Nine Years

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On September 20th, 2002, the very first Caracas Chronicles post hit the interwebs.

Today, just like back then,

…the slow-motion train-wreck that is Venezuela under Chávez is full of little, slightly absurd side-shows, newspaper stories that teeter on the border between alarming and just plain silly.

Honestly, if you’d asked the guy who wrote that if he thought that nine years and 4,982 posts later he’d still be at it, I’m sure he’d just laugh.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you. I haven’t been following your stories the whole nine years, but, the stories
    have gotten bigger-much bigger and beyond silly to slightly alarming.
    They are huge, horrendous, profound disasters occuring.,,
    Just to inform you, I consider most of what you write as
    things I need to know about and they are very important for me to
    form or adjust my own thinking about Venezuela.

  2. To celebrate our nine years, we will be having a sarao in La Esmeralda. We expect all opposition politicians, dinosaurs and young ones alike, to come and partake in our canapes, our whisky de dieciocho, and our tequeños de la Mar. Much backslapping will ensue from all our compañeritos.

  3. Although I started reading your blog quite recently, I like your sharp, to the point style a lot, so I am becoming a daily reader. Many thanks for putting up with all the work that it means and with our comments. Congratulations.

  4. Entonces CcsChro es el blog que he seguido por mas tiempo… 8,5 años… Recuerdo haber comenzado a seguirlos en 2003

    Just a question: you both (Francisco y Katy (Juan)) started together…?

    Also, I remember great comments by Jose Duque, Andres, José, the CDM post by Francisco and CcsChro friends & family Yahoo’s group…

    • Wow, a real old timer!!

      Just imagine, when this whole thing started, there wasn’t even YouTube.

      Juan really joined a bit later (2004, maybe?) I reached out cuz I thought the blog could really use a “female touch”…

      • Quico, congratulations, and may the two-way learning process continue.
        I remember the yahoo site. But the most memorable early post for me was your description of the longest “cola” — was it on account of el referéndum revocatorio in 2002? — and your proposition that it be submitted to the Guinness World Book of Records. Of course you were being rhetorical. But I took you literally and inquired of Guinness — to no avail. And no, I didn’t talk to the Guinness Beer people.

  5. Congratulations to both Francisco and Juan for this most excellent blog. Both of you, Miguel, Daniel, and other not less important bloggers provide a great service to the cause of producing one day a real democracy in our country. Let’s hope it is still possible. We can only follow your example.

    BTW, is the sarao for real? I am about to kidnap a plane to land on La Carlota and get there on time.

  6. Woah, I have been reading this blog for around 8 years now. Crazy. You guys actually inspired me to do my own blogging adventure (which is more a business.. Quico knows about it) which launched 3 months ago.

    Congratulations, hopefully I will be having the pleasure of reading your posts for a lot more years!!

  7. Nine years… I suppose Job had it worse… but the world moves faster now than it did in biblical times. You have my deepest respect for continuing to fight on for what is right.

    • “the world moves faster now than it did in biblical times”
      I think it wobbles more too..anyway when did biblical times end?
      When Yahoo started? Sorry-Roy -just teasing you.

  8. Congrats and keep posting!!! I have this blog on my Google Reader and I am continuously checking for new posts, comments and trolls. It is just a Chron-Addiction…

      • oh man, I have that…I’ve tried treating it with alcohol, drugs, gambling, matrimony, table tennis, I’ve even tried going cold turkey. Nothing works! I get about a month’s worth of remission once every four years when the World Cup comes around, but other than that I’m stuck with it.

        In the next few weeks, I’m going to try the most radical treatment option yet: parenthood. I bet that’ll do the job for a while, though it doesn’t seem to have worked very well for Juan.

        • ‘Oh man, I have that…I’ve tried treating it with alcohol, drugs, gambling, matrimony, table tennis, I’ve even tried going cold turkey.”

          Are you serious … marriage? That sounds outright extreme with lots of side effects!

        • Congratulations in advance!
          Sorry for giving you headaches-I have found out-you ARE a real journalist.And you are
          a very productive writer. Sorry for
          violating so much. I repeat-I am not a troll.
          (I have not even had sex with a troll, nor a chavista)
          In fact may I suggest -everyone stop having sex with chavistas.

        • I also got Chron-Addiction!!! But I am not ready to try motherhood to try to cure it. I guess we will find out if fatherhood does it for you in a few weeks if the posts stop coming 🙂

          Seriously now, congratulations, having CC (and the devil and daniel and bruni) has made being away more bearable and for that I will be always grateful. But more than feeling connected somehow to what goes on in Venezuela, I think I have learned more about our country from comments in this blog than I ever did when I lived there.

          My brief stint at blogging here also showed me how much work goes into it and how difficult it is to keep this type of things going, so keep it up and one day hopefully we will look back at that first post and have a total different reality to report.

  9. The tenth anniversary is almost unavoidable. Let’s hope that the reeducation of Venezuela will be complete by then, so there will be a different context for the eleventh anniversary.

    And no, I do not wish for this blog to end. Venezuela’s past and current woes (and eventual recovery) , the habits of thought of Venezuelans are ongoing processes that can demonstrably be shown to precede Hugo Chavez, however he may advertise himself as a Revolutionary Singularity, which he is not by any means.

  10. Congratulations!!
    It has not been easy to go “beyond the clichés” in this 12 years, but Caracas Chronicles has done it!
    Un abrazo!!!

