This post could be written by anyone in Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, etc. this is the sad truth of the countries in which we live in. As some one else said in the comments section, Freedom is very EXPENSIVE,! It shouldn’t have to be, it should be a basic human right affordable to all everywhere, but unfortunately it’s not the case.

This Burundian Life

This blog could be very short since the answer to the title is quite simple: because it’s my choice to make and I don’t want to.

Before you go ahead and call me a coward or waggle the oh so famous “wanka gusesera amaraso igihugu imbwa zikayanwa kuri gusa” in my face (I love dogs by the way), allow me to explain my decision.

Not a single fiber of my being looks like that of a soldier’s. To me a nation is just too vague; it’s an entity I have a hard time feeling a part of or emotionally attached to. To put things into perspective, I’d die for my family. I am ready to fight like a lioness for them, kill and die in the process because they deserve such sacrifice.
Let’s just say that my willingness to die is highly situationally specific, and dying for a country is…

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The money quote:

“We cannot prove that Venezuela’s electoral system is being tampered with, or that it’s physically possible for the machines to send information about the votes back to the remote session activator. This does not mean there is fraud, it means that there could be and that is bad enough. It should be enough reason to distrust the system and it is the reason many countries have chosen to stick to the good ol’ manual vote…”

Caracas Chronicles

maquinas-electorales-de-votacion(Now, to keep the conversation on our electoral system going, a guest post from friend-of-the-blog Sasha Ojeda and IT Specialist Sander Plas. Both of them are based in Amsterdam. Enjoy!)

When we read Juan’s article about the (im)possibility of monitoring the voting process in real time and the many doubts surrounding the subject, we started talking about a similar public discussion that took place in the Netherlands about voting computers and their inherent problems a few years ago. The discussion ended in favor of the manual vote, and the Dutch government subsequently banned the use of voting computers.

Elections in Venezuela have been a major topic for bloggers and news outlets worldwide. The whole process always led to heated debates about the democratic credentials (what?) of the government, corruption and fraud. From the voting walking dead to people casting multiple votes to kicking out the opposition observers from the centros…

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It’s crazy!!! Two hours to buy washing detergent, toilet paper and milk, for what would normally take 5-10 minutes to buy! I cannot believe people are putting up with this crap.

The fact that Venezuelans haven’t gotten rid of these troglodytes in government shows how much they’re “pissing out of the bowl”-meando fuera del perol…

Truly sad.

Caracas Chronicles

It’s MY day.

It’s not my birthday. And Saint Anne’s Feast Day is July 26th.

It’s my day because, on Tuesdays, Venezuelans with ID numbers ending in 2 and 3 can buy price-controlled products in a supermarket that I’ll call the No-Kwik-E-Mart.

Since this is Holy Week holiday, I decide to venture out and stand in line, whatever it takes. My mom’s ID also ends with  2, so we can at least share the adventure – for lack of a better word.

8:04am: We get in line, or as Venezuelans call it, “la cola.” (Literally, the tail) According to Google maps, it is a 60 meter line. Since it isn’t an orderly line, we estimate –al least- 250 people in front of us.

The minute I get in line, security personnel from a close-by store yells out: “hay Ace y papel tualé” [there’s Ace laundry powder and toilet paper].

Jackpot! Jackpot! (The Ace…

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Sadly, hilariously true. #ObamaInvadeVenezuelaNowPlease!

Caracas Chronicles

oriente20_obama-deroga-yaDear underpaid intern at the State Dept. stuck in the Venezuela desk having to file reports about the BRV’s response to the president’s Executive Order,

I feel for you. I really do.

In the scheme of things, with Putin issuing nuclear threats to Denmark, ISIS spreading terror like it’s ebola, and China’s looming financial domination of your country, who has time for a shitty, if colorful, dictatorship? For the longest time, Venezuela was just an inconsequential blip on your Latin American radar, the place Juan Valdéz and guacamole and Sofía Vergara come from…and now President Obama had to go and make it all newsworthy.

I’m sure all the silly exchanges initiated by our Foreign Ministry, which you’re professionally bound to act as though you took seriously, make for great dinner table chatter: just the stuff to show your parents just how kooky your job can be. Never mind you’re silently fuming about how your $140k Georgetown School of Foreign Service degree should’ve somehow…

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Caracas Chronicles

Charming fellow Charming fellow

Making decisions can be tough, especially if you’re expected to solve the worst economic crisis in our petrostate’s memory on a 22% approval rating, and don’t have the first clue what you’re doing.

Leave it to a psychopath like the Defense Minister to show you how it’s done.

While Maduro dithers like a paralyzed hamster at the mere thought of announcing an economic reform, General Vladimir Padrino López is a proponent of the shock-and-awe approach to violating Human Rights.

Case in point: Resolution 8610, sanctioned on Jan. 27, through which the Ministry of Defence authorizes the use of “potentially lethal force, be it with a firearm or with another potentially lethal weapon” as a last recourse […], “to avoid public disorder, to support the legitimate authority, and to immediately reject aggression using any necessary means.”

Naturally, this innovation in military protocol is meant to “regulate the Armed Forces when…

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That’s a lot of dirt. Enough to tarnish everyone in power. And yet this regime is still here. Anywhere else the government would have fallen long ago. It is really sad that it continues day in, day out. And now there’s not even any food left on the shelves, and yet all these criminals are all still there, running the country into the ground!!

Caracas Gringo


…and associate of 6to Poder’s Leocenis Garcia.

Hey Gringo, a reader opines.

You might be on the right track about why Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal and 6to Poder’s publisher, Leocenis Garcia, became associates while Garcia was jailed in Carvajal’s dungeonsin Boleita.

Perhaps the two indeed became partners in extortion, as you suggested. “El Pollo” certainly has dirt on practically everyone, and Leocenis owns a media group he can hammer anyone with – except the regime, of course. “El Pollo” can feed Garcia incriminating intelligence to the 6to Poder publisher, who can in-turn spin intelligence into scandalous, embarrassing and legally incriminating investigative exposes. “El Pollo” can then supply the muscle to ensure big cash payoffs are made to avert potential scandals and criminal prosecutions. But have you considered an alternative?

Perhaps “El Pollo” hired Leocenis Garcia for some reputational rehabilitation in Venezuela? I’m told by my pals in Miami, Gringo, that…

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