People don’t read bylines, they never have—unless, of course, the article is by an anonymous author in the President’s inner circle, in which case the byline becomes suddenly relevant (go figure). In general, people still blame news outlets for the crazy stuff the authors say.

“The New York Times says a military intervention won’t work;” “Wapo says socialism isn’t the problem!” “Reuters is repeating the government narrative;” “Bloomberg doesn’t understand the exchange controls!”

We get a lot of that too.

As Caracas Chronicles opened up to other voices (something Juan Nagel had the good sense of pushing forward), there’s been, at least, five different cohorts of writers, and the website has over 64 different bylines now: each a sentient human person with good, or her own, opinions. Opinions that go beyond Quico’s intellectual honesty—which many times has proven a magnet for problems—or Emiliana’s tenacity while hunting down baby-killing chavistas. And so it happens: some days we’re Caracas Breitbart, and others we’re CiudadCCS (a chavista pamphlet).

It’s hard to separate people from organizations, we get it, but we try to be fair and give space to different voices and points of view. We’re happy to have dissenting voices beating the living daylights out of each other on the site, and usually invite people across the board (not chavistas because, you know, we’re Caracas Breitbart) to comment, especially on thorny subjects. Some accept our invitation, some don’t, some get offended, some are grateful and excited, others won’t touch us with a ten foot pole, and, of course, there’s always the occasional cease and desist.

It’s been 16 years of ups and downs and comings and goings, and many changes, and even more down the road. Which makes sense, because, you know, Venezuela.

When things go well, it’s mostly thanks to our writers. When they go wrong, yep, blame it on us.

We were able to develop a structure that allows us to pay decent fees to our writers and staff (we think!), fueled by our Political Risk Report and our cherished voluntary subscribers who keep this engine running. It has been deeply gratifying, although not as much as finding so many different voices from so many places. Right now we have people writing from Caracas, Guarenas, Guatire, Puerto Ordaz, Mérida, Barquisimeto, Maracay, Maracaibo, San Cristóbal, Valencia, and we’re looking forward to find many others and turn this list into a 90’s cell phone company commercial. Plus, seeing our writers get their footing and polish their writing chops to a point where they can pursue journalism and careers as writers, and seeing them publish in international media, is an accomplishment that we celebrate (even when it means losing a regular contributor).

Of course, we don’t hold the “Caracas Chronicles says” against any of our readers. We just want to remind you that, when things go well, it’s mostly thanks to our writers. When they go wrong, yep, blame it on us.

Happy 16th.

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

33 COMMENTS

  1. As a reader since the founding of CC and supporter, I get the feeling that CC has lost it’s cutting edge. While I appreciate the diverse talents of your writers and the variety of topics, it seems being or doing or acting opposition has become blase. I recall the posts of old with 100’s of responses and loads of passion on controversial post or outrageous government behavior. Things today are worse than before but the recognition of and complaining has become a bit sedate. Maybe I’m just a little sad that things get worse and worse in Venezuela without action for change besides talking heads outside the country, where it’s safe to be a talking head. Sigh

  2. ¡Felicidades! Let it be many more. You guys have docummented the tragedy of the Chavista era, which I believe will come to an end in a close future. I hope you guys stay around when the chavistas are gone…

  3. I miss Naky’s daily updates, and it’s only been a week. Maybe someone else can step up and do them??

    Cant remember the last Emi post. Maybe a year ago??

    • Naky’s the only one who says it like it is.

      Everything else published here is sentimental, historical, irrelevant, or dancing around the issues bullshit.

      We have writers posting here about people dying from malnutriition and lack of medicines, but don’t see military intervention as an acceptable solution.

      We see dozens of writers posting stupid, irrelevant stories about their home FIFA experiences. Boo hoo. Who gives a shit, and what does THAT matter?

      We see COUNTLESS pieces here about maneuvering a political solution. Fucking retarded, and clueless.

      This site is nothing more than a place for people to vent, because it sure hasn’t a damn impact on anything, and its editorial content is just about always wrong.

      Quico isn’t any great thinker, but thanks for the website anyway.

      • Ira

        For someone who appears to hold this site in such utter contempt – as these comments of yours would seem to indicate – I am amazed that you still seem able to comment on practically every single article. Is it a question of self-flagellation on your part?

        One always has the option of NOT reading and commenting, if you truly find the site so distressing.

      • Ira has pretty much said what I, and I think what most think.
        (I Note CHead and DJK, took shots at him, not what he said)

        Without Nakys updates, the site has lost its soul.
        I admit I would nod off sometimes with the detail, but it was I am sure an invaluable source for all expats and lookie loos to the DAILY happenings of VZ.

        She is greatly missed.

        As I said before, it is quite unbelievable that Quico has not obtained a replacement.
        Memo to Quico – Businesses need a leader. Leave it to your employees and they will destroy it from within, little by little, drop by drop, until all your customers vanish.

        Also, a reminder of the definition:
        “Chronicle” is a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.

        I still read everyday, because well, I am fascinated to watch an incredibly rich country destroy itself from within, while the population does nothing. I prayed for change, and now for bullets and bombs. But besides, I love the message boards. EVEN CHead, which I disagree much, but who I know loves VZ.

        That is the bond on the boards, that is what CC HAS made possible. That is CC currency, which if neglected will wither.

        Hell, I wonder if most of us visit Caracas Chronicles mostly for the message boards. That would be a sad commentary of what CC has become.

