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.

Behind the Gold Mining Company That Props Up Maduro’s Regime

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the State-run CVG Minerven, used as a front to hide the illegal extraction of gold by armed gangs, Colombian guerrilla and military, with tremendous damage to the environment and local communities.

16 Cuban Doctors Speak Up about Threatening Sick Venezuelans

After leaving Venezuela, a group of Cuban doctors from the Barrio Adentro program told the New York Times how they were instructed to use healthcare—or rather its collapse—as a political weapon to coerce people into voting for Venezuela’s socialist leaders.

After the Massacre

One month ago today, soldiers opened fire on civilians in Kumarakapay and Santa Elena de Uairén, killing seven. The civilians had sought to stop the military from blocking humanitarian aid from Brazil. The media left it at that. Here’s what happened next.

Barranquilla Plan: the layout for democracy that had to wait for...

On March 22nd, 1931, a group of young exiled politicians, led by Romulo Betancourt, signed a manifesto that would set the foundations of Venezuelan democracy.

In Maracaibo, the Local Government Takes the Side of the Looters

On the afternoon of Sunday March 10th, on Day 4 of the nationwide blackout, looting started in Venezuela’s second city. More than 500 businesses were looted. But the Maduro-loyal governor, a kind of Rodrigo Duterte, seems to be OK with that.

An Involuntary Digital Media Master Class

A Venezuelan first-year journalism student explains how the detention of Luis Carlos Díaz, a huge influence for a generation that has only experienced media under authoritarianism, was a case study on the internet resistance that Díaz has spent years talking about.

Michelle Bachelet Offers Strongly-Worded Update on Venezuela

Among many pressures from all sides involved and even violence to try to hide the truth, the technical mission sent by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights offered a non-flattering declaration about the current situation of Venezuelans under Maduro.

Six Nights in the Heart of Darkness

During six days of blackout, Merida, the most important city of the Venezuelan Andes, braced for the end of the world. Ordinary citizens geared up to defend streets and stores from looters, while the state disappeared. What can we do to survive if this happens again?

Previous Briefings

Even From The Guaire

The ongoing national blackout has forced people to collect water from Guaire river and the city's sewers. AN declared a State of National Alarm and orders end of oil shipments to Cuba. Michelle Bachelet's commission is already here and met with Jorge Arreaza. They plan to meet with the AN's board, civil society organizations and victims of human rights abuses.

A Blackout With Glimmers

Most of the country is still in the dark amidst reports of looting and repression by security forces and colectivos, although service has been restored in some areas for now. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó offered a balance of the problem and said he's talked with other nations to ask for help. Parliament is set declare a State of National Alarm this Monday.

A Dark Day

Some parts of Caracas have had electricity for a couple of hours, power hasn’t been restored in the rest of the country. It’s been 43 hours already. Chavismo blames the usual suspects: the U.S. and Guaidó, who reiterated his call to march this Saturday. In Caracas, the final rallying point will be the Victoria avenue.

The Unpleasant Must Go

Guaidó spoke in the AN about the outcome of his Latin American visit. Nicolás expelled the German ambassador and gave him 48 hours to leave the country. More censorship online, please think about a Plan B. Since the border with Colombia remains closed, children protest for their right to go to school.

Guaidó Returns Home

Guaidó said he’d come through Maiquetia and he did. He went through immigration without problem; diplomats were waiting right outside, just in case. He made a few quick stops in La Guaira and went to the Alfredo Sadel square, where thousands of Venezuelans were waiting. Chavismo blocked websites but was even forced to talk about what happened in State outlets, which is new.

How the Maduro Regime Hides the Collapse of Healthcare from a...

In Barquisimeto, the four envoyées sent by UN Human Rights High Commissioner were only taken to places the regime can control, while patients, doctors and journalists were harassed to stop them from telling the truth to the visitors.

The Big Picture Around February 23rd Is Still Missing

One month later, the failed attempt to bring humanitarian aid into the country continues to get coverage in international media.

Maduro Wants Your Bitcoin Remittances

With a new system through the patria.org.ve website, the dictatorship is creating a way of getting income even from the money sent from abroad in cryptocurrencies. I tried it and it works, sort of.

