All this to hide that he doesn't know how to govern and can only imitate the dismal model he's inherited from his mentors of the Plaza of the Revolution. The result is a bad copy of the Cuban model, a crude replica in which ideology has ceded its entire terrain to the ravings of a man.
Even with the economic problems in Venezuela, the government has decided to press forward in fully funding its social programs.
With his approval rate sinking by the minute, Chavez's successor should be learning from what other commodity-dependent countries, especially in Africa, have done in terms of policy instead of desperately begging for loans.
We take the electoral process to be the first symptom of a democracy, but that in and of itself is very far from sufficient. By that measure, Russia is a democracy, as are Iran and Singapore -- and indeed, many of the former Cold War Warsaw Pact regimes.
It is always a good idea to read the business press with a critical eye. In the case of countries where media bias is unusually strong, it can also be quite profitable for investors to do so.
For anyone who can still see straight, it is obvious that Venezuela won't be able to keep on subsidizing the Castro regime with 100,000 daily oil barrels. Moreover, each day it becomes likelier that there will soon be a major political overhaul in Venezuela, one that, in one way or the other, will spell an end to the island's economic salvation.
President Obama is poised to sign a bill sanctioning Venezuela over alleged concern for human rights in that country. Thousands of Venezuelans have responded to this news by marching in protest of these sanctions.
Can you honestly trust that Maria Corina Machado will receive due consideration under the rule of law in this case? And if not, what does that say about the Venezuelan regime?
A government's censorship against a media outlet is a bureaucratic tool that could become obsolete if technology is used and organized the right way.
In the midst of the unrest this year in Venezuela, there was little attention paid in the media to the conditions facing Indigenous peoples in that country and where they stood in regard to the anti-government demonstrations.
"My husband, Leopoldo Lopez, is in prison for saying what all of Venezuela wanted to hear."
Justice Vegas is optimistic about Venezuela's future and believes that the democratic process began by Hugo Chavez 15 years ago will continue and grow.
After zigging toward liberalization, by suggesting a reduction in the gasoline subsidy or letting the bolívar devalue, and zagging back away, the only continuity is that Maduro is gradually displacing the original chavista high guard.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
While Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López remains behind bars as he awaits the July 23 start of his trial, his family has worked not only to get him released, but also to highlight the government's attempts to punish him for speaking out about the country's economic and political turmoil.
Until the moment the plane took off, we feared we might be in clear and present danger. We had just spent the last month seeking refuge in a makeshift panic room we created in our Caracas apartment.