When he was alive, half of the Venezuelan opposition thought Óscar Pérez was a chavista plant, the other half that he was a bit of a joke. His death —and the desecration of his body— have turned him in death into his dream: a real threat for the government.

A Chavismo of Nightmares

In Germany in the 1930s, a journalist took to collecting and curating people’s nightmares. I reflect on the terrible relevance that project has for Venezuelans today.

De Mérida pa’ Montevideo: How the Little Human Rights NGO that...

In a meeting chavistas requested at the Interamerican Human Rights Commision, Gocho activists watched the government delegation’s faces contort with rage as they realized the official truth wouldn’t go unchallenged.

WSJ’s Anatoly Kurmanaev Wrote a Moving Farewell Piece about the Oil...

The Wall Street Journal correspondent is leaving the country after five years. His last story from Venezuela is about the collapse of the oil industry in Lake Maracaibo and what it means for oil workers there. He says he’ll miss the Venezuelan people, just not as much as we’ll miss him.

Maracucho Taxi Drivers Pioneer Dollarization Pa’ Resolver

Dollarization won’t be decreed by an economist wearing a suit from a podium in Caracas. It's going to come when taxi drivers figure out how dollars can “hacer su agosto, Navidad and Carnavales” all in one go.

Buried by Hyperinflation, Metro de Caracas Employees Can’t Afford to Work

A Metro employee was fired because he complained on social media his salary wasn’t enough to buy detergent so he could wash his uniform. Others don’t show up for work, others quit to hawk coffee out of a thermos. Are we nearing the end of the Metro?

As Divina Pastora Season Turns Political, Maduro Threatens Bishops with Jail

For the second year running, Monsignor Antonio López Castillo gave a tough message to hundreds of thousands of Guaros. This year, though, the government has that Hate Law to threaten him with.

Previous Briefings

The dollar won’t obey

Your daily briefing for Saturday, January 20th, 2018.

Less Every Day

Your daily briefing for Friday, January 19, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Honors for a Criminal

Your daily briefing for Thursday, January 18, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Previous Posts

Alba Cecilia Mujica Fired for Speaking Up about Oscar Pérez

She was a household name, and one of Venezuela's most respected journalists, with a 17-year track record of achievement at Globovisión. The mistake that got her fired? Talking candidly about what happened on Monday.

The Astonishing Man who Created Our Astonishing Universe Died Yesterday

Rafael Sylva, creator of the iconic and powerful science-fiction radio show, Nuestro Insólito Universo, has passed away. His absolutely unique style left a rich archive we should all be thankful for.

The Weird Tales of Maduro Do Not Constitute an Accountability Speech

Nicolás Maduro went to the ANC instead of the AN on Monday, to deliver his Accountability Speech. According to him, everything’s fine and he won’t take responsibility for what isn’t. He also broke some laws, real and illegitimate, in the process.

Venezuela’s Black Mirror Moment: #DeathTo Óscar Pérez

The murder of Óscar Pérez made me ashamed of the way I reacted to his initial appearance. Have we become the good people who make it possible for evil to triumph by doing nothing?

Venezuelan Banks Stare into the Abyss

Hyperinflation is like a tsunami destroying everything in its wake. The banking system could be next, and it's not even in the top-3 bad things to happen to the economy this week.

Assassinating Óscar Pérez, Chavismo Shatters the Myth of the Peaceful Endgame

The paramilitary operation that killed rebel pilot Óscar Pérez destroyed more than the house where he was hiding and Venezuelans aren’t quite over the shock yet.

Fear Takes Over and Crushes Daily Life in Venezuela

Even if you’re trying to lead a normal life, powerlessness, uncertainty and panic will slowly but surely creep up on you.

Maduro’s Premined Crypto: A Petro Explainer

The government keeps hushing information about the Petro. From what we do know, it’s just too similar to one of the many ways the nation has been robbed before.

Alcaldía Mayor: a eulogy

When chavismo reached power, it created a post that would cause them many headaches, the Alcaldía Metropolitana. Killed last year, these are the life and times of the controversial office.

VA11-Ha11a: A Dystopian Video Game Makes Caracas’ Crisis Cyberpunk Cool

A group of Venezuelan game designers came up with a dystopian fantasy set in a lightly disguised Caracas’ bar. Welcome to VA-11 HALL-A, have a drink.

In Guayana Looters Pick Stores Clean, Move Onto Homes

Looting used to be just about stores. But as the crisis deepens, people's homes are becoming targets, too.

The Limits of Chavismo’s Strategy

Chavismo spent 20 years making people dependent on Papá Gobierno, then it ran out of money. How does loyalty work in times of hunger?

