Our Thorny First Lady

Ascending through patience and cunning, our “First Combatant” is a mixture of Cersei Lannister and Lady Mao —and, allegedly, the real power behind the throne.

Daily Briefing

Be Strong, Mexico

For Wednesday, September 20, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Previous Posts

From Able but Unwilling, to Willing but Unable

No U.S. president has ever devoted as much of a U.N.G.A. speech to Venezuela as Donald Trump just did. But does he have the chops to lead the international response to Maduro?

The Inevitable Hector Rodríguez

We’re calling it first: Hector Rodríguez will one day be president of this patria grande. Don’t believe it? Look at these facts and despair.

Gilber Caro’s Hunger

National Assembly member Gilber Caro is the face of triumph over extraordinary obstacles. He is also the face of Maduro's unspeakable cruelty. He could be dead soon if he doesn't get help.

Revision, Rectification and Morocotas

The deranged chavistas now calling for a return to the Gold Standard aren’t deeply lost Glenn Beck fans. They’re mediocre pols who want the monetary benefits of good fiscal policy to come by magic, without any of the boring “fiscal discipline” bits.

PDVSA’s Basket Case

The government seems to think the cheap calculator trick in switching from dollars to yuan amounts to a financial strategy. They’re so far gone, they can’t even recognize hollow posturing for what it is anymore.

The Curse of the Tarpeian Rock

El Helicoide has always been an ambitious project. It's just that the ambition changed from futurist drive-through shopping mall to sinister torture chamber.

Previous Briefings

Councilman García’s Death

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Torture in Venezuela

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

An Unprecedented Effort

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

Dialogue with Bachata

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Crimes Against Humanity

For Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Recycling Failures

Your daily briefing for Friday, September 8, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Previous Posts

About Hope and the OAS Hearings

If you want to see the Maduro regime prosecuted for crimes against humanity, then you’re in luck. That road, however, is as tangled and complex as you might expect.

Este Mamagüevo

Venezuela has no shortage of quality grade assholes doing their finest to represent us abroad.


Years ago, Panama was the choice destination for Venezuelan expats. Over time, as numbers have swelled, yesterday's refuge has become ever more openly hostile to us.

Too Many Lies & Too Much Truth: a Foreign Investment Guide

Most countries publish guides for foreign investors, but none of those has Venezuela’s “sense of humor”. Let me show you why.

LIVE STREAM: House Foreign Affairs Committee on Venezuela

Join us at 2:00pm EST for a Congressional Hearing on "The Malicious Influence of State and Criminal Actors." Keep an eye out for the witness from Montreal, we hear he likes to destabilize on the record.


Venezuela is supposed to be covered by vaccination schemes, as required by international health organizations. So how come we have so many exposed children?

Ramón Lobo Reaches Peak Idiocy

For the first time in ages, the Finance Minister addressed his battered and bruised nation. To what end? To stamp out the scourge of our time… the merchant willing to swipe your card and advance you some cash for a commission.

The Constituyente before the Constituyente: Maduro’s Rule-by-Economic-Emergency-Decree

The Constituent Assembly’s sometimes portrayed as a strange new autocratic departure. In fact, when it comes to spending and anything related with the economy, Maduro been ruling on his own for ages.

The Man From Carrizal: J.L. Rodríguez’s Unlikely Challenge on Primero Justicia’s...

In Miranda, Carlos Ocariz is the obvious candidate for governor. But given a series of probable events, this other man might take the office, regardless of primaries.

Something in Our Blood: The Rising Plague of Malaria in Venezuela

With the general collapse of infrastructure, diseases allegedly defeated have made a horrifying comeback, and none has been more voracious than malaria.

Why You Should Vote in Today’s Opposition Primary

Voting isn't an act of protest, it's an act of tactical retreat. Tactical retreat is never fun. It's dispiriting, intolerable, bitter...and essential. Because the alternative is the end of organized opposition to the regime: the true Cuban scenario.

Miranda Primaries: Playing the Piano with Ten Fingers

The opposition candidates for governor in Miranda are fully aware of the questions troubling us all. How good are their answers for you?

Why would anyone want to be governor in Guayana?