Taking Over CITGO Is the Key for the Future

The three refineries and 5,500 retail stations that Venezuela owns in U.S. soil are one of the most important battlefields in the struggle of replacing the Maduro regime and funding our reconstruction. Here’s what has happened so far and what the interim government’s options are.

Journal of the Blackout Craziness

As electricity comes back to most of Caracas, new testimonies emerge about what happened in a country ravaged by all kinds of problems when the power went out. This terrifying log shows the darker side of the disaster: the unraveling of the social fabric.

A Backup Plan Is Needed for Venezuela, But this One Won’t...

Dorothy Kronich suggests in The New York Times that in order to avoid a famine here, American companies should be allowed to buy Venezuelan oil, as long as the revenues are exclusively used for buying food and medicines. But that would be ignoring chavismo’s very nature.

The Blackout Confirms the Growing Trend of Misinformation

One of the side effects of the nationwide power outage of the last few days is the confirmation that Venezuelans are getting less reliable information about what’s going on.

100 Hours of Darkness

Army soldiers who want to help and think people have the right to be angry. Truman Capote’s masterpiece. A sky exposing its wonders in the absence of urban lights. Some strange and unforgettable things happen in this Merida tale of the nationwide blackout.

How a Powerless Diaspora Tried to Help a Country in the...

Millions of Venezuelans abroad experienced complete disconnection from their elders, friends and even children during the nationwide blackout. As people in the country tried to overcome the hardships of the crisis, the diaspora had to find new ways to help, and fast.

The Big Blackout of the Venezuelan Aluminium Industry

The blackout turned off the last cells operating at Venalum and Alcasa, and with them, an entire aluminium factory. The sad new chapter on the rise and fall of an industry that gave Venezuela valuable non-oil exports tells a cautionary tale: if you build an entire cluster on electric power, don’t let that resource disappear.

The Price Tag of the Blackout

The damage from the huge blackout that just attacked Venezuelans is such, that even now, a week later, we can’t quite grasp it in full. This is what we do know: it’s a lot, and we’re falling short.

Maracaibo Is Helpless Against Looters

These are the stories of the people hit hardest by looting in Venezuela’s second city: small business owners who have no chance of surviving an event like that, helpless against the anarchy unleashed in Zulia due to the national blackout.

Caracas Stopped at the Edge of Mayhem… For Now

After more than 80 hours without power, groups of people at the normally dangerous Venezuelan capital city began to protest and some incidents of looting took place. Security forces managed to avoid the violence from spiraling, and just then the power came back.

The Human Network that Saved a Man from Prison

Nearly 30 hours after his enforced disappearance, journalist and human rights activist Luis Carlos Díaz was released from SEBIN headquarters in El Helicoide with precautionary measures. A safety net of people was all that stood between him and a prison cell.

Darkness Remains, Sick Children Wait

At Caracas hospitals, every one of the innumerable problems is getting worse, while colectivos and security forces threaten everyone who is trying to help or even get some answers about the extent of the crisis.

Why We Should Be More Concerned than Ever About the Venezuelan...

Six days after the beginning of the largest blackout ever experienced in Venezuela, it’s time to take a look at the health disaster unfolding in front of us, because the Maduro regime won’t do it.

Of Preppers and the Great March Blackout

Although he didn’t prepare for this exactly, he knew something could come up that would require him to hole up and resist. Our own Victor Drax is a prepper and this is how he faced the massive blackout that attacked Venezuelans.

The Sack of Maracaibo

Venezuela’s second city spent the first 50 hours of blackout trying to survive under the intense heat. But once food and water began to run out, the looting started. All kinds of businesses are being destroyed by a mob made of desperate people and common thugs.

All Options On The Table, Except Unity

After the humanitarian aid debacle at the border on February 23rd, and amid the ongoing national blackout, pressure has been building on caretaker President Juan Guaidó to come up with a definitive solution to the crisis in the form of military intervention, undermining critical unity.

Getting Water at the River of Hell

Once a pleasant, clear-water creek, in our times the Guaire is no more than Caracas’ open air sewer. Amid power cuts that took down the water pumping stations that feed Caracas, the people from the slums of San Agustin had to climb down to its embankment to collect water of unknown origin and very dubious safety.

