Stepping down


Starting today, I will no longer be the main editor of Caracas Chronicles.

For the past few weeks, several of us who write for the blog have concluded that Caracas Chronicles has become a brand that deserves a look and a content befitting its reputation. This calls for the blog to undergo some major, exciting changes.

I am not the person to lead this reboot.

I have enjoyed my year-and-a-half as editor, but it has taken a toll. In between my full-time academic job, my writing about Venezuela for other media, and my family life, I have little time left. Editing and uploading frequent content has left me with scarce mental space to write longer, more thoughtful posts.

Someone else needs to lead Caracas Chronicles into this new phase. That person is the blog’s founder and co-editor, Francisco Toro.

During the past few weeks, I have become convinced that the passion with which Francisco started this little corner of the web is still there. Serious differences between us regarding editorial decisions in the past few months have also played a role in this mutual decision. The blog works best when it has a singular leader, and Francisco has the vision and the energy to be that person.

Starting tomorrow, Francisco will become sole Editor once more. I will remain as Contributing Editor. I hope to continue writing from time to time, with regular columns and features. Yet the baton is in his hands now.

I want to thank the contributors of the blog for their tireless work, particularly the stalwart Gustavo Hernández Acevedo. I also want to thank you, long-time readers, for sticking with Caracas Chronicles. Our new-found readers also deserve our gratitude.

The readership, the variety of voices, and the frequency of posts have increased notably in the past year-and-a-half, so I feel like the blog is in a good place.

Now, it’s on to the next phase.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Volvio, Volvio volvio! Wellcome back Quico. I hope you come back with a fresh perspective after your time away from editorial obligations here at CC

    Naguel: brilliant job done here. Coincidentialy last night I thought: hell! These panas have been busy posting stuff lately! Great the posts the past few months

    Ps: easy with the “progressiveness” now please….

  2. You should all be proud of the product your hard work has produced. I check in at least twice daily because the editorial content and comments offer a lot of insight. Venezuela is in a tough spot but people eventually get it right. Thank you for your hard work.

  3. As always, all the best to you guys! The blog has only got better over time. I am sure it will prove to be a crucial info/ideas/debate venue very soon… and in the time to come.

  4. Thank you JC for all your hard work.

    For those of us of us who love Venezuela but for whatever reason feel better expressing ourselves about it in English, CC has become a key resource.

    During the last year and a half the frequency of posts increased, diversity flourished and the quality was always top notch. Hats off to all.

  5. Thank you JC, you did a fantastic job! I am glad particularly about how you incorporated so many new and fresh minds in the blog.

    A year anbd a half ago, Quico should have said “los objetivos no fueron logrados… por ahora” XD. You should have done this a 13th of April to make it more fun.

  6. You have all done a great job – and you’re right, Caracas Chronicles has become a brand name. It comes up often in my conversations about Venezuela, especially since we get so little other news coverage. Keep it up!

  7. I enjoy your writing and your thoughtful points of view, even that I do not always share them, but I understand the difficulties involve in keeping up with crazy Venezuela in this blog. Glad that you plan to keep writing.
    Welcome again firecracker Quico!

  8. Thank you Juan. I am “negada” for economics and you make the subject clear for people like me. You are awesome!.
    And Quico, welcome back!!! 😀

  9. Thanks a lot for your job… any human endeavor has its defects, mistakes… but, all in all, this is a very good blog. I check it daily and I have read almost every single post since I landed here for the first time one or two years ago. I parse all of them in order to get mainly the kafkian and absurd side of what is going on in your country. Venezuela is nowadays suffering a very particular political regime which provides quite a lot of opportunities to get such kind of things. Thanks to you and all the fellow journalists which work here and in other webs, basically for free, I had access to them and I can only feel gratitude towards your work and what you have done here.

    good luck

  10. En Track & Field, los mejores corredores son quienes compiten en los relevos, sin importar las diferencias que pueda haber entre ellos.

    Francisco, bienvenido – en realidad nunca te fuiste.
    Tocayo, gracias – en realidad nunca te vas a ir.

  11. I think you did a great job Juan.

    And I really never thought that Quico left, I mean he has had a regular stream of posts ever since he “left”.

    One thing that is different, and I think it’s great, is that you have had posts from many more contributors than before, and that is good!

