Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's next for the Venezuelan opposition?

OK, we have been defeated in October 7 and trashed last Sunday. That those defeats are incomprehensible when one considers the state of the country makes the whole thing harder to stomach. Thus, the first thing the opposition needs to do is to try to understand why is it that the blackmail of the regime was so effective in coaxing people to vote again for them in spite of crime, inflation, constant power outages, lack of real jobs, etc, etc...  It is crystal clear, I hope, that satisfying ourselves by saying we will be more efficient than Chavez is not going to work out, ever. Well, not before the country collapses but do we want to be in charge then? Can anyone even be in charge then when we return to African like political "culture" which is where chavismo is taking us. Guinea Equatorial anyone? Or Guinea Bissau if you prefer?  Congo will do if you go for bigger countries.

Unfortunately we do not have much time to craft a new message that combines the few successful themes of the campaign that ended in October with a more assertive language where we start putting it down clearly that voting voting for Chavez is voting for your doom.  Still, there is quite a few things that should be done ASAP.


No hallacas for nobody

First, I heard that the MUD was proudly announcing that they were leaving in place a "commission" to reply to the power abuses if needed during the holidays.  Nicolas Maduro and his combo are going to work full time during the holidays and their hallacas will be eaten fast, though I am sure washed down with abundant 18 years old scotch (1). AGAIN, the opposition leadership is not going to give up its annual monthly break, just as it did in 2006 when Chavez announced the closing of RCTV, or in 2008 where grudgingly a few accepted to start a lousy campaign against the eternal election referendum.

If the MUD wants to prove that it means business it should close shop only from Saturday 29/12 until Tuesday 02/13. And the rest will be business as usual.  You have a campaign to prepare guys!!!!!!!!!!!

Fast Reconstruction

The MUD should take advantage of the post Christmas week to make any painful internal decision it can do so that by next January some of the pain will have passed. The results are in, some parties did better than expected  some not as good. It is time to review the composition of the main bureau. But it is also time for Primero Justicia in particular who as main party has to assimilate that it is failing to grow as expected and maybe it should focus its interest on post Chavez more than satisfying itself of a worthless primus inter pares title. As for AD it is high time that they stop being offended because their historical status is not recognized. Their campaign advertisement as to "come back home" had not much success with chavista, at best saving AD of its ultimate demise like it happened to COPEI last Sunday.  In fact, AD and UNT and ABP should fast unite if they do not want to become irrelevant later this year, but that is another story.

I take the opportunity to write my heartfelt congratulations to the MUD. Yes, I did criticize it often but I always praised its achievements. There is no other substitute right now and we should be happy that the MUD has not collapsed yet. What we all need to do is to reinforce it, make it look provisionally like a single political party, at least until the next presidential elections. So people, stop bitching and start supporting them BECAUSE there is simply NO TIME for a replacement. That does not mean that the MUD should remain autistic as explained in the previous paragraph. Whether the MUD fails to grow up is not an excuse for us to stay home and bitch at it.

The candidate

If we knew already that elections would be held, say, next June, we could plan a primary for next February  But the only thing we know, and only 98% certain, is that there will be an election next year for president. The PSUV has demonstrated its willingness to use Chavez health and corpse for any electoral advantage and if they need to have Chavez sworn in at the Venezuelan embassyi n Havana, tubes poking from everywhere,  they will do it and the high court will find ten ways to make it suddenly constitutional  After all, is there anyone left in Venezuela that believes the Constitution applies to all?

Whether we like Capriles or not, whether he lost in October and won barely last Sunday is really not the point anymore. He is our best known figure and it is up to the MUD to become his political party, to pry away him from PJ and for PJ to let him go while supporting his actions unconditionally.

If for X reason it is not Capriles then the MUD has to decide NOW who is it going to be by consensus  There is only a very short list of names: Falcon of Lara, Aveledo as the MUD architect and more remotely Lopez and Ledezma. Period. The debate should be short. Any other option is a waste of time that the MUD should have the guts to resist.