The dictatorship scapegoats @LuisCarlos for the nationwide blackout

As Nicolás Maduro forced all TV and radio stations to broadcast his accusation that the U.S. caused the collapse of Venezuela’s power grid, the secret police was arresting Luis Carlos Diaz, the journalist and occasional Caracas Chronicles contributor, that state media is framing for “sabotage”.

Why Venezuela Remains with No Power: FAQ

While caretaker President Juan Guaidó decrees the emergency and installs a situational room, the Maduro regime stays silent about the precise diagnose and forecast of the crisis, besides the propaganda trope of sabotage. This is what we can assess on the fifth day of the nationwide blackout.

A 0 – 0 Draw Protest

Following the old Roman custom of bread and circus, the Maduro regime has been menacing the country’s baseball and soccer football teams to support the illusion of normality. But as we just saw in a protest in Maracaibo, the players are refusing to follow orders and are standing with the common people.

A Kindle In the Dark

One night without electricity in one of the most dangerous cities in the world is stressful. Two, three, four nights in a row, amidst a nationwide blackout, is absolutely terrifying. Priorities, customs, expectations are subjected to all kinds of changes. But one old British novel on a screen can provide shelter.

“They Turned off the Lights and Walked Out”

This is Caracas before Night 4 of the blackout: a ghost town where behavior is increasingly similar to those of apocalyptic novels and movies. Ordinary citizens feel completely abandoned by the State and have no clue of what to expect. The US dollar takes over the survival economy, cash only.

Nationwide Blackout in Venezuela: FAQ

On the afternoon of March 7th, the power went off in all states. In many parts of the country, there has not been a minute of electricity since then to the noon of March 10th. Here is what we know of what could happen in a country that used to export electricity and still has the largest oil reserves on Earth.

Migrating as a Venezuelan Woman

As with most things in life, men and women experience the process of migration differently. They also face different challenges. While the reasons for migrating are “gender neutral,” women experience additional vulnerabilities that migrant men do not.

For the Venezuelan diaspora, a total blackout means no news from...

Imagine you were forced to live far from most of your family and friends. Imagine now that they live in one of the most dangerous countries on Earth. And now picture this: you can’t contact them because there’s no power in the whole country, for almost 24 hours.

Venezuela is in the Dark. Literally.

Venezuela has been under a nationwide power outage for over 15 hours. There's little information coming out of the country right now.

American Correspondent Cody Weddle Arrested by Military Intelligence, Later Deported

Freelance reporter Cody Weddle, who covered Venezuela for several media outlets, spent half a day under arrest by Military Intelligence and was then deported out of the country. Ten foreign correspondents have been expelled from Venezuela during 2019, and 36 journalists have been arrested doing their job.

Who Are the Pemon of Kumarakapay?

On Friday, February 22nd, when the Venezuelan Armed Forces sent a convoy toward the Brazilian border to block the entry of humanitarian aid, indigenous people in the village of Kumarakapay tried to stop them. In response, the Armed Forces opened fire, killing seven. Caracas Chronicles spoke to a UK-based Venezuelan sociologist who has worked in the community for decades.

How the Maduro Regime Could Fall

Three Venezuelan scholars abroad, all of them specialists on the mechanics of Latin American authoritarian political systems, offer their different perspectives on the complexities, risks, and possibilities of the dictatorship’s disintegration.

I Crossed a Closed Border to Go Home

After Venezuela and Colombia closed the border, hundreds were left stranded on either side and their only way to work, get medicine or return home was crossing illegally through paths controlled by armed gangs. This, the last of the Cucuta Chronicles, is what crossing that treacherous path is really like.

Vector-Borne Diseases in Venezuela Are a Menace for the Whole Region

A piece on the medical journal Lancet explains how the collapse of our health system allowed the resurgence of diseases that migrants can spread. Another source of pressure on the international community to solve the Venezuelan crisis.

‘Becoming a Guard Is the Worst Thing I Have Done’

She fears for her life. She deserted the National Guard and now, she’s desperate to keep running. This conversation with her in the Colombian border is a sample of the state of mind within the Venezuelan Armed Forces: disappointment, economic strain, and distrust among the ranks.

The Legality of Military Intervention in Venezuela: FAQ

The possibility of military intervention in Venezuela was ruled out this week. But if it resurfaces later, it would need support in the international legal order: the lack of a clear legal basis for a military action can affect the legitimacy of its ends.