With a tarima that ran the spectrum, from Henri Falcón on the left to María Corina Machado on the right, MUD announces a protest agenda for the 2016 recall.

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Briefing

Your daily briefing for Friday, September 23rd, 2016

After wasting precious trying to get a Colombian trucking company to drill oil wells, PDVSA signs a minimally credible deal to stanch the production hemorrhage.

Attacking MUD for insisting on an unrealistic 2016 recall is like attacking Rosa Parks for unrealistically insisting on sitting in the front of the bus: a spectacular bit of point-missing.

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MUD needs to participate in the 20% signature drive, but on its terms: creating parallel mechanisms for disenfranchised people to formally register their disenfranchisement, and setting the stage for a campaign of civil disobedience.

We look through the opposition Twittersphere to take the temperature of an opposition on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

As the government's chief tactician and the power behind the CNE throne, Jorge Rodríguez's job is to keep the opposition divided. But last night's decision, which kills the Recall Referendum cold, will do just the opposite.

Francisco Toro, who founded and runs this gig, just landed an exclusive post as contributing columnist for the Washington Post's Global Opinions website.

If it looks like a strike, sounds like a strike, smells like a strike, tastes like a strike and feels like a strike it's a...caravan to petition the Transport Minister for a fare hike.

Having a baby is a harrowing experience at the best of times. Imagine doing it in a country with no medicines, no diapers, no surgical facilities. Now imagine doing it with no insurance.
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Tarek William Saab — the officer charged by the Constitution with defending Venezuelans' human rights — disgraces his office on what is now a now daily basis.

As the police starts arresting people for making protest videos against the police repressing people who protest, Venezuela's dictatorship is now beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt.

From Chigüire Bipolar premise to real news story in two years: the press in Nigeria starts to fret about looming Venezuelanization.

We talk about the limits of a repressive strategy in sustaining a government with no authority, and it all sounds kind of vague. But really, it isn't hard. It's simple. Crushingly Simple.

Economists have this maddening habit of talking about the "inflation tax" without caring that nobody has any idea what they're talking about. Here, we'll make it simple.

Leave it to PDVSA to make the biggest financial announcement of the year via a Facebook post. We took the time to demystify the deal PDVSA is offering and ask: is The Swap going to succeed? Or is PDVSA miscalculating badly?

The narconephews explicitly trafficked (heh) on their family connections to gain street cred with the DEA agents they thought they were selling to.

On the diplomatic blunder scale, Timoteo Zambrano scored a Full Duterte yesterday. It makes no sense for him to keep his job as MUD's main International spokesperson after that.

I went to visit my sister in Ciudad Betania, a sprawling complex of five GMVV housing projects just outside Ocumare del Tuy. They're pretty screwed up places. Well, four out of the five are. Then there's Betania II.

As part of our sporadic series — The View From 2056 — we send a letter to the future, trying to explain to a not-yet-born grandchild what it felt like to live through the inflation of 2016.

Why would you make a secret back channel public? Because you are strong? Just the opposite: you lash out when you realize you're too weak to impose impossible demands.

Every merideño grew up knowing there was something special about this place, "a university with a city inside." Mérida isn't like Venezuela. Or it never had been. It sure wasn't supposed to be. Now it is.

As the most successful political party in Venezuelan history turns 75, we take another look at AD's hugely outsized role in the making of contemporary Venezuela.

Chinese media criticizes Venezuela and China talks with the opposition. What is going on?

It was a strange kind of intimacy: for the longest time the people on my Ciudad Guayana street were on a first name basis with Edwin, the thug on a bike who made our lives a misery.

When Carlos Ocariz proposed an ambitious new transport scheme for his municipio, his announcement was met with a wall of cynicism. How did this corrosive sense all social policy is clientelism become enshrined?

Can you think of a worse time-and-place to host an international summit than Margarita and tomorrow?
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The thing that's keeping chavismo in power isn't CNE, or the Supreme Tribunal, or even the army. It's the opposition's deep conviction that we're powerless against them.

Can you help J.J. start a new life and give an amazing piece of Venezuelan history a loving new home? It's what Rómulo would've wanted.

Anabella se adentra en la Gran Pulpería del Libro Venezolano y nos cuenta lo que encontró.

Until relatively recently Venezuela's financial sector floated above the maelstrom of economic dislocation all around. But the economic crisis now engulfing Venezuela is now so big, it’s no longer possible to escape unscathed. Here's why you should care.

Banco de Venezuela is not letting its clients freely transfer their own dollars out of the bank. Why?

The National Assembly has just put forward a bll to overhaul social protections for cops and it's...bad enough it almost makes you thankful that everything they do is null.

On how this form of protest means more than meets the eye and why he is now my hero.

I wanted to know where we stand following the September 1st protests. So I picked up the phone, called three leading Venezuelan experts and asked them.

For my family, running away from tyranny is somewhere between a tradition and a curse we're doomed to repeat generation after generation. Part 3 of 3.

I am a tourist telling stories with my iPhone, witnessing the slow torture of the Venezuelan people. I've never seen anything like it.

How far down the rabbit hole is Venezuela? So far down that one branch of government just basically shut down another branch, and we basically yawned it off.

My neighbor Julio did everything right — worked, planned, invested for the future. I recently went with him to see his campo, the small farm he'd staked everything on. There's...virtually nothing left.

There's a big difference between power and authority. Max Weber knew it, and Maduro's finding out.
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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.

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 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.

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.   

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.
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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 events of 1989 carry traces of social trauma: it transcends history and lives ambivalently as a portmanteau fantasy, carrying both fears and desires.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.
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