A note before anyone cries foul. Lara and Miranda will be impossible to rule because chavismo will make its utmost to sabotage Falcon and Capriles. They are already maneuvering to make sure that even if they got a majority of the vote they will not have a majority in the state assembly, courtesy of obscene gerrymandering. So "preserving those states" is not an option. Which leads me to my second point on the candidate. If in pre October conditions it would have been foolish for Capriles to announce his vice president choice this time around I think it is a good move: the ticket is obvious  Capriles and Falcon, with, if necessary, a notary promise of Capriles to keep Falcon Veep for at least a year after he is sworn in.

Program, schmuckgram

The campaign will not require to present a program. Capriles presented one extensively and little good did it do to him when blackmail and washers for free arrived. It is time to take a stand and tell the country that Maduro or Cabello are a piece of shit, they they are unable to fess up to the economic mess they helped create. At least if we lose once again the country will not be able to claim "I did not know" and when collapse arrives then they will know finally who to turn to.  Because if you think that with three sates we should still talk softly and preserve our "space for action" for better days, wake up! This is not 2004 anymore and with the "comunas" we will be dust in a few months. So we may as well explain to the people what is in store for them so they will vote in full knowledge.

Confront the CNE

The CNE shenanigans in Bolivar this week are the perfect opportunity to call them on their partisanship and threaten already that we reserve our right to recognize any future electoral results as long as the CNE keeps acting as it is.  In other words, start saying that the CNE is a piece of shit but that we have to vote and organize ourselves AGAINST the CNE by flooding every voting stations, either to protest and sabotage the election or to make sure that voting proceeds as it should. Remember one thing: the regime, the more so that Chavez is on his way out, needs international recognition. If there is a time to confront, this is the one.  Demand NOW that there is a real international observation, called at least two months before the election, demand now that the CNE facilitates access to witness in every center and give them a right to talk as the election go, etc, etc...  Not forgetting to protest more forcefully cadenas and other government abuses. IF we do not become militant this time around, we are screwed forever.

As for the parties in the MUD that refuse to confront the CNE, they can be politely asked to leave for the oblivion that awaits them. What do we have to lose at this point?

And this is only what needs to be done by, say, January 15, in addition of having Lopez reactivate his witness protection program, and creating a contributing scheme where the people can anonymously give money for the campaign. I offer to start right now a lottery!!!!!!!!!

Then again, I am certainly not going to hold my breath as no one in the MUD pays attention to such proposals. I know better, if it does not arises spontaneously from someone inside the high circles it will not happen no matter how many people like me write the obvious.

Oh well......

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1) Hallacas: national traditional Christmas dish of Venezuela. The glory of our cuisine with the arepa.

16 comments:

  1. Charly5:28 PM

    All very interesting. Yet until the CNE reverts to pencils and paper, the opposition will remain where it is: in the opposition in the crucial role of useful idiots to show the whole world how democratic this government is.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dr. Faustus8:27 PM

    "It is time to take a stand and tell the country that Maduro or Cabello are a piece of shit, they they are unable to fess up to the economic mess they helped create. At least if we lose once again the country will not be able to claim "I did not know" and when collapse arrives then they will know finally who to turn to."

    I very much agree with this position. With each passing day, and with each passing week, the Venezuelan economy will be facing some serious problems. As everyone with common sense knows, the PSUV leadership cannot undertake a much needed currency devaluation. But with each passing week the shortages in the stores will be increasing. The cliche here is: stuck between a rock and a hard place. The need an election to take place at the very earliest possible date, or else disaster...and that would be around February 10th. They cannot wait much longer than that.

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  3. I like that Capriles-Lara ticket. Program? Who has read the program? have we really publicized it or discussed it like the PSUVists do in their TV shows? You are right, our best card is still to pinpoint directly that we're in a big mess because of 14 years of bad management, of regaladera, of living beyond our means, of decaying infrastructure, of artificial prices, of falling local production, of asking nothing from the people in exchange of houses, becas, and cheap food. We cannot compete in a populist race, it makes no sense. We have to open people eyes, so at least people will remember there is still an ALTERNATIVE 6 years from now. And pray so elections are later than sooner so the "paquetazo" is applied by chavismo and not by the MUD.

