Tag Archives: Venezuela

Astroturf image of the week

In his latest bid to sow conflict in order to direct attention away from the country’s real problems while eroding other non-Chávez power bases, Chávez is going after the Catholic Church. Allegedly, El Pueblo is behind him: Far be it from me to stick up for the Catholic Church for any reason, but if those [...]
Posted in Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , | 4 Comments

Bank tweeters arrested

In an interesting development in Venezuela, the CICPC (equivalent, I think, to the FBI) has made its first arrest of Twitter users: Two people who the agency says tweeted rumors with the intent to destabilize the banking sector by causing a run on banks. According to a press release, CICPC director Wilmer Flores said: False [...]
Posted in Economy, Venezuela | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

‘ta barrato, dame 600k toneladas

An article in El Nacional puts a nice little bow on Venezuela’s ongoing rotting food scandal, in which a government importer left about 122,000 tons of foodstuffs to spoil in containers at Puerto Cabello. From the article: The Productora y Distribuidora Venezolana de Alimentos, Pdval, imported 597,000 tons of foodstuffs in 2008. The amount is [...]
Posted in Economy, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Playtime

A somewhat hilarious AP article out today profiles Chávez’ efforts to arm and train some kind of civilian militia force. Frankly, it sounds like a rip-roaring good time: Take a few days off work (unless you weren’t doing anything anyway), play army with real guns, blow things up, etc. I have family members who do [...]
Posted in History, Politics, Travel, Venezuela | Also tagged , | 4 Comments

Chávez tweets UPDATED

Hugo Chávez now has a Twitter account: @chavezcandanga, which roughly translates to “Chávez candanga.” That is to say, if you think you can translate candanga, please, give it a shot. As far as the Venezuelan executive’s eloquent use of Venezuelan slang in an official capacity, it’s reminiscent of the “vergatario:” Anyway, all trips down memory [...]
Posted in Odd, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , | 1 Comment

The curious case of the Ice Cream Spies

Enforcement of the law in Venezuela is highly selective these days, so when a well-publicized arrest takes place, there’s usually some reason. In the latest international tiff between Venezuela and Colombia, Venezuelan law enforcement arrested eight Colombian residents for taking pictures of power lines and transformers. The eight were owners and employees of an ice [...]
Posted in Colombia, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

More fear than greed

Miguel at The Devil’s Excrement has posted a great piece on Venezuelan bond prices and how they stack up to the rest of the developing world. During last year’s financial crisis, lots of money flooded into developing market bonds, pushing their yields down. The one exception: Venezuela. Its 5-year dollar-denominated bonds are paying around 11%, [...]
Posted in Economy, Venezuela | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Insulza stepping out

A week after his reelection to a second (and final) five-year term as Secretary General of the OAS, Chilean José Miguel Insulza is coming out swinging. First he demanded Venezuela release the head of an opposition television channel jailed for insulting the president, then he requested Cuba release its infirm political prisoners, then he urged [...]
Posted in Cuba, Human Rights, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

The truth is out there

Rumors and accusations have been floating around for some time about links between the Chávez government and the FARC. Now Adam Isaacson at the Plan Colombia and Beyond blog has done us all a great favor by compiling all the evidence that’s come out over recent years in one place. The conclusion? There is no [...]
Posted in Colombia, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Good for a laugh

I give you, the Venezuelan version of People of Wal-Mart, Solo en Venezuela (Only in Venezuela). “The door bell doesn’t work, please knock with the hose.” OK, fine, one more:
Posted in Arts and Culture, Odd, Venezuela | Also tagged | 1 Comment
  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]