The PJ Tatler

Blogging in Venezuela

There were two prolific English language bloggers in Venezuela, now there is only one. Miguel of The Devil’s Excrement announced yesterday that he had left Venezuela but will occasionally return for business reasons and while there perhaps develop insights for future articles; his blog is not dead but neither will it be the same nor published as frequently.

Focused principally on economic developments – or rather misdeeds – he provided cogent analyses of the mess being made by el Thugo Presidente Chávez.  The one remaining English language blogger, Daniel of Venezuela News and Views, will continue until he goes into exile when his small business is expropriated or becomes impossible to run; there’s lots of that going around and more to come. Daniel focuses principally on Venezuelan politics; both authors are highly qualified and their subjects are quite depressing. In writing about Venezuela I relied on them for local insights not otherwise available.

The blog name The Devil’s Excrement is based on this: “A famous Venezuelan, Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo, referred to oil as the devil’s excrement. For countries, easy wealth appears indeed to be the sure path to failure.” It could have made Venezuela a much better place but did not.  Miguel explained his departure as follows:

There were two main reasons for this tough decision, one that came from the mind, not the heart: Crime and the absence of the rule of law. I stared at both of these in the face and it is something I don’t wish on anyone. You feel like you are not playing on a level field. If the crooks don’t get you, the other “crooks” will and you have no way to defend yourself. There are no instances, no appeals, you have no rights. Time to leave.

It’s always pleasant to dream of a better future. Someday, maybe, it will be possible for bloggers in Venezuela to revive and to write prolifically as well as realistically about present and future changes for the better there.