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  4. I think the MUD failed in one crucial aspect: they did not manage the expectations well, they did not prepare the voters for the possibility of losing on Oct 7th and afterwards they failed to motivate people to go back to the voting booth on Dec 16th despite the recent defeat. The MUD did not anticipate how demoralized 36% of the opposition voters would be that they decided to not vote on December. That broke a trend that had been happening consistently since 2006 where in every election (regardless of the type of election: presidential, gubernatorial, parliamentary or referenda) the percentage of opposition voters was always higher than the previous one.

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  5. "That those defeats are incomprehensible when one considers the state of the country makes the whole thing harder to stomach."

    You mention the "blackmails" yourself. That's part of the explanation..

    I find it quite comprehensible, even considering the deplorable state of the country, that Chavistas continue to prevail, so let me help you at here, in the midst of all our frustrations..

    1. Corruption and "palancas" are nothing new, but Chavez has all of that on Steroids. Refrigerators, ranchito nuevo, puesto sin nomina, intimidaciones..

    2. There are very few, capable, educated people like yourself left in Venezuela. People who went to good schools, speak several languages, or can interpret history, newspapers or even rean a good book; the rest of us LEFT, got the hell out of there when we could, because we could, and because we did not want to get killed for a pair of shoes in Chacaito.

    So there was a massive "fuite de cervaux" (i forget the term) most of the people left in venezuela are the uneducated, corruptible "pueblo", people who speak the "chavez language" .

    It's an education problem, again, which allowed this clown to get elected, and all his laughable clowns like Maduro to even be taken seriously by the ignorant masses. That's how lies are accepted, how they deal with incredible murder rates, rampant inflation and general life degradation: It wasn't much better anyway in the barrios.. the middle-upper classes got the hell out of there..

    So "democracy" triumphs yet again, as I say despite people not liking, indio obedeciendo a otro indio. That's not how great nations progress: you need the Elite, educated few to lead, and hopefully educate the masses. As they did in Europe, USA, or Colombia, Chile or Costa Rica.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_drain

    That's the phrase I was looking for..

    ReplyDelete
  7. indifference, denial, naivety, indifference, denial, naivety, indifference denial, naivety

    even the corrupt fall prey.do people really know what truly awaits them in the future? I think not.

    it's time to talk about the real problems, and not their consequences

    yes the opposition is there to show the world how Democratic Venezuela really is, like someone said above

    firepigette

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous5:16 AM

    Daniel:

    As usual, you present very cogent arguments and bullet points.

    One thing no one has bothered to explain, and I have been asking this since October 8, how is the MUD going to counter the Chavista get out the vote machine?

    I get that the MUD has to try, but I just don't see how to get around the machine. You can put Jaua up as candidate for president and win.

    Anonimo 242

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  9. Anonymous6:45 PM

    I'm really hoping you can fix this mess when Chavez departs. I want to visit again, but not with the current situation. Hope your Christmas is bright!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous6:47 PM

    (I forgot to mention; stay the hell away from "democracy". It's other name is "mob rule".)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charly7:41 PM

      Anon, the technical term for mob rule is ochlocracy.

      Delete
  11. With the Evangelical Christian community numbering ca. 5 million, if MUD truly wants to win, I would suggest they pursue relationship and involve this group. In neither the October 7th election nor the recent governmental election were the Venezuelan Christians solicited by Mud for their involvement. The Evangelicals are interested in the governing of the nation, but aware that they are persona non gratis in MUD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Evangelicals are actually quite split over the matter. They are persona non "gratis" in both side because one has Chavez as God and the other one is nominally Catholic. They could technically be the deal breaker but the real reason why so many Evangelicals vote for Chavez, when they vote, is that they are recruited from lower classes who see still an interest in voting for Chavez.

      Delete
  12. Daniel Evangelical Christians does not include nominal Catholics. My point is that MUD who supposedly wants to win, has no strategy to recruit and include the growing non-Catholic Christian community, which may include as many as 5 million people. They have no plan and strategy to actively contact and court the pastors y su greyes. Why would they write off a 5 million electorate if they really want to win. Y opine yo, por fin se perdio y van a perder. If they want to win, then its all hands on deck, and the elites and oligarchia clase politica need to form a new coalicion. A sus ordenes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ??? Where did I include nominal catholics in evangelicals?

      Delete
  13. I read what you wrote incorrectly the first time. I see what you are saying.

    ReplyDelete

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