        But like Ira, I detest the constant reportage of Sad Stories.
        The Chronicles is free.
        It does NOT have to feed us meat daily, and I realize it needs filler articles.
        I know it runs on freelance writers, and maybe it just can not be choosy in what it has to present each day.
        All the more reason it needs a Naky (temp I hope) replacement for the nuts and bolts, and pokes and jabs AND a leader/Editor that directs and leads.

        My 2 cents.

        • Well said Dale. With Naky out the comments section is often a bigger draw than many of the articles. That’s why the conversation so often turns to alternate topics in the comments thread. Naky’s health has to come first of course but I hope she is able to return soon. I wish her the best!

        • I was clear in my answer above.

          The boards, and people like you, who question motive, argue, etc.

          But also because I lived in Zimbabwe for a year when I was 20. Hitchhiking up through Africa from Cape Town to Kenya for 2 years.

          What a great country, great people, and vic falls, the animals, wow.

          So, I followed that disaster, and saw in VZ a similar story.

  4. Sweet sixteen CC!

    My wish on your birthday is that it will become my place [blog] to go to get informed about Venezuela’s reconstruction, analyzing the decisions the new government has taken and the new laws the AN voted, among many many more issues.

    Standing Ovation!

  5. FT, Emi, Raul, Juan, Naky, authors, et. al., you are INDISPENSABLE to understanding the historically unique decline of a country from relative well-being to poverty/chaos/self-destruction. I’m sure the vast majority of your readers/commenters are extremely thankful for your virtually unmatched effort to get timely news out on what’s really happening in Venezuela. Congratulations, and many thanks.

  6. As a friend of mine would say, Caracas Chronicles is for short “la misma miasma.” Over and over again.

    Please stop the whining and accept repentance. Whining is good only under very exceptional circumstances. But whining every day about something that will not ever take place or you will never happen, is simply boring.

    Your generation must accept the guilt of promoting chavismo. You need to write the mea culpa without hesitation.

    I bet anything that you all remain anti-yanki, you remain socialist. If you were to chose here in the Bronx between Ocassio-Cortez and any central right candidate, you’ll pick OC. It doesn’t matter if she’s the closest thing to Madburro.

    Put the house in order, start placing articles that will chastise Venezuelan bad behaviors of the last 30 years, and you might have a chance of success.

  7. …we try to be fair and give space to different voices and points of view. We’re happy to have dissenting voices beating the living daylights out of each other on the site, and usually invite people across the board (not chavistas).

    1. Continue allowing different views including the Chavistas. No one needs the paternalism of censorship, some one deciding what I and others should be exposed to. I say this as a life long conservative.
    2. Think and then write outside the box, your box. I gather socialism is the accepted norm but why is it never examined at CC seriously without polemics and name calling. For example why should Venezuela not consider regulating rather than owning its oil wealth. Here you are decades later broke, unable to feed, educate and medically care for the putative owners of this mother lode of oil wealth. Write about the pluses and minuses of privatization and include in the discussion all of the impacts of state owned oil. One of those impacts is the enormous power a government has when it dominates the political and economic life of a nation. This inevitably leads as it has to corruption on a unimagineable scale and the enrichment of the political class over the economic class. The more balance between those two classes means a better dispersion of power.
    3. Encourage serious comments by your readers by providing serious content. There has been a tendency of late to write more puff type pieces and one result has been a prolifferation of comments that degenerate into name calling, a mindless preoccupation with US politics but even worse a mindless repetition of reader comments.. The less serious analysis you offer the more likely the ensuing discussion will degenerate into silliness.
    4. That said I offer my congratulations on your anniversary and I hope you to continue to provide your valuable service to your readers. I have learned a lot here including the fact it is very difficult for an outsider to understand another culture which is a two way street meaning that Venezuelans and Gringos should have a lot less certainy in making judgments about each other.

  8. Happy Birthday!

    1. I miss Naky’s posts. Wish that someone at CC could set up a legit crowd funding apparatus for her healthcare expenses.

    2. I enjoy most of the writing. Some of the writers are a little left of center politically, but that is the normal (I suppose) for Latin America, and especially for Venezuela. (how else to explain Chavismo’s enduring infatuation with El Pueblo?)

    3. I am a bit of a history buff. My Spanish is passable, but only just. I love the English language posts that populate from time to time about Venezuelan history.

    • Juan Nagel used to post under the name of Katy, his wife. Some years ago, Juan Nagel ‘fessed up and began posting under his real name. Precisely when Juan Nagel ‘fessed up, I don’t recall. Here is an article by the real Katy, Juan Nagel’s wife.
      Will the real Katy please stand up.

      Hello everyone. Long time readers will remember that my husband, Juan Cristóbal Nagel – now one of the site’s co-editors – initially posted on this blog (and took time away from me and his daughters) using my name as a pseudonym. Thank God that’s over.

      That is what “coming out” referred to.

      Congrats to Caracas Chronicles for surviving 16 years.

      • I would place my bet on 2009 being the year that Juan Nagel stopped hiding under his wife’s skirts. 🙂 Which was 9 years ago.

  9. Felicidades!
    I hope at least 16 more years are coming.
    I also hope that those of us who comment here do a better job of arguing the points of the posts instead of political ideologies of the writers or the commenters.

  10. CC is always on my first read list everyday. High credibility and excellent articles.
    CC is making a difference.

    I hope CC can last at least a few years past the eventual recovery of Venezuela.

    Feliz Cumpleanos.

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