• Refrigerator Wars: The Revolution Goes Back in Action

    The Venezuelan state is intervening in retail businesses around the country, principally those that trade in domestic appliances.  This apparently modest decision, taken a week ago, has set in motion an interesting process of push and pull.  Long lines outside the intervened stores and some disorder inside meet with predictable outcry about “mobs” and “communism” […]

  • Chávez’s Leninism

    In the many homages to Hugo Chávez in recent weeks, there is an important element that suffers almost complete neglect.  For want of a better term we could call it “Leninism.”  By this, of course, I do not mean the tired, formulaic (and basically anti-Leninist) doctrine that generally bears that name.  It is precisely the […]

  • “Por Ahora”: A Few Words for Hugo Chávez

    Caracas, March 6, 2013 Hugo Chávez, who died yesterday afternoon, was something of an Emersonian hero.  “Speak your latent conviction,” said the sage of Concord, “and it shall be the universal sense.” Chávez said things that other people thought, or at least recognized that they thought after he said them. One could say that he […]

  • Update on the Colombian Peace Dialogues: Politiquería vs. Program

    The most recent victim in Colombia’s conflict, in spite of ongoing conversations between the government and the FARC-EP guerrillas that began last year, seems to be common sense itself.  With the government declining to enter a two-part truce at the conclusion of the insurgency’s unilaterally assumed ceasefire on January 20, the war naturally resumed its […]