The Prosecutor General has fought a battle against the State seemingly on her own. This is what it looks like from the inside, as told by one of the troopers by her side.
Colombians have a way with words. President Juan Manuel Santos is no exception.
After a foiled attempt, Chavismo seized the mayorship of Barquisimeto and the Chavista administrative style came back with vengeance.
Last month, I bet Raúl that there would be no Constituyente election on July 30th. I lost that bet. Here’s my attempt to figure out where and why I went wrong.

Briefing

Political Retaliation

Your daily briefing for Thursday, August 17, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Picking through the Crazy in PDVSA’s Financial Statement

PDVSA’s financial statements for 2016 are in, and it’s all sorts of fun — if you’re into suffering and crying.

And now… las bombonas

If you think food and medicine shortages are the ugliest problem Venezuelans have, wait until you learn about one of the most toxic subsidies around.

Picking Up the Pieces from Trump’s Empty Threat

The international community was making good progress on isolating and punishing the Maduro Regime. Then Donald Trump had to start running that giant mouth of his, bigly.

Posts

Picking through the Crazy in PDVSA’s Financial Statement

PDVSA’s financial statements for 2016 are in, and it’s all sorts of fun — if you’re into suffering and crying.

And now… las bombonas

If you think food and medicine shortages are the ugliest problem Venezuelans have, wait until you learn about one of the most toxic subsidies around.

Picking Up the Pieces from Trump’s Empty Threat

The international community was making good progress on isolating and punishing the Maduro Regime. Then Donald Trump had to start running that giant mouth of his, bigly.

134 Days of Protests

As pedestrians replace protesters on the streets of Caracas, photographer Pedro Moretti shares some highlights and lowlights of the action over the past four months. Yes, it's been four months already.

About a Capitulation

In agreeing to let the Constituyente hold its sessions at the Palacio Federal Legislativo without protest, MUD demonstrates the kind of spinelessness that earns the furious contempt of its own nominal supporters.

Communications Breakdown

Data-geddon is coming. And if course it's the fault of an imperialist foreign power, not communist negligence or absurd price controls.

Why the dictatorship wants David Smolansky in jail

As El Hatillo mayor David Smolansky goes underground, I think back on the amazing, inspiring 2013 campaign that made him mayor. It’s no wonder the government’s scared of him.

How Delcy Became Delcy

The head of Venezuela’s all-powerful Constituent Assembly learned the hard way that if you want to snarl, you’re better off doing it in public than one-on-one with the leader.

A Policy Option for Venezuela: Oil-for-Food

The U.S. needs a way to put meaningful pressure on the Maduro regime without making oil prices spike or Venezuelans starve. The way you do that is Oil-for-Food.

It’s the end of the Oil Industry as we know it...

With the U.S. preparing to cut off PDVSA, you’d imagine the company would be a hubbub of contingency planning for this catastrophe. You’d be wrong.

The Devil’s AD-vocate

With the opposition signing up for governor elections now a fact, there’s one man to blame for the mess that the opposition is in today.

Hannah Dreier, for Team Screwed.

I've run out of G-rated words to describe our descent into all-out dictatorial communist hell. Thankfully, Hannah Dreier has our back on The Global POLITICO podcast. Have a listen.

A Non-Debate On the Defense of the Constitution

What began as a polite exchange between traditional political enemies became a peek into what we can, and should expect from our politicians in the weeks to come.

1902 and You

Imagine Nicolás facing the economic sanctions of the world by enlisting troops and declaring war. Crazy? Yes, but it wouldn't be the first time a Venezuelan autocrat acts this way.

My city is flooding, and it’s Maduro’s fault

People say Maduro is lazy. I have to disagree: he works tirelessly day in and day out to find new and innovative ways to kill us all.

Chávez volvió

The Federal Legislative Palace has new tenants who wasted no time in changing the décor. Where will the opposition work now?

Governors’ Elections: A Test of Unity

Last Wednesday, the opposition received a gift from the gods. Hours later, it was a house devouring itself.

A Venezuela where Dictatorship Feels Far Away

Brazen lies about turnout, stolen seats, cheating at solitaire with millions of made-up votes prove that Maduro hates his people as much as he hates us. But for many followers, hope is still alive.

Three Million Percent Later

The bolivar lost two thirds of it's value on the black market in 77 days. We unpack the currency's collapse.

Ortega’s Last Stand

Luisa Ortega Diaz threatened to take Maduro to international court if she is removed from her post. We look into the details.

Malnutrition skyrockets at Caracas Children’s Hospital

With a country reaching emergency levels of medicine scarcity, the other critical shortage, food, is turning into famine.

The Raid on Doral Centro

For most of us, the sound and the fury are seen through a screen from the safety of our homes. This, however, is what happens when the security blankets are gone.

Fraud, Actually

In an explosive double whammy, BBC and Reuters confirm what we all suspected: the numbers reported by Tibisay were fake, and the entire process was a sham.

Could U.S. Sanctions Deliver Venezuela into Russia’s Sphere of Influence

As the Trump White House mulls sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry, we consider the upsetting possibility that we’re just a pawn in Putin’s grand strategy.

Flying Away from Here

The question is not why airlines are leaving Venezuela, but how come they stuck around so long.

Official Stubbornness is killing Venezuelan Patients

The government hears stories about a Humanitarian Crisis and sees a public relations problem at best, an international plot at worst. Me? I see people dying.

The day after the ANC

Food lines, barricades and empty bellies: the day after the Constituent vote might as well have been any other day in our embattled city.

Constituyente Bloodbath for Vennys

Venezuelan bonds collapsed to 15-month lows as the Constituyente doomsday clock ticked towards midnight.

Cheating at Solitaire

Announcing a beyond-crazy  turnout figure, Tibisay Lucena puts the final nail in the National Elections Council's credibility.

#30J Roundup: Bullets over ballots

The election was fake, but the violence was real: a detailed look at the mayhem nationwide as Venezuelans reject the government’s attempt to institutionalize dictatorship.

Guayana: Your Vote or Your Job

Ciudad Guayana is a government bastion —tons of state workers around. Their stories are consistent: they’re all being told explicitly they either vote or they’re fired.

Chavistas have no idea how to vote today, or for whom

Nobody understands today’s election system. With everything on the line, this might as well be a lottery.

Countdown to Doomstituyente

As the threat of an Constituent Assembly that lifts even notional limits on what the crazies can do, the dystopian vibe in our public sphere deepens.

The Farce and the Fear: How to Mobilize Voters for an...

Sunday’s election is a giant charade, so how do you get people to go out and vote? By laying on the intimidation like there’s no tomorrow. Because, if you fail, there may not be.

The Economist Asks Pears from the Oven

The most surprising revelation in The Economist’s cover story this week is that Manuel Rosales has some fans in London.

Fear on Thursday

Although half of Caracas was deserted for Thursday’s strike, downtown buzzed with activity… and dread.

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.