At its zenith in the 1960s and 70s, El Nacional was the foremost clearinghouse for our country’s rich, vibrant intellectual life. That was decades ago. The paper that just shut down was very different.

El Nacional: Newsprint-geddon’s Most Coveted Trophy

After years of resistance, El Nacional stops its print edition indefinitely. For the hegemony, this is the endgame of a long strategy to control newspapers in Venezuela.

This Isn’t Funny

Hugo Chávez’s humor was always crass, but the guy had the charisma to sort of pull of a shtick. Under Nicolás Maduro, attempts at comedy have devolved into sheer cruelty — with mirth supplanted by insult.

HIV+ in Venezuela? Migrate or Die

For Nilsa, fleeing to Brazil was a matter of life or death: she knew the Brazilian health system would give her the antiretrovirals she could no longer get in Venezuela.

Bullet-marks on the Wall: How the OLP Shattered Nancy’s Life

If you’re poor in Venezuela, the police can just enter your home, execute your teenage kid and walk out, facing zero scrutiny from anyone. It happened to Nancy. She told exactly how.

Breaking Down

Your car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road. Suddenly, your life is in danger. Four years after Monica Spear's family was gruesomely murdered, two baseball stars are killed. And a nation seethes.

Nicolás, Democracies Are Not Explained

During a mandatory broadcast this afternoon, Nicolás Maduro called himself a “free and independent president”, accused his usual enemies of plotting against him and said that the economy is going great, thank you very much.

Previous Posts


Edgar Sanabria and El Ávila National Park

Edgar Sanabria is the President you never heard of. But his three month stint as care-taker in 1958 and 1959 did leave us one lasting legacy: National Park Status for El Ávila, the mountain flanking Caracas.

Canaima’s Pemon People Mourn, and Take Hostages

Under unprecedented onslaught from illegal miners and DGCIM, indigenous people in Venezuela’s South East have had enough.

Government Paying Old Age Pensions in Petros, Without People’s Consent

Want a peek at the future of how the government wants to control your financial life? Talk to your grandma, who’s now receiving her pension in phantasmagoric petros, with no obvious way to turn them back into bolivars.

From Pyongyang with Love—Autocracies Befriend Autocracies

Photo: Noticias Barquisimeto retrieved  Kim Yong-nam, president of the North Korean Supreme Popular Assembly (SPA) visited Caracas a couple weeks ago, as part of a...

Venezuelans Know a Dollar Income Ain’t Enough Anymore

Yes, having an income in dollars can go a long way. However, there are plenty of other factors at play in order to make it to the end of the month in this economy. Earning dollars, on its own, just won’t cut it anymore.

1902: When Only U.S. Intervention Separated Venezuela from a European Invasion

116 years ago this week, European gunboats blockaded La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, and the Monroe Doctrine was the only thing separating Venezuela from recolonization.

What If They Threw An Election And Nobody Came?

4,900 posts are up for election across Venezuela today. Well, “election.” Amid never-before-seen levels of voter disengagement, municipal council candidates struggle to get noticed. Hyperinflation, violence and the CNE killed the mood.

It’s the Populism, Stupid!

It's the debate that won't go away: what is it about chavismo that so thoroughly wrecked Venezuela? Is it Marxism? Crime? Incompetence? It's none of those. It's the populism

2008-2018 In Pictures: An Inventory of Catastrophe

From the Cordonazo de San Francisco to Leopoldo López’s arrest, a stroll through the images that defined the second decade of revolution.

1998-2008 In Pictures: A Country Interrupted

What was the first decade of chavismo like? Photographers know.

Heading Out: A Tale of Three Migration Waves

In 1998, Venezuela had no history of mass migration to speak of. Since then, we’ve witnessed three heaves of outflows: the latest one mass-based. How a peaceful country ended up shedding more migrants than Afghanistan.

TWENTY Years of Pdvsacide

The company that produces nearly all of Venezuela’s export earnings looks like a store the day after it’s been looted. How chavismo took an oil giant from world class to bankrupt-in-all-but-name in just two decades.

How Barrio Adentro Wrecked Venezuela’s Health System

The first and most iconic of Chávez’ misiones, promised to create a world-class primary care network, not only failed at its immediate objective, it also syphoned billions from hospitals, mortally wounding them.

Fake News Before That Was Even A Thing

“I’m going to erase adecos from the face of the earth, I’m going to fry their heads in oil.” Everyone knows Chávez made that threat back in 1998. Except he didn't. A look at TWENTY years of fake news.

Crime: Where Hugo Chávez First Left His Mark

Venezuela had always been violent, but crime soared beginning in 1999. Waking up, late, to this reality, the government tried to fight crime with limitless violence. Two decades on, we’re the third most violent country on earth, and the second most murderous.

TWENTY Game Changers in TWENTY Years

The story of the Chávez era is the story of dramatic events that changed the course of history again and again. From the 2002 Oil Strike to ¡Exprópiese! to the Death of Hugo Chávez, here are the twenty turning points that drove the Chávez era.

TWENTY Years of Plague

The plague is not made on a human scale, and so men always say that the plague is unreal, a bad dream that must pass. But it doesn’t always pass, and from one bad dream to the next, it’s the men who pass.

No Amount of Aid by the UN Can Replace the Unfulfilled...

Venezuela will receive 9 million dollars from the UN’s CERF. Nicolás denies there’s a crisis, but the UN isn’t blind. Might have taken them a long time and that amount will only go a little way considering how many people are suffering, but hey, hungry Venezuelans will get some relief.

Silent Landlines, Broken Internet and the Cantv-ication Breakdown

The basic infrastructure of State telecom company Cantv is in shambles as Reuters recently found out and of course, ordinary Venezuelans are the ones paying the price. Hugo Chávez’s home state of Barinas, knows first hand about the consequences of corruption, theft and disrepair caused by the revolution.

1952: When Jovito’s Constituyente Win Was Stolen

Pérez Jiménez, our last right-wing dictator, also disregarded the will of the people and the law of the land. He created that era’s Tibisay & Co., willing to rob Jóvito Villalba (and the nation) of his victory.

Sierra de Perijá: No Sacred Cows, But Sacred Thugs

Machiques de Perijá is one of the most fertile areas in the country. Their plague? Livestock trafficking, smuggling, robberies and cold blooded murder in the hands of gangs acting like they’re in charge because, well, they are and nobody can stop them.

For the TSJ, Electoral Results in Any Institution Are a Mere...

If you saw the University of Carabobo’s election two weeks ago as solid proof of the power of voting against deeply authoritarian regimes, the TSJ has something to remind you.

Stateless Babies: The Legally Invisible Children of The Migrant Crisis

In Colombia, babies must be born from Colombian citizens or residents to obtain Colombian citizenship. What happens to babies with Venezuelan moms who face so many obstacles to have access to a Venezuelan birth certificate or a passport? Venezuelan babies without citizenship may become “an invisible generation” before the law.

Venezuela Needs a Helping Hand, a Crypto Hand

Cubans used to say that all they needed to survive in Cuba was a lot of “FE,” meaning not faith, but “Familia en el Extranjero.” Venezuelans walk that trail today and there are plenty of ways you can help them... with crypto.