As we wake up to news that two more opposition mayors have been slapped with arrest warrants, bringing the total to five in two weeks, that National Guardsmen are blocking elected National Assembly lawmakers from entering the Legislative Palace because the Constituent Assembly will be having its way with our failed state for as long as they want to, that every opposition party except for two will present candidates before a fraudulent National Electoral Council for regional elections in the following days, and that any words I can use to describe how fucked we are would put me over my weekly expletive quota by several years, it’s as good a time as any to hand the Team Screwed commentary over to the formidable Hannah Dreier, who can at least bring you her personal account of Venezuela’s free fall into dictatorship in an eloquent, unrestrained interview now that she’s no longer bound by AP’s legal department (she’s now doing badass investigative pieces on immigration at Propublica).

Do listen to the whole thing, but, spoiler alert, it all comes down to this:

“Things can always get worse and worse and worse, and there’s no rule that says that a miserable situation has to end, just because it’s too miserable.”

As the self-appointed President of Caracas Chronicles’ Team Screwed, I proudly welcome nuestra Hannah to our ranks. We don’t have any pins, but we’ll make sure to send you an extra portion of our standard-issue lentil rations when the communist regime has been fully installed.

Oh, and please tell the Marines to hurry up.

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  1. I mean no disrespect but can anyone explain how Hanna became an expert in the Venezuela crisis by landing totally clueless in our country in 2014 ?
    I’ve read her erroneous comments about Chavez and even rewriting history with the false narrative that before Chavizmo Venezuela was this corrupt shithole where no one gave a damn about the poor.

    In that audio interview around 32:05 min.
    “Chavez was very flexible he didn’t start out as a socialist”

    Perhaps she needs to check this 1994 video of a Chavez speech in La Habana Cuba next to Fidel talking about his master plan. Is not like this is a secret anyhow.

    Or read this Hugo Chavez 1999 quote
    “We Revolutionaries don’t Negotiate”

      • Thanks, Toro, from me as well, for saving me the time of listening. I am on Team Screwed, and don’t enjoy hearing clueless commentary … as if things are not depressing enough.

    • that’s probably the best you can get from a foreign journalist, she did very well, Venezuela is a dysyopian mess so f up that it’s very hard for foreigners to understand

      • Agree with Vagonba here. It was an emotional experience for me to listen to this interview. It hurt to listen to the first half of the interview when she said how great life was during her first year there and how dandy it all was working out for the country in 2014. Many Venezuelans were getting crushed in 2014 and before and not living in an abundance of food while partying at cool clubs. The first 1/2 of her interview felt like what they call in some parts of my American neck of the woods “cultural appropriation.” I hope she has a full grasp of how much her Vzlan friends protected her. But the second half of the interview was a lot better and I think she gave an honest observation of a more complete picture. She clearly explored a little deeper into different Vzlan strata the longer she lived there.

  2. Emi, standard-issue lentils are WAY too-expensive–it’ll be standard-issue gruel, even if you won’t officially be living in a Stalag. Wonderful quote on “worse and worse, more and more miserable”, but, “No vale, yo no creo”…(just kidding). The only consolation is that the talking intellectual Commie heads interviewed on VTV, most of whom are not enchufados, will be looking a lot thinner…..

  3. Before Maduro there weren’t robberies.
    With Chavez things were good because he had charisma and popularity. Maduro screwed up.
    Without mentioning that the government is the same and maduro just ran out of money.
    Clueless is a kind word, no wonder people around the world think chavez was a good president.
    She drank the complete Koolaid jar.

    • Hannah did good and it’s good that she left now before the narco-nephews are finally sentenced and more kingpin designations and narcotics indictments are handed down. Hannah killed it with many stories and took big risks that could have ended with her in the slammer. Now how about we close the TeleSUR English operation in New York and send psycho PSF Abby Martin packing back to her former Russian paymasters. Talk about reciprocity.

  4. The crisis didn’t really start until 2015? Maduro’s victory meant that over half the population supported him and not the reality, which is that electoral fraud was involved?

    • Decent sniper rifles and a few grenade launchers can make for effective ambushes.
      The military is inept if it took them 3 hours to fight 20 people that were still able to escape with these weapons.
      Is it possible that the army’s response was muted by the immediate commander?
      Did the government soldiers deliberately fail in their attempt to kill / capture the rebels?
      Personally I am betting on a combination of incompetence and the low morale of the troops.
      Maduro claimed success. From an operational perspective, success went to the rebels.
      It may be possible that all of the rebels did not participate in the raid and that there is a larger organization. It would make sense to not risk any more manpower than is needed on a mission.
      I do hope these weapons are effectively used to begin to level the playing field.
      I am a parent. I know that I would risk my life to save my children. I believe most people would.
      The Venezuelans citizens need to realize that it is incumbent on them to resist this vile regime in any way possible in order to save their children from the suffering that this regime guarantees to bring in the future.
      The Castro regime is a cancerous tumor that seeks to spread throughout Latin America. Many years ago it was an ideology. Now it is no more than a parasite that requires feeding from other economies throughout the region. The influence the Castro regime gains in the region, the more unstable the region will become.
      Killing the Maduro regime will deny the Castro parasite the continuing sustenance that its own failed economic and political system can not provide.
      Make no mistake, the battle against Maduro if successful, is the death knell for Castro’s Communist “revolution”. The Cubans will go to great lengths to support the Maduro regime.
      The threat of your children living under the same or worse oppression that the Cuban people have endured for way too long should be enough incentive to bring every able bodied Venezuelan into the folds of the resistance.
      This battle for democracy, the return of the rule of law and the end of state sponsored human rights abuses is not a spectator sport.
      When your children or grandchildren ask you what you did during the battle for democracy, what will you say?
      Will you tell them that your love for them and their futures motivated you to fight with every fiber of your being?
      Will you tell them that their future wasn’t worth the risk?

