The electoral year is here. Will Venezuela endure six more years of Maduro or will it finally move towards a democratic transition? Well, the dragon represents good luck and strength. Guacarys!
Ecuador’s organized crime crisis could be a warning for a post-Chavista Venezuela, when democracy will try to reassert itself in institutions and break the coexistence Chavismo fostered with criminal non-state actors.
Your best shot at understanding Venezuela in 2023. And what comes next.
A Tale of Two Assemblies
New year, same old National Assembly. The 2015 National Assembly, dominated by the opposition and which manages Venezuelan assets in the United States, extended its validity for twelve more months starting January 5, 2024. Primero Justicia’s Dinorah Figuera will continue leading it. While the 2015 Assembly has no real legislative power in Venezuela and it’s not recognized anymore by the regime, it control valuable assets abroad like Citgo and is recognized as the country’s only legitimate institution by the U.S.
Meanwhile, the Chavista-controlled 2020 National Assembly began a new year with Jorge Rodríguez -again- as its president. The Chavistas, disengaging with their Chávez-era past, went to the proclamation dressed como muñequitos de torta.
When you move to the Venezuelan capital from a city like Maracaibo, or have spent some years abroad, you may be amazed by how affordable watching Ronald Acuña can be, and how spectacular is the new stadium
Another Year, Another Spill
An oil spill from the El Palito refinery contaminated the coasts of Puerto Cabello and Carabobo, even affecting areas such as Ocumare de la Costa and Choroní. According to images from the Sentinel-2 satellite, the spill would be 103 km2: larger than the one that affected the Morrocoy National Park in 2020. The spill, whose response –with the use of buckets to pick the oil, for example– has been criticized by experts and environmentalists, has also It affected the coasts of the San Esteban National Park. The authorities also sought to avoid journalistic coverage in the area.