    I guess Quico’s pay goes up and yours down?

    You are easily worth twice what you get paid here!

    (those last two sentences were jokes, BTW, for the sarcastically challenged)

  12. For a moment, my heart stopped as I thought JC was announcing a close-down of the blog; – what a relief to realize that THAT was not so. Many thanks to both you guys and all the contributors ; – I continue as a faithful fan…….

  13. to JC : Congratulations on a job well done and our sincere thanks for the excellent information and analyis offered the many followers of this blog , hope you dont drop the blog entirely despite your understandable ouside commitments , your comments and observations contribute richly to making this blog the place to visit .

    To Francisco its not su much a welcome back because Ive always had the sense that whether as manager of the blog or as a contributor he has never left the page, always making the experience of going thru its pieces a learning and intellectually exciting experience . Both JC and Francisco doing one job or another , as managers or contributors are the guiding lights in this blog . thanks to both for maintaining it high journalistic standards.!!

  14. You guys know that when this kind of change happens at CC, it’s because something of epic proportions is about to happen in two or three weeks. Their ‘timing’ is always perfect. Real “tiempo de Dios”.


  15. JC, thank you for all the hard work that has gone into producing a consistently interesting and thought provoking forum here. You also deserve much credit for the peaceful transitions of leadership that take place and the magnanimity and generosity that attracts other interesting work to this site. I am glad we will continue to be hearing from you.

  16. Thanks for your time and dedication, Juan. As a loyal reader and friend there´s nothing but gratitude to you for your job as main editor. Your perspective is a substantial part of the balance that CCs has to offer, so please, stick around.

    • Love’s labour’s lost? I met Juan Cristobal in a recent trip he made to Ann Arbor. Good guy; strike that out: great guy with a beautiful family. And he is a true wolverine. Go Blue, JC.
      He writes: “Serious differences between us regarding editorial decisions in the past few months have also played a role in this mutual decision.” So, there is friction among the causal elements to this decision.
      For people with a black and white diminished spectrum this is love’s labour lost. For those who know well this universe has millions of colors, this is a healthy development. A bend in the road made alternatives more viable than the status quo.
      The change of direction, announced to us readers with the kind words of Francisco and Juan–who look at the bend from different sides–is an uplifting corollary to a stretch of the CC road; it summarizes the essence of democracy: the truth lies elsewhere, I do not have the monopoly of truth.
      So, kudos to Juan and to Francisco. The task now is how to contribute to the projection of CC into the future of Venezuela political analysis in English.

  17. Thanks a lot for everything and best wishes for Quico now! I’ll still be a daily reader of the blog, no matter what 🙂

  18. Thanks for keeping this blog great, JC!
    And FT never really left but it’s good to see him back full-time now.
    And now we wait for the big thing that happens shortly after CC editors step down…Holding my breath for a death blow to the regime.

  19. Juan. Your time at the helm has been masterful. From day one your re-design of the site put your stamp on her and it was refreshing. But what I’m more thankful for are the fresh voices you brought to us, giving us a breadth and depth of commentary that touched on all areas of the Venezuelan experience as we wade through the morass that is the cumulative heritage of Chavismo. As one who starts his day by reading the latest posts, I thank you for all you have done for CC and look forward to reading your future posts – no matter here, or FP, or wherever.

  20. Juan: Congratulations on the amazing job you’ve done for the past year and a half. However, please do keep writing your excellent columns.

    Quico, welcome back and best wishes.

    Your loyal reader,

  21. Thank you, Juan, for all the hard work put into this blog and for your always sincere and thoughtful posts! Also, we all have to thank you for your great job as “scout” and editor of the fresh, new and diverse blood that has invigorated CC so much.

    Please keep up the writing! As someone else noted before, you bring balance to the blog.

    And Quico, welcome back as the boat’s skipper.

  22. I’m glad both of you will be back in the fray and that CC will go on. Also happy the cuz is back and re-focusing his attention on Venezuela. We need him. Thanks Juan!

  23. So, one masochist hands off to another…But, seriously, Juan, your last 11/2 years’ effort has been extraordinary, as have virtually all of FT’s posts since he founded the Blog. All of us readers should be extremely grateful to the both of you, engaging in an extremely time-consuming task, with no real self-gratification (except maybe some ego massage). For the many Blog ex-pat readers, your contributions are essential to understanding the debacle that their beloved Venezuela has become.