  5. She does a great job reporting the news, but she’s clueless as a political analyst.

    As someone said earlier, clueless is a kind word.

  6. Hannah Dreier: Naive Gringa.

    She kind of does not get it as far sanctions and enchufados goes. She is saying typical liberal talking points on Venezeula. Just listening to her voice and her words, she is not exactly the brightest candle on the cake…”dry reporting” is an understatement (her own words) and she lacks analysis.

    She says this mess started in 2015, readers here we know this goes way deeper than that. She has not gone down the rabbit hole yet. She has no clue that the malandros literally run this government and there is a complete impunity here. She almost wants to say Chavez was OK, Maduro screwed this up. Again, Naive Gringa.

    Do not consider her an expert on Venezuela in any way shape or form. She is just a young reporter writing for the lifestyle/culture page of the paper.

    Nevertheless, she does personal interest stories. Kudos on writing on medical shortages. Yeah, getting robbed will make you wake the [email protected]#ck up.

    The best she can do is make the word know Venezuela is a mess…But it sounds like she has another job now and probably will not hear from her again.

  7. I do think it is very surprising she thought there was a lot of wealth in 2014. Of course, if you were living in a posh area, you would have seen more lavish spending than in many other places, but the median Venezuelan was already much worse off than in 2011 and actually shortages were already appearing in 2006, during Chavez’ cenit.
    Also, I wonder jow she could say almost everyone loved Chavez back then.
    During his most popular times, he got max 69% of the vote (according to CNE).

    • That is likely peculiarity of gringolandia. 69% approval or popular vote capture is typically unheard of here in a presidential election. Since WWII only two presidents have broken 60% if I remember correctly (Nixon 2 and LBJ).

      Of that same group, the most loved presidents via highest approval rating when exiting office were FDR at 70% (died in office), JFK at 63% (also died in office), Eisenhower at 61%, Clinton at 60%, and Reagan at 52%. I’m curious how the first two would have fared had they survived. Also only two post-WWII presidents left office with higher approval than they entered: Clinton and FDR.

      So her calling Chavez loved wouldn’t necessarily be out of line with what we gringos view as normal. For us 69% is nothing short of phenomenally popular. Of course, the higher level of transparency makes sure we see every false step and turns us against our presidents.

  8. A lot of criticism here – Give her a break. Her stories have been insightful. She provided a snapshot and yes, her Venezuelan experience didn’t start ’till 2014. For Venny watchers, the spiral started years ago (or at least decade before…), but there were gold nuggets here… particularly her parting words. The fact is just because it’s undemocratic doesn’t mean that it won’t continue. It also makes one turn one’s attention to the economic part of the story – what default could look like and how will this regime respond.

  9. I listened to a leftist interviewer trying to compare Chavez/Maduro to Trump, and an interviewee that for some reason portrayed Venezuela as heaven on earth pre-2016. For Hannah, Chavez was an entertainer instead of the Socialist motherfucker (redundant, I know) that either made people leave everything behind or endure his opus shit.

    During 42+ minutes, none of them could pin the causes on the failed system, albeit on steroids, that has been tried over and over again; the same system the American left was just prevented from deploying in the United States.

  10. It’s a very good listen and a different point of view.I am not about to act like a sabelotodo snob that thinks she is some naive gringa bimbo that has no idea what she is talking about.She lived in Caracas for 3 years and was reporting what she saw and experienced.She never said Chavez was great and Maduro messed it up.She is simply reporting what she experienced while living here and the fact is from 2014 to 2017 the country has gotten much worse and that is what she had been reporting.She seems like a decent hardworking reporter.No need for the arrogant academic wannabes saying she is clueless lefty.

    • Not academic wannabes, simply actual Venezuelans with more experience than her. She parachuted in, did her time, got out, and seemingly didn’t learn much. Naive and clueless are perfectly apt descriptors.

  11. I think of Hannah, first and foremost, as a journalist. Among many attributes of a good reporter, her intellectual curiosity leads the way! There is no question that being in Venezuela was a learning experience for her. I for one followed her through twitter and her AP reporting. She did a great job and I can only thank her while wishing her all the best.

  12. Remember, AP reporters are ignorant of what took place 10min before they got off the plane. They only know what happens after passport check in.

    She didn’t do her research and is only there to push an agenda that fits her bias. She said as much.

  13. I couldn’t even listen to the whole interview. I undestand that we can’t be limited to our own opinions, but Venezuela being a shit show since 1998 is not opinion, is a fact. Also, what’s most upseting about this interview is he fact that the woman is still completely clueless on the Venezuelan situation. I could understand an American living in the United States having this type of views on Venezuela, but not from someone who lived there for almost 3 years. When she moved to Venezuela in 2014, the country had the second highest murder rate in the world, with almost 25.000 deaths per year, and she still says that Venezuela was a paradise in 2014?


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