QUINCEAÑERA ARCHIVES

To commemorate our 15th, we’ve delved into the past and curated some of the most attractive posts in Caracas Chronicles throughout the years. Today, comenzamos por el comienzo.
Behold: the very first post.

Obama, Chávez and the politics of change

Here are some random musings on the fascinating, rapidly changing U.S. election.

Guaidó Talks About The Thorny Challenge He Faces

History placed Juan Guaidó on the forefront of the Venezuelan opposition. He wasn’t looking for that, and we couldn’t have foreseen it. I talked to him about the challenge of fulfilling sky-high expectations while making sure others don’t sneak ahead of him in the final lap.

Juan Guaidó and How The Opposition Got Its Mojo Back

Some say the Guaidó episode has changed nothing. They have it wrong. Virtually overnight, the opposition’s spirits have been restored.

At the Cabildo Abierto, A Glimmer of Hope

There's something new in the air. You can feel it. Despair, tentatively, is subsiding. Listening to National Assembly members speak at the open assemblies that have now spread all throughout the country, you realize: hope is contagious.

Misery, Actually: Street Vendors in Caracas Live One Day at a...

While the nation braces for a new political blizzard, the most vulnerable of our youth get by however they can. Hungry, exhausted and scared, this is the story of the homeless vendors who survive under indifferent eyes.

Why Juan Guaidó Can’t Become President Right Away

Long-suffering Venezuelans are having a hard time understanding Assembly speaker Guaidó’s reluctance to claim the presidency immediately. Here’s why he can’t.

A Crisis isn’t a Crisis, When It’s… Elsewhere

As Venezuela’s pain spreads outward, it becomes a subject for art. Venezuelan-Canadian playwright and performer Joy Ross-Jones brings it to the stage in Montreal from January 24th to the 27th.

Sixty Years On, the Cuban Revolution Keeps Finding Bodies to Feed...

Bizarrely, there are still stooges willing to do battle for Cuba’s failed revolution. Will Mexico become the next petro-rich victim to Havana’s voracious parasite regime?

Guaidó’s Message to Washington

In a Washington Post OpEd, Juan Guaidó says he’s ready to take on the role of President to lead a transition, but calls on the people and the Armed Forces to enforce the Constitution.

Previous Briefings

Latent Threat

Open cabildos everywhere, Venezuela has been under a “state of economic emergency” since January 2016, Nicolás begs Trump to meet and talk and a dangerous draft law to further control internet was leaked and caused outrage on social media.

“Yes, we can!”

Open assemblies around the country keep getting bigger, Nicolás insists on Venezuela Bella instead of buying food or medicine, the irony of Luisa Ortega Díaz taking human rights violation cases before the ICC enrages all of us.

The National Assembly Moves Its Pieces

The AN fights Maduro’s usurpation, started formal debate on an Amnesty Law, Diosdado’s threats don’t have quite as much power as they used to and teacher’s have no reasons to celebrate their day. And it’s only Wednesday.

Burping the Economy

Yesterday at the ANC, Maduro burped lies and announced economic measures that won’t fix the economy. César Miguel Rondón had to interview Juan Guaidó on Instagram.

Guaidó Is Still Free

SEBIN’s actions against Guaidó made them look like regular thieves and kidnappers with badges, Jorge Rodríguez stumbles to find a version that suits the government, authorities at the HCU don’t know exactly how many patients have died because of the blackout.

CANTV Blocks All of Wikipedia After ‘Edit War’ Erupts in Juan...

National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaidó’s Wikipedia page became the battlefield in an epic “edit war” and the government responded by having CANTV, the dominant ISP, block all of Wikipedia.

I Don’t Know If the Guaidó Strategy Will Work, and Neither...

Dictatorships are hard but brittle: sometimes you hit them 100 times and never see a crack, then at the 101st blow they split right open. So is Juan Guaidó delivering the 101st blow? Or the 23rd?

The Untold Story of Jesús Soto’s Iconic Caracas Sphere

Jesús Soto died 14 years ago today. His endlessly photographed Esfera de Caracas spent years in storage. How did it end up in its glorious location, right by the Parque del Este?

The Lights Went Out at a Caracas Hospital, Then Patients Started...

During a politically convulsed weekend, a blackout leaves one of Caracas’ biggest hospitals without electricity for hours, causing several deaths and highlighting—for the millionth time—the urgent need for political change in the country.

The OAS Sides with the People of Venezuela

While Maduro was being illegitimately “sworn in” as the “President” of Venezuela for the next six years, a majority of OAS member states officially refused to recognize the legitimacy of his new term. What does it mean?

Military Intelligence Agencies Torture Dissidents’ Relatives

What’s Ariana’s crime? Having a family member thought to be plotting against the government. A new human rights low.

No, Juan Guaidó Did Not Declare Himself President Today

Confusion is rife over what exactly National Assembly Speaker Guaidó really said at today’s “Cabildo” assembly. No, he did not proclaim himself president. Yes, he said he’s ready to do so. Soon. And called for protests.

Not Even ‘Maduristas’ Showed Up To Celebrate Maduro’s Inauguration

On the day of his “inauguration” the streets around the TSJ weren’t even half full. Caracas traffic didn’t collapse because of hundreds of buses, like we saw during chavismo’s golden years. Some people were honest about being there for the free food, others weren’t sure about questions of legitimacy.

At the OAS, Nineteen Countries Move to Reject the Legitimacy of...

The atmosphere was electric at a session that showed only Bolivia, Nicaragua and a dwindling band of Caribbean microstates remain on Maduro’s side.

The Greatest Trick Maduro Ever Pulled Was Convincing the World the...

