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A week long dive into the 1989 spasm of chaos that changed Venezuela forever.

There are two options when confronting Caracazo: digesting it, or spitting it out. Either we see it as an Estallido Social of shortsightedness and savage chaos, or as the awareness-creating moment of a massive political movement against imperialist neoliberalism. Two readings, two Venezuelas.

The Annotated 1989 PROVEA Report

We walk you through PROVEA's 1989 report into the Caracazo, underlining the parts that somehow didn't make it into our collective recollection of events.

A Sunday Lunch in March

A few weeks after el Caracazo, Ibsen Martínez went to lunch at Moisés Naím's house. After a 27-year process of digestion, he looks back.

What was El Caracazo? Part III

27F filled our homes with ghosts, with espantos. The faces of the dead, which some tried to erase from memory. The sense of what it's like to lose any trace of the rule of law. The voices of the prophets who told us that other tragedies would come. We were never the same after those days in 1989.   

States of Emergency, then and now

As a lawyer, what strikes me is how much we've forgotten so much since 1989. Like, for example, what a state of emergency is. And what it is for.
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La Sangre y el Eco; by La Vida Bohème

Today, an exclusive: La Vida Bohème created this video as backup visuals for their live shows following their second, Grammy-winning album, Será. It's never been shown outside that context...until today. The piece was curated by Armando Añez, also a Venezuelan musician, currently known as Recordatorio.  

The Violent Innocence of The Caracazo

The events of 1989 carry traces of social trauma: it transcends history and lives ambivalently as a portmanteau fantasy, carrying both fears and desires.

The Caracazo My Dad Remembers

I sat down to ask my father about the Caracazo, about what he remembered and why he thought it happened. I was eager for answers...but not as eager as he was.

What was El Caracazo? Part II

El Sacudón started in Guarenas and soon spread to Caracas and other cities. By noon of the 28th, the government finally responded, and with extreme force. So the biggest riots in modern Venezuelan history became the biggest exhibition of military and police brutality.

It Never Left

Before we start questioning why a social upheaval has not yet broken out this year, we have to come to terms with Caracazo's political meaning. The similarities are deceiving, and the bets for a second coming are disingenuous, or misguided. The Caracazo, you see, never really left.

The Economic Crisis Before the Storm

After years of policy paralysis, Venezuela simply ran out of money when oil prices failed to recover in time. Sound familiar? Reading about Venezuela’s economic conditions in 1989 is a drawn out exercise in déjà vu. But how real are the parallels, and to what extent do we forget about the differences?

What was El Caracazo? Part I

The Caracazo is ingrained in our collective psyche so deeply it’s now more myth than event. There are as many different versions of what happened out there as there are agendas prompting them. But what really happened? In the first of a three-part series, we look at what actually happened in Venezuela betwen February 27th and March 2nd, 1989.