocking gift from the past, I just found an old medical book with El Comandante’s signature in it, a bitter reminder of how things were when he signed it, and how hopeless the scene is now.

The Perfect Blackmail

Last sunday, I went to different voting stations to see how the “Puntos Rojos” influence elections. Chavismo is betting on fear, implicit threats and your empty stomach.

Bullfighting Is Rigged

Bullfighting is a great analogy for the municipal election on Sunday. It might sometimes feel like the bull has a chance, but it’s all part of the show.

Previous Briefings

Retrieving the Prize

Your daily briefing for Thursday, December 14, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Where’s the Joy?

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Hunger’s Victory

Your daily briefing for Monday, December 11, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Enter the PETRO

Few things are as hot today as cryptocurrencies, and chavismo sure wants in on the fun. Of course, the meaning of fun here depends on how morally bankrupt you are.

It’s Official: Venezuela Enters Hyperinflation

Venezuelan inflation blew past 50% a month, the hyperinflationary threshold.

Daring to Break the Silence

Secrecy has been a tacit policy of chavismo for years. Now, the National Assembly might have found a way to, maybe not break it, but at least disrupt it.

Eulogio’s Fatal Naïveté

The inside story of Eulogio del Pino’s brutal defenestration shows a nerd in far over his head. He fell because of his child-like innocence with regard to the nature of the regime he serves.

The Battle Inside Venezuelan Sports

Venezuela’s disappointing performance at the 2017 Bolivarian Games provokes serious questions, but a very controversial firing has overshadowed the entire discussion.

The Meaning of Misery

The monetary aggregates and statistics mean nothing to Carolina. All she knows is that when the time comes to buy vegetables, the idea of buying a whole kilo of something is an extravagance she can't afford.

Rafa’s Pity Party

Few men have been as powerful in Venezuela as former oil czar Rafael Ramírez. Now that he’s a target in the latest chavista purge, let’s remember why he should never have our sympathy.

Fighting All Alone

Venezuela is going through its worst moment in the fight against HIV. Today, on World AIDS Day, we bring you the reality of being HIV positive during national meltdown.

What’s a nice guy like Asdrúbal Oliveros doing in a negotiation...

I was your typical, dialogue-dismissing opposition cynic … until my mentor decided to take part in the Dominican Republic talks.

Three Diseases, One Truth

The International Council of AIDS Service Organizations and Acción Ciudadana Contra el Sida just released their report on three Venezuelan epidemics. The scenario is horrifying.

It’s not What You Know, it’s What You’ve Documented

Today, Human Rights Watch is publishing an 85 page report documenting the full spectrum of human rights abuses committed to put down the protests of earlier this year.

PDVSA’s Self-Inflicted Wound

The new Oil Minister and PDVSA CEO, General Manuel Quevedo has no experience in the oil industry. His appointment is a tantalizing peek at what's happening behind chavismo’s closed doors.

VTV’s Darkest Day

Today, the state’s main TV station, VTV, will celebrate a 25-year-old coup with epic narrative. Tragic, considering how the insurgents painted those walls with innocent blood.

No Passports for You

After a lot of back and forth, the Venezuelan government just admitted that it cannot provide new passports for its people. The reason is as sad as it is predictable.

Fighting for an Empty Shell

Helen Fernández, the person Antonio Ledezma designated as a mayor in his absence, was just ousted from her post by a sick powerplay… authored by the opposition itself.

Graciagiving, Fifteen Years On

Starting today, and for the next two weeks, we commemorate Caracas Chronicles’ 15th Anniversary by taking the moment to say ¡Gracias!

Mayors Without Borders

With Antonio Ledezma’s escape to freedom, the list of Venezuelan public officials fleeing from political persecution grows ever larger. Here's a rundown of the exiled mayor's club.

On Politics and Morals

Negotiations between Maduro’s government and the opposition are about to start again. Many cry treason, but on what authority?

