Pedro wrote the following (and not directed to me, by the way)
Que vaina. Las impugnaciones al olvido. Las elecciones 8D un trámite. Ahora @hcapriles se le ocurre Constituyente en el 2014. Sin brújula.
— Pedro M. Burelli (@pburelli) August 4, 2013
Shit! Legal challenges to the [April] elections forgotten. December elections a formality Now @hcapriles comes up with a Constituent assembly in 2014. Lost at sea.
The translation is mine as this tweet is for local consumption. Thus I limit myself to convey the gist.
Basically I am in agreement with Pedro in that the strategy since April 14 has been deficient. But where I am coming from and that I tried to put to words yesterday is to be pragmatic, to make lemonade with MUD lemons.
The thing is that as far as I am concerned the regime is simply not going to decide on the validity of the election UNLESS the anti Maduro camp wins the inner battle and decide to get rid of him. Or he has enough of the whole thing and wants to retire in Cuba. The lackluster or rather incomplete response of the opposition to April 14 fraud has basically made the issue moot. We see that in the apathy of the opposition electorate or the unwillingness of foreign leaders to receive Capriles coming a little bit too late to complain. Even the Colombian foreign minster Friday said that Capriles would not be received anymore by Santos. The legal challenges will keep gathering dust.
I suppose that the MUD had its reasons for how they handled things since April 14. And the definitely deficient foreign communication team of the Capriles/MUD camp is only matched by his rather deficient foreign policy. Only the parliamentary initiatives of folks like Maria Corina Machado, more or less coordinated with the MUD I suppose, have managed to save the day.
But those are only details when compared to a much deeper problem at home where questioning is on the rise. And what I wrote yesterday was about the MUD finally coming to grips with its problems. I suppose I am very pragmatic on the subject and decided that proposing a constitutional movement in 2014 only if the opposition wins in December was the only thing left to do. The case sorts of go this way:
- The TSJ is not going to decide anything according to law and even less according to the opposition wishes. Thus, after three months, unless the MUD organizes a series of public demonstrations against the TSJ we may as well forget the issue.
- For better or for worse Capriles is the leader of the opposition. Not because he is that great but simply because none other is emerging and there is no time to create a new one by December. Lopez is still saddled with his endorsement of Capriles. Machado has failed to create a movement. Perez has disappeared and the other ones, well, they do not count except for Falcon but he has enough problems of his own in Lara. thus it is Capriles, warts and all.
- We cannot overthrow the regime because not only the weaponry from the army and the criminals are on its side for the time being, but also because fraud and all chavismo is still 40% of faithful supporters whereas the recent growth of the opposition is too recent to count on them to support massive protests. If there was a chance to go that way it was in April. Now it is too late. We need to wait for a new fuse.
- Thus the only option we have right now is an electoral one. Even with the CNE that did the fraud of last April. We do have an advantage this time is that we may get better coverage of polling stations because the multiple candidates for mayor and council will have plenty of friends and relatives willing to man the stations. It is true that at least in those districts where the opposition already reaches 45% it is going to be more difficult for the CNE to pull its treachery than it was for the presidential election.
- The big problem is the possible abstention due in large part to the MUD and Capriles mistakes since last April. But it is done and we need to find something to excite the voters. Even if Pedro is right at seeing a constitutional initiative as a cope out, it is unfortunately the only recourse the the MUD has to silence its radical critics.
And thus why I support the strategy announced this weekend. It is useless to argue whether it is good, it is the only one unless somebody has a better idea for the current circumstances. Of course, that does not exempt the MUD and Capriles to correct the errors they did inasmuch as possible, such as their communications with foreign press who are going to have a hard time to understand this. But still, a victory in December as the only way to have the means to change things in 2014 is the only pragmatic option at this time.
Note: a constitutional change is not the lone option that depends on winning more than 100 districts in December. A recall election of the chavista representatives can only succeed if we can claim back the city halls of Valencia and win at least the ones of Barquisimeto and Puerto Ordaz as the only way to reverse the current chavista fraudulent majority..