Jorge Rodríguez thinks he can just keep playing the opposition again and again, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Trouble is, we all see what he’s doing.
The countdown to July 30th is on. Venezuela must be the only place where the government gives the next crisis its own fecha en el calendario.

Leo’s Mind

Leonardo González has become the it illustrator for the current crisis. We go on a tour of his amazing oeuvre.
Venezuelans tend to think of Climate Change as a kind of “First World Problem.” But the country’s already suffering its effects, and coming decades promise much, much worse.

Briefing

Despised

Your daily briefing for Monday, June 26, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

HIV Haunts Venezuela Again

Time was when public health officials in Africa travelled to Venezuela to learn best practices in handling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But times change.

Article 350 of the Constitution: An Urban Tale

Venezuela’s constitution contains a bizarre oddity: its final article explicitly mandates you to disown the government if democracy and human rights are under threat.

Senseless Death

We are suffering from our delusions of grandeur, the “magical state”, the winner takes all mentality. And, all around, the stench is of ever increasing destruction, of senseless death.

Posts

HIV Haunts Venezuela Again

Time was when public health officials in Africa travelled to Venezuela to learn best practices in handling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. But times change.

Article 350 of the Constitution: An Urban Tale

Venezuela’s constitution contains a bizarre oddity: its final article explicitly mandates you to disown the government if democracy and human rights are under threat.

Senseless Death

We are suffering from our delusions of grandeur, the “magical state”, the winner takes all mentality. And, all around, the stench is of ever increasing destruction, of senseless death.

Getting ready for an emergency… in the middle of another emergency

Earlier this week, Venezuela just barely dodged Tropical Storm Bret. But what would a major natural disaster be like in Venezuela today?

Why the 2018 Recovery will be Nothing like 2004

Think the economy can bounce back from the current crisis quickly, like it did after the paro petrolero? Think again.

The Secret Life of a Foot Soldier for “La Resistencia”

Roberto can’t tell his dad what he does every day after he finishes work. He risks everything for the Resistance day in and day out, and no one knows.

Hasta Siempre, “Santos Yorme”

Pompeyo Márquez has passed away. One of the most prominent leftists of Venezuela's 20th century, he was a harsh critic of Hugo Chávez.

There’s Something About Luisa

We know virtually nothing about Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz. It’s probably best to assume she sees us as entirely disposable tactical allies.

Chronicle of a Currency Crisis Foretold

The value of the bolivar is collapsing at a frightening speed amidst a hard-currency crunch and disastrous FX shenanigans. Tipo: normal.

The Venezuela You Only Find at the Protests

I joined Primero Auxilios UCAB. In anguish, my mom asks me why I insist on risking my life to go out for protest after protest. Here's my answer.

The Hollow Campaign for a Hollow Constituyente

Shmaltzy music, aggressively smiling people and straight-up plagiarism: the propaganda state is using every trick in the book to sell us on Maduro's Constituent Assembly.

Venezuela, CARICOM and the Muddle in the Periphery

When it comes to OAS voting blocks, CARICOM is not as monolithic as you may think.

OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers on Venezuela (cont.)

The second part of the Foreign Ministers Consultation Meeting on the Situation in Venezuela should get underway soon, live from Cancun, Mexico, during the...

Cancun, the OAS, and Venezuela’s Prosecutor General

Luisa Ortega Díaz has begun creating a paper trail that will be invaluable down the road. It’s time the hemisphere took her seriously as an interlocutor.

Our Fathers’ Generation

Those of us in our 40s look on our Fathers’ Generation and can’t help but dwell on the failures and mistakes that set the stage for the catastrophe that’s befallen the country.

I still get Lost in Miami

My daugter knows that part of my job is describing what’s going on in Venezuela, but I don’t know how to tell her a story which doesn’t have a happy ending yet.

My Dad: the story of the Venezuelan who could

People say Venezuelans are lazy. They've never met my dad.

My Father’s Day Rant

This is only my second Father’s Day as a dad. The experience exhausts all the adjectives you can think of. It also changes your outlook on life.

Letter to Ana Teresa

I write these lines when you are days (or hours) away from been born. Who knows? This might be the first "Father's Day" we celebrate together in Venezuela.

The Palacio Municipal’s Tinsel Crown

When Mayor Jorge Rodríguez decided to slap a tacky Salón de Fiestas onto the roof of the 344 year old Caracas City Hall, architectural purists were appalled. In fact, his is just the latest in a four-century history of non-stop desecrations.

Gold Reserve Lines Up for some Hunger Bonds

Nine years after Hugo Chávez expropriated Las Brisas mine, the bill comes due. But how do you pay a billion dollar bill when you’re fresh out of cash? With Hunger Bonds, of course.

Prepara Familia: Kids and moms of the JM de los Rios...

Watching Venezuela burn from far away, people naturally feel a need to help. In the first of a series of post, we vouch for Prepara Familia, an NGO doing amazing work helping the families of sick kids.

CLAPs Food Distribution Turns Out to be a Giant Scam

National Assembly member Carlos Paparoni lays out the scam surrounding CLAPs food imports from Mexico in specific, galling detail.

Pseudolaw: How chavismo survives by aping the law to destroy it

Much like pseudoscience, pseudolaw uses the outward trappings of law to pervert its essence. Thankfully, the opposition is finally showing some backbone in its fight against this corrosive attack on legality.

The PDVSA 22s Must be Investigated

Without a proper, impartial investigation we’ll never know who walked off with hundreds of millions of the Venezuelan public's money in this plainly improper transaction.

Datanalisis: Everything Is Terrible, but not Everyone Hates Maduro

A recent poll by Datanalisis gives us a glimpse of public opinion in the era of protests. The news: Everyone hates what’s happening, but Maduro’s numbers haven’t collapsed.

Prizeless

The Premio Internacional de Novela Rómulo Gallegos, once one of the Spanish language’s highest literary honors, just became the latest victim of Venezuela’s crisis.

Don’t Blame the Constitution for Our Winner-Takes-All Politics

What makes controlling the Executive Branch so valuable in Venezuela isn’t our Constitution, it’s the fact that the government ignores it without consequences.

The Unsinkable Luisa Ortega Díaz

Swiftly moving down her list of to-do's, the Prosecutor General is now after 13 justices illegally appointed by the last chavista National Assembly in 2015.

Viva la Vinotinto, or Protesting from the Bleachers

I was among the Venezuelans who somehow made our way to a stadium in the far-off Korean city of Suwon hoping to witness a miracle.

The Day Three Cops Assailed Me

One minute, Luis was just walking home from a protest. The next, he became one more anonymous victim of police brutality. His bruises are a reminder of the risks we all face when out on the streets.

How the Arepa Took Over the World, then Died at Home

Venezuelans fleeing the country have taken arepas with them to share with the world (you're welcome), while those here feel lucky to eat one once in a while (thank you, Chávez).

The Portuguese Community gives up on the Venezuelan Dream

In honor of Día de Portugal, we look at the sad state of a once proud immigrant community whose home country is now making contingency plans to evacuate hundreds of thousands of nationals out of Venezuela.

#TheWeeklyArepa Editorial: A way out

Each Friday, Raúl regales the members of our mailing list with a scrumptious little nugget of wisdom in our Weekly Arepa. Here’s this week’s.

Corruption and Phantom Bonds

Forget about playing to bankers’ sense of right and wrong: selling out public assets for much less than they’re worth is a crime, a ‘delito de salvaguarda.’ That’s where the focus should be.

The Pope knows

Here’s what we know about what the Holy Father knows about Venezuela that all of us know already.
banner-caracazo

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.
video

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.