The Vulture Watching the Bond House

Anatoly sinks his teeth into the story of the defaulted borrower taking informal advice from one of its sketchy skid-row lenders… What could possibly go wrong?


For over 18 years, scholars of all sorts have seen their freedom eroded, bit by bit. Today, on our Student’s Day, we wonder: just how much damage has been done to Venezuela’s academia?

Salvados Redux

The second half of Maduro’s “Salvados” interview isn’t as compelling as the first, but still offers interesting bits about how Venezuela is seen in Spain, and how Maduro is a master at contradicting himself.

Being Antonio Ledezma

Antonio Ledezma, Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, was a prisoner of chavismo until his escape, yesterday. One of the few remaining opposition leaders, now in exile, this is a man who never gave up.

Losing Our Cool: The Demise of Venezuelan Glaciers

Just to add a tinge more sad news to the Venezuelan landscape, GlacierHub now reports that the country is losing its last glacier.

No Cash, No Debit, No Luck

You really need to buy something. But the bank wont give you cash, and the electronic payment system collapsed. Small businesses lose money everyday. Welcome to the new normal in Venezuela.

On Mendoza, Hunger and the Potato

The word “heartless” doesn't begin to describe the way the Venezuelan government handles the hunger of its people. Lorenzo Mendoza is still doing his best to fight this.

What Suffering Means

Forget about bondholders and defaults: I spent the night shift in Mérida’s Hospital Pediatric wing, and this is the misery most doctors in the world only read about.

The Venezuelan FARC Franchise

The Venezuelan government just met, on Venezuelan soil, with a former terrorist organization that became a political party. Their goals are mysterious enough for everyone to worry.

Ten Million Percent Later

Add another zero to the raging fire of Venezuela’s macroeconomic cataclysm.

Maikel Exposed

It’s been rumored that the Supreme Tribunal’s chief Justice, Maikel Moreno, is a truly shady character. Reuters just did a profile on him and guess what? “Shady” doesn’t begin to cover it.

Overture at the UN

The first meeting about Venezuela's crisis was held at the U.N. Security Council on Monday. And even if it’s happening more slowly than we’d like it to, the wheels of fate are turning against the Maduro regime.

When Hate Becomes State Policy

Just how messed up is the Law Against Hate? It’s totally Orwellian, and full of crimes that chavistas love to commit.

A Meeting About Nothing

The hotly trailed meeting with Bondholders at Palacio Blanco amounted to a boring speech by Tareck, barely different from the usual stream of propaganda pablum on Venezuelan State TV. God help us all.

Évole vs. Maduro: The Salvados Interview

Nicolás Maduro tried to look like a wise, democratic leader in the Salvados interview from yesterday. Whether he did or not is something we’ll let you decide.

Venezuela goes to the Security Council

The UN Security Council will discuss Venezuela today. Although informal, the meeting is a step in the right direction, with the right voices and, hopefully, the right conclusions.

Watching the 2017 Miss Venezuela

My editors forced me to sit down and watch the Miss Venezuela pageant this week. I expected glamour and charm from this Venerable National Institution. I found out that devaluation reaches further and wider than we thought.

The Juan Planchard Inside Each of Us

The bolichico par excellence, Juan Planchard feeds on suffering and vice. He's fictitious, but so close to truth that you're gonna rage… bad.

Schrödinger’s Default

This morning, Electricidad de Caracas’s 2018 bond went into default...or did it?

Quiet Little Sheep

Our very own Gustavo Hernández predicted the death of free speech recently, and the final blow was just dealt. Everyone is a target.

Our Little Chernobyls

You’d think San Cristóbal is Raqqa: Every other day, we’re told some power plant or refinery has become the target of terrorism in Venezuela. When tragedy becomes a joke, people pay with their lives.

Default is So Yesterday: Worry about Acceleration

Ahora sí. PDVSA is in default. It's bad, and could be disastrous — especially if we reach the next step: Acceleration.