At the Centro Portugués, it’s Portus vs. Portugal’s Foreign Minister

Portugal’s Foreign Minister came to Caracas to make nice with the government while hundreds of thousands of Portuguese nationals barely hang on.

Of Fear & Hope: Embracing the Carnet de la Patria

Chavismo is advancing firmly in its plan to control what people eat, regardless of their actual needs. The Carnet is back, and many are learning to love it.

Surprise! They helped people loot, now there’s no food

Last week, the government forced supermarkets to sell out their stocks at huge discounts. Now those shelves are empty and you can forget about restocks.

Anti-Hate Law Draws First Blood

Two Naguanagua protesters have the dubious honour of being the first casualties of the nefarious Anti-Hate Law. But how is this law being applied?

The Unmet Promise of Delson Guárate, Mayor Turned Exile

The mayor of El Limón, Delson Guárate, is now another opposition leader in exile. His is a classic story of chavista harassment – and shady, possibly apocryphal backroom deals.

Anatomy of a Media War

Telesur has quantified the evil Western media’s plan to attack Chávez’s socialist dream. The government has no data on GDP, say, or inflation, but it has detailed data on this...and it makes no sense.

Julio’s Legacy

Yes, Venezuela's National Assembly. Yet, Marcel Gascón argues, Julio Borges’ tenure as its speaker was more harmful to chavismo than many give credit him for.

My day as a Hospital Clown

For one day, I joined Dr. Yaso's legendary hospital clown crew, bringing a little joy to sick kids and their parents in Guayana. It was intense.

No food, just looting: The Hot Start to 2018

Looting and social conflict were endemic in 2017, and 2018 looks to be even more conflict-ridden. The government's attempt to let off steam by overseeing “legal looting” can barely contain people's desperation.

Hanging Out at The Bus Stop

How does a city of a million people even operate when the public transport system good-as collapses? Badly. Very badly.

A Breakthrough in Huntington Country

The town of Barranquitas, on the Lago de Maracaibo, has the highest incidence of Huntington’s Disease in the world. Research there has brought an amazing breakthrough — but will the people of Barranquitas benefit?

Angel Alvarado: A government that couldn’t manage one currency won’t be...

In a wide-ranging interview, Angel Alvarado shines a light on how opposition parliamentarians think about the economic cataclysm Venezuela faces.

Hacking Latin American Democracy

The days when chavismo sought influence through oil spending and ideological appeals are over. But, amid a rash of elections this year, could Maduro still hack his way back to relevance?

Hausmann Joins Team Marines

Ricardo Hausmann goes there: Venezuela needs a foreign military intervention. His case is eloquent, but why would world leaders devote their blood and treasure to our fight?

Investing on risk: Are cryptocurrencies a safe bet in Venezuela?

Cryptocurrencies are more popular than ever, everywhere, but what does it mean to buy digital money in a country where the official currency is decomposing fast?

The Elephant in the Pernil Room: Subsidizing Pork is Madness

Maslow? Give me a break. Pernilgate isn't about food. It's about the illusion of abundance amid dire scarcity, and about the scale of devastation a government can inflict when nobody who makes economic policy understands the concept of opportunity cost.

A Chavista New Year’s Eve in the Post-Pernil Era

The New Year's Eve celebration put up by chavista mayor Erika Farías failed to fill up Caracas's smallish Plaza Bolívar. A few people turned up to dance, to forget hunger and deprivation for a while. Even that was too much to ask.

Maslow’s Pernil

December's pork-leg riots left middle class Venezuelans seething in contempt of people who care more about a Christmas pork roast than basic freedom and democracy. They never learned Maslow's lesson: when you're hungry, nothing else matters.

The Grapes of Nostalgia

This year, for our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner, I’ll be the only person art the table who won’t finish his grapes before midnight.

GEHA’s Best of 2017, Part III (September-December)

For the final part of my 2017 digest, we watch as the Constituyente enforces its power, as the political opposition shoots itself in the foot and as we enter full-blown economic catastrophe.

GEHA’s Best of 2017, Part II (May-August)

My second digest of 2017 in Caracas Chronicles goes from the protests in their maximum splendor, to their disgraceful end in August, as daily tragedies continue to play out.

GEHA’s Best of 2017, Part I (January-April)

To close out the year, here’s the first part of my selection of all the best Caracas Chronicles had to offer. From social inertia to upfront conflict, this is how we opened (and fought through) 2017.

Delcy’s Christmas Wishes

As Delcy Rodríguez humiliates recently released political prisoners by carefully erasing their experiences, we meditate on the perverts’ fraught relationship with the truth.

About the “Released” Political Prisoners

There are many political prisoners we don’t know about, whose families have no access to the press, neglected in the anonymity of group arrests, unreported for fear of reprisal. This is a brief description of their tragedies, divided into the groups in which they were released.