  24. Incredible contribution and leadership by you two over the years…. and yes, appreciate the wider array of voices of late. Its a critical time and the insight is invaluable.

  25. JC,

    To be honest, my first impression when I read your post is bitterness. I’m hoping that this is not the case and that this is a mischaracterization from my side.

    In any event, kudos to your good job during these months, and I look forward to your contributions.

    • Do not lament bitterness, it is part of the seasoning of life. Loving husband disagree with loving wives. Loving parents disagree with loved kids. This is he universe of Godel and Heisenberg where definitive truths are hidden in the horns of unicorns. We live in a probability cloud.
      Belief in democracy demands some degree of comfort with uncertainty.

  26. The two of you have been a great team over the years, regardless of whatever differences you have had. You have attracted a group of excellent contributors and a large number of dedicated readers, including me. I am happy to see Quico back but would be very sad if JC isn’t able to contribute on a regular basis.

    I am delighted that the PSF’s have never been able to sabotage CC and that they are rarely seen, probably because whatever small sense of decency they have leaves them embarrassed to continue supporting the gang of criminals that has taken control of Venezuela.

    Keep up the good work and let’s pray that your insightful analysis not only continues to educate the world about what is happening in Venezuela but provides food for thought to the opposition politicos who need to need to overcome their egos and infighting to make Venezuela a better place in the future.

  27. Thanks, Juan for keeping Caracas Chronicles together for 18 months. I always wondered how you managed to find time to do all that amazing work.

    And thanks, Quico, for coming back. I look forward to many great things.

  28. I have read CC every day for at least the last six years. I left one year ago and have found your blog to be the most informative source of what is really happening on the ” ground”. Thanks so much for your continued efforts to keep all of us who have an interest well informed. Great work!!!!!!!!

  29. Juan, I just want to thank you for your kind words and I’m glad that you’re still on board. You did it well.

  30. Thanks for a job well done, Juan. Most people can’t imagine the time and energy requirements that heading a blog like CC requires. I look forward to seeing the transformation of CC, and to reading you here and in other outlets.

  31. Juan, de pana, thank you for your hard work and leading a team who is now my most trustworthy source of information about Venezuela. I look forward to the next phase, and many more post of interesting reading.

  32. Just wanted to say that I actually enjoy diverging opinions here, when you are able to argue for them they are important for the discussion… I usually come here for insight into ongoing issues and sometimes even to build my own opinion, I don’t always agree but think it is useful…

    I have always thought that it is a pity that this blog is in English as more mainstream access in Spanish would contribute to informing the opinion of the people who count more and not only to the ones abroad or who are part of a elite that communicates in English…

    At the same time, having a limited audience makes the discussion manageable and keeps the internet crazies away, otherwise user comments get tipo los de

    Best of luck guys…

  33. Juan can mix these two statements in the same paragraph:
    1. “Serious differences between us regarding editorial decisions in the past few months have also played a role in this mutual decision”
    2. “The blog works best when it has a singular leader, and Francisco has the vision and the energy to be that person.”
    And he can do that with a clean heart, not words play.
    I have the privilege of having met Juan in person. I had the privilege of break bread with him. And he, graciously, accepted my expression of admiration and desire to contribute to CCs mission.
    Juan, a warm abrazo from Ann Arbor.

  34. I agree with Leo. I actually like reading Juan and Quico’s exchanges here. It’s a privilege really! Like having a few beers with John Keynes and Milton Friedman, although maybe not as extreme because there has always been more agreement than not between Juan and Quico. In any case, they lead a wonderful team and this is the first Venezuelan blog on my almost daily reading routine. I don’t comment that much, because I’m just absorbing and learning all the time from all the writers here. Great work, thank you, and let’s see what’s new coming up!

  35. Juan thanks so much for all your work as editor these past 18 months, the blog has evolved in a positive way and I’m sure that this handoff back to Quico will take it to even greater things. And thanks to all the other blog contributors who make this the best source for news and analysis on Venezuela. It doesn’t matter whether we agree with all posts, that is the point of a democratic discourse. We look forward to seeing what the future will bring.


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