Like you, I am not very convinced on voting for governors. And when I asked one of the candidates why it is worth it, you best believe the debate was on.

Aragua Primaries: Of Ismael and Other Demons

Nobody likes Ismael García... but here in Aragua we're pretty much resigned to him being MUD's gubernatorial candidate.

In Tachira, the Cordiality of the Damned

Many candidates, zero enthusiasm — in Táchira even the hardcore opposition is rolling its eyes at MUD’s primary.

The Primaries of Apathy

There are primaries this Sunday for governor elections in Mérida —and you probably didn’t know, or care, like most merideños around.

The Only Humanitarian Solution

As Francisco Rodríguez calls for the AN and the ANC to jointly approve new debt, we wonder who’s left out there who would lend to Venezuela with legislative authority, but not without it.

The End of the Kiting Strategy

What do U.S. financial sanctions mean for Venezuelan oil? Will PDVSA be pushed into default? Or will they just make selling oil to the U.S. a little more inconvenient? We navigate through the ins and outs of Executive Order # 13808.

What Lies at the Heart of Corazón Llanero

Two beloved radio stations just went off the air by executive decision. As you might expect, nothing in the Revolution happens by chance...

“When I stretched my arms, I could touch two opposite walls.”

Yon Goicoechea pens a New York Times Op-Ed from the dark confines of his jail cell. The three minutes that you spend reading it are three minutes of freedom that you gift a political prisoner.

Waiting for the Barbarians

Our emperor has said that there is an invasion afoot. We must trust him and prepare ourselves to vanquish the enemy.

The Bullet You Didn’t Dodge

In 2004, I went out for errands. I ended the day with a gunshot wound and an ultra-large dose of reality.

Our Revolt’s Soundtrack

The 2017 Protest Movement may have fizzled out, but there’s a song for that, too. Come in and have a listen.

Driver’s License: DIY

After losing my Venezuelan driver’s license, I expected a tortuous process to get it back. Little did I know, all you need is a printer, Internet and a big sense of humor.

A Song for the Fallen

With no political parties involved, society summoned a “March for the Fallen” last Wednesday. We mourned the dead, the few of us who showed up.

“At any moment there could be arrests of journalists. The fear...

For five years, Gustavo Hernández Acevedo has been minutely tracking each new attack on Venezuela's free press. Yesterday, for Deutsche Welle, he stood back to survey the wreckage.

Will the last deputy to leave the AN turn off the...

The people who asked for my vote in 2015 so that they could hold sessions in Parliament are no longer holding sessions in Parliament because they want to ask for my vote.

“Never in my life had I spent a night worrying about...

In an exceptionally lucid and harrowing piece in The Observer, Emma Graham-Harrison introduces us to the Venezuelan teenagers turning to prostitution to stave off hunger.

El Viejo González Estarriol

Venezuelans tend to think we are the first cases of everything, but I’m not even the first to experience repression in my family. This is how my great-grandpa lived it – and won.

What do they think about Luisa Ortega in Santa Paula?

With the defenestrated Luisa Ortega Diaz traipsing around South America giving speeches denouncing government corruption, the opposition base still can’t seem to make up its mind about what to think of her.

Taking Up Permanent Residence in Delcy’s Orwellian Nightmare

The government has already begun to retroactively blame Friday’s U.S. Sanctions for problems it caused years ago.

CELACantaron Clarito

Hugo Chávez created the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as a friendly forum to protect Venezuela from external pressure. These days, the body won’t even hold a meeting if Nicolás Maduro convenes it.

From Chacao to Exile: How Ramon Muchacho Still Gives me Hope

Before he was exiled, before he was targeted by the regime's political police, even before he was El Alcalde, he was Ramón, my friend, the civil servant.

The Tragedy of Choroní: Tears of Neglect

What used to be a paradise getaway for many has turned into a living hell. The worst part? It all could have been avoided.

The Chinazo of Venny Bonds

The Chinese may be throwing a lifeline to the Venezuelan government through a fishy deal, again sinking the country further into misery and helping Maduro remain in power at all costs.

Venny Prohibition: will Trump D.A.R.E. to do it?

The Trump administration is considering a ban on some or all Venezuela/PDVSA bond trading, and now bondholders are leaving the market while they still can.