  11. Way to go Fellows! I too am a relatively recent reader (what, 3 years or so?).

    Really do appreciate the time and effort you put in to this!

    Pa’tras ni pa’ compra’ hielo no joda!

    Pass the tequeños chamo!

  12. Congratulations on producing a blog of world importance! Almost everyone seriously interested in Venezuela comes here, and learns.

    Are you able to share your stats on hits from your start until now?

    • It’s hard to know for sure, cuz we’ve switched software platforms a few times and each new system keeps stats slightly differently, but:

      We had about 5,000 visits on a typical weekday (not users, visits) in the hyper-polarization era 2002-2004. After that when everybody got depressed we went down to like 700-1000. These days we’re back up to about 2500.

  13. When George W. Bush was elected, I thought surely that would be the beginning of the end for Rush Limbaugh. Wrong, Rush is still with us. I don’t want to compare you and Rush in any other way except in longevity. Viva Caracas Chronicles.

  14. I started reading this blog at the end of 2002, although I remember at the time, every now and then, there was an article from FT at the FT, and other such important publications. I remember thinking about FT as some sort of Juan Forero. I also used to receive emails about FT’s articles. Remember looking forward to the next instalment, remember thinking “this guy can fucking write properly…”

    I started my own thing some days later. I remember how honoured I felt when FT gave me his “print away” reply when I ask him permission to publish his posts in vcrisis. By that time, I had Miguel’s and Daniel’s approval too. Google news came and the rest, as they say, is history.

    FT continues to be, after 9 years, the most proficient Venezuelan blogger in the language of Shakespeare. As much as I disagree with some of the stuff that gets published here, I will say, without compunctions or hypocrisy, that this blog is a must. It is unique in the sense that it’s a window into the thinking of the tiny minority of uber educated Venezuelans. It provides unique insights into fru fru pop culture, with wit, clarity and for that it is to be commended.

    Juan is also a breadth of fresh air, and has written some amazing stuff. I find myself agreeing with him, much more often than I do with FT. In any case, well done, keep up the excellent work, for Venezuela, our Venezuela, needs everyone of us.

  15. Can’t believe it’s been 9 years! But I do remember when this blog started I thought of Quico as my hermanito chiquito. And when Juan joined he only had one daughter!
    Congratulations guys!

    • Cute video and all, but I wonder how many elderly would survive in reality if, say, 20 of them, tried to do all for a day all those things in that video. Jumping like over a poodle at that age? Fighting with wooden sticks in a forest and running around.? I imagine one or two getting a heart attack…unless they come from Okinawa.

      • It wasn’t meant to be taken literally. I thought that was obvious. I apologize for having thought so. Still, what I like most of it is the music.

        • It is obvious. You don’t get it, though. If the only way you can express a “child” spirit is that, you know very little about a child…and much less about the elderly. It shows lack of imagination.
          Firepigette said it all.

          • Actually, you just showed me that you don’t get the point of the video because it really is meant to be taken quite literally. Read the lyrics and you will realize that. Those oldies in the video are doing almost all the pranks and deeds that I did when I was a small kid in a then very nice (not in an upscale sense) Caracas’ neighborhood. I would only hope to relive those moments in my old age. They were truly priceless.

      • The phrase “growing up is optional”, FP and K, implies that there is no growth — in the metaphysical sense. The video was never intended as an endorsement for “growth”.

        I’ve got quite a number of years before I get to the age of most of the elderly in the video. Assuming good health and sound mind, I look forward to testing some of these pranks and report on them. I’d love to be able to jump a puddle or two by then. And god willing I won’t have anyone chiding me for not retaining the good side of a child like heart. What the hell is all that about? Sounds like a fundamentalist mormon trying to tell me to “keep sweet, no matter what.”

        Meanwhile, Kepler, I take it you don’t get around much, perhaps haven’t seen the elderly practising Tai Chi Chuan in a public park? Here’s a more aggressive spin-off: .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vxb8R7iBSA .Just google martial arts + elderly for lots more information.

        • I actually know several elderly practicing Tai Chi Chuan, some of them Chinese and others not. That’s not the issue. I found the video unimaginative. There are more ways in which you can be fresh and challenging and curious than just jumping and kicking boxes and stealing fruit. It is not about being “nice” and respectful at all. It is about the way one perceives the world. No kicking and physical energy goes over that. You can walk on your hands with 100 years and do a marathon and fencing, but you are dead if you stop learning and feeling in awe at little and big things.

  16. Congratulations! Not just for your wonderful blog, but for bringing together a passionate and exceptional community of people that are so penetrating and thrilling to read. The professional media is so bland! And, it is also a thrill to see you quoted in the professional media! I hope your plans will be to expand this community and be part of the future success of our wonderful country!

  17. Faithfully reading since 2004; often post links to this blog stories in facebook, etc.
    I look forward to the days when the emphasis on Chavismo are history; in the meantime, Please continue giving ’em hell with wit and lucidity in your writing.
    Warm congratulations!

    Pelao Manrique

  18. What can I say. I miss the most those posts on the japanese language. That is the sole reason for my being here and checking this blog out every single day, but you people just pander to the masses and have left me here standing… and waiting. though I guess I clould wait another 9 years or so. My most sincere congratulations!

    • I agree with Eduardo. Those Japanese posts were brilliant, refreshing.
      But perhaps we will have in one year or so some posts about the wonders of a child learning to speak Japanese and Caraqueño at the same time

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