Newsflash: The National Assembly was shut down. Years ago. It’s just that the government, in an inspired bit of next-generation authoritarianism, never told us.

January 10 Set to Renew the Cycle of Hype, Symbolism, Frustration...

Year after year the opposition stages symbolic fights that show it hasn’t really digested the reality of the National Assembly’s complete powerlessness.

Maduro’s Failure, in Eight Numbers

Rhetoric aside, what has the Maduro Era done to Venezuelans’ livelihoods? A deep dive into the numbers behind a calamity.

The Usual Suspects

As Nicolás approaches his self-proclamation, the international sphere and internal political actors make some pretty relevant moves,

Navigating Venezuela’s Data Desert

The government’s spent years covering official data on Venezuela’s martyred economy. But there are alternatives out there. Here’s a guided tour.

Can the National Assembly Emerge As A Protector of The Constitution?

January 10th creates a unique situation that calls for a political solution, not a Constitutional one. What is needed now is for the National Assembly, as a legitimate power, to step up.

January 10 Is Just Around the Corner. Then What?

On Thursday, Nicolás Maduro’s 2013-2019 term expires. By no stretch of the imagination will he be a lawful president after that date.

An Hallaca Christmas Dinner at the Middle of the World

The shelter of the Middle of The World, in Ecuador hosts a Christmas dinner for Venezuelan walkers in need. We get a first-hand view, and a taste of its hallacas.

Billy Six: The Imprisoned Journalist You Haven’t Heard of

When a foreign journalist gets arrested and sent to Venezuela's notorious El Helicoide prison, it's big news. So why not more of a ruckus over Billy Six? Because when you're German, and far right, things get tricky.

In Guayana, Hospitals Are Open, But All the Doctors Left

Raw sewage, no supplies, no doctors: in conditions like these, a hospital is just a building. But people have no place else to go.

Elections: A Short-term Risk for Dictators That Can Have Long-term Rewards

One study shows that elections often create short-term stability problems for dictatorial regimes, but those that ride out the electoral wave end up even more entrenched than before.

Kafka on the Guaire: The Nightmare of Getting a Passport Amid...

Chavismo may have destroyed the country, but it also controls the means of exiting it. Come along with one medical student on quest through Venezuela's dystopian passport bureaucracy.

2018 Year in Review: The Year of Venezuelan Migration

2018 was the year when Venezuelan traditional migratory patterns were altered: It became the country of origin in the Americas with the highest numbers of displaced people. Check out the key milestones in what became the year of Venezuelan migration.

GEHA’s Best of 2018, Part IV (October – December)

The fourth and final installment of our 2018 kaleidoscope is here. What did the last three months of the year leave us?

GEHA’s Best of 2018, Part III (July – September)

We continue our trip down article lane with the third quarter of 2018, which can be split in two periods: before and after Red Friday, a night that we won’t remember fondly.

GEHA’s Best of 2018, Part II (April – June)

We continue with the Caracas Chronicles’ best pieces from the second quarter of the year, with the May 20 presidential “election” as the main event, for better or worse.

GEHA’s Best of 2018, Part I (January – March)

2018 was quite a challenging year for Venezuela, but Caracas Chronicles was there to cover its different angles. Here’s some of the best writing from the first quarter of the year.

Chronicle of a First Time Hallaca-Maker

After 72 hours of cursing brittle banana leaves, contentious almond-roasting, YouTube scouting, Scannone-hating and pork lard handling, I made my first hallaca. It was gruelling. It was worth it.

A Venezuelan Christmas Story

In Venezuela, we don’t have A Christmas Carol, a It’s a Wonderful Life, we don’t even have a Home Alone. But we have Herrera Luque, and one of his tales hits a bit close to home this year...

Greetings from Caracas: Postcards from Our Architectural Jewels

Designer Manuel Lara has a special knack for looking at the ravishing Caracas all around us that we barely stop to notice.

Paris Is… Burning?

Sick of the chaos in Venezuela, I ran off to Paris. And then protests seemed to follow me here. My PTSD’d self could barely handle it, at first. But then I saw the French have a whole different way to do street chaos... nothing at all like ours.

My Dream Job, and Why I Had to Reject It

Most Venezuelans would kill for a chance of a dollar paying job. I thought I would, too. Then I got a dream offer, did the math... and realized I couldn’t afford to take it.

Bare Shelves, Empty Wallets: Shopkeepers Brace for the Worst Christmas Ever

Venezuela has always had a "port economy," with most consumption goods coming from abroad. What happens when there's no money for imports? A very bleak holiday season, that's what happens.

Pernil Paternalism: For the Millionth Time, State Benefits are NOT Gifts

2018 is seeing the dispiriting return of a sad year-end ritual: the pernil messaging wars. As we argue over who does or doesn’t and should or shouldn’t get a pork leg, can we just get one thing straight? The stuff the state hands out is NEVER a gift.

A Christmas Gift that Can Save a Life

Milan-based, Maracucha-run jewelry brand Aliita’s charity collection for 2018 is donating 100% of its proceeds to Un Milagro de Amor, an inspiring Maracaibo foundation that helps critically malnourished children.
Venezuelans_Ecuador

Guayaquil Blues

Ecuador has received a large share of Venezuela's third wave immigrants — a mass influx of poorer, less well educated Venezuelans. Many have found jobs, but 87% get paid less-than-minimum wage. Not surprisingly, we're not always welcome here.

From Distant Glory Days to Utter Degradation, El Nacional Mirrored Venezuela

At its zenith in the 1960s and 70s, El Nacional was the foremost clearinghouse for our country’s rich, vibrant intellectual life. That was decades ago. The paper that just shut down was very different.