Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The louder the Maduro's regime shouts, the weaker it reveals itself

The offensive these past few days by Maduro is a sight to behold.  He is all out to destroy the opposition, either through his own threats or other means announced by his associates. But all of this ruckus cannot hide the crude reality: the legitimacy of the regime is falling, fast.

Opinion polls are down for chavismo. All coincide in saying that the popular vote  in December mayoral election will go to the advantage of the opposition. The margin is not set yet, as it depends on the campaign, what happens next couple of months and the participation on election day. But all indicates that if the regime still should hold a majority of the town-halls it will lose in the largest districts and a majority of Venezuelan population will be under opposition Mayor rule.

Unfortunately for the regime there are no prospects for a quick reversal of fortunes. Even if oil were to reach suddenly astronomical values, short of paying directly in dollars the population the effect of the boom could only be felt after the vote.  Losing the popular vote in local elections for a democracy is not a life threatening matters. There are presidents and prime ministers that dropped 10, 20%, that reached the 30% in polls only to be reelected anyway a year or two later. But in an authoritarian regime based on the crassest populism, a regime that holds all the media, that holds the judiciary system, where the opposition is neutered, where electoral fraud is the norm, "losing an election by a mere 5%" could be lethal. The more so that by refusing to even pretend to examine the justified fraud claims of April 2013 you implicitly admitted that these claims were not baseless and that the narrow result could go the other ways if votes were actually counted.

The regime has thus no other options but to tighten the screw, to diminish the opposition, to prepare electoral fraud and even to prepare the practical annulment of the coming unfavorable results that no amount of electoral fraud can hide in full. The flurry of the last days speaks for itself.

There is a concerned attack by the regime to silence the National Assembly. I am not talking here of the beatings that already took place and such assorted actions, I am talking here of the outright removal of a dozen opposition representatives that are going to be "investigated" and for which their legal immunity will be lifted, the one for free speech of a national representative, the cornerstone of representative democracy. The objective here is not only to turn the assembly into a rubber stamp, but to stop any discussion, even outside of the assembly quarters.

Opposition leaders not in the National Assembly must be silenced too. It can be done individually by accusing Capriles of coupmongering when he goes to Miami to conspire when in fact he went there to make it clear that a coup is not an option for Venezuela. Or you can demand a hitlerian enabling law to prosecute corruption cases which is a blunt way to jail any opposition leader that took by mistake a paper clip at the office.

Even the latest Syrian outburst of Maduro, when he went all out to defended Assad and accused Ban Ki-Moon of being an agent of the US at the UN has a purpose. Venezuela officially left the Inter American Court for Human Rights last week and already people are saying that we need to get used to present our human rights violations in other venues like the UN. What Maduro is doing is preparing the world to the notion that Venezuela is a rogue state, that his regime will not abide by any human right tribunal anywhere. Just like Cuba does.

Small details are not forgotten. For example there is now a mandatory broadcast on ALL TV, and ALL radio stations, simultaneously, of a "noticiero de la verdad", or if you prefer an Orwellian truth speak news broadcast of what is according to Maduro the truth of what is going on in Venezuela and the world. No right to reply will be offered, of course. Not that it matters because for all practical purposes there is very little and very tame criticism to the regime on the air waves now. And dwindling at that.

Finally, preparations are diligently done to make sure that the electoral results of next December do not matter. The law for communes is reinforced. Application of that law means that neighborhoods are organized in political units which in turn are federated in larger communes. Thus the government will provide DIRECTLY to these communes projects, as approved by "el pueblo". On paper it sounds good and democratic.  Except that there are two flaws in the system. The basic communes decision making is an open vote, thus subject DIRECTLY to political scrutiny from political chavista commissars. And if that were not enough, communes formed in opposition districts simply are not legalized by the government, only communes that are approved by the PSUV are registered. Apartheid. Thus if a city if won by the opposition next December, the chavista voting parts will be taken out of the jurisdiction by the regime through a "communal" manipulation, while retaining the forced municipal funds. Soon democratically elected opposition districts will simply be left without resources.

We are already under a dictatorship. But there is very, very thin red line to cross to make this one a repressive and even bloody one. By threatening to cross that line Maduro is only demonstrating that he lost the legitimacy battle and that violent repression is his last resource to remain in office.


  1. "accused Ban Ki-Moon of being an agent of the US"
    is way too funny.

  2. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Maduro's buddy Assad in Syria has killed 120,000+ of his own countrymen to stay in power.
    Castro killed 25,000+ to stay in power.
    Maduro loves North Korea which has killed millions of its own people and thousands in other countries.

    Maduro is ready to use violence at any time.

    1. I am pretty sure that Castro is more than 25k. That number may just cover those who died escaping.

    2. Anonymous6:35 PM

      President Assad is fighting invaders who are financed by the USA, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Most of the Free Syrian Army consists or recycled El Quaida operatives and militants from Turkey, Iraq, and Libya. Even European and American fighters have been found dead. So, please get yourself informed on the situation in Syria before you repeat, like a parrot, what you hear on the government approved stations.

    3. anonymous 6:35 PM just above

      The parrot for the Syrian regime is you. You are the one lacking information about how the Assad family has held power in Syria for decades, without free elections, with multiple abuse of human rights, with major civilian population massacres, etc, etc... Amen of likely supporting several forms of terrorism, unpresentable regimes, etc.... Maybe instead of defending something that cannot be defended, EVEN BEFORE the civil war started it would be good that you stop repeating nonsense and start meditating about with Al Qaeda found fertile grounds in Syria.

  3. Charly7:41 AM

    Maduro is the ideal candidate for political murder and it won't make a ripple.

  4. Let's send Maduro on a Book Golden Triangle Tour to India!

    1. In spite of all the obstacles spam finds its way through and through....

  5. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I agree with most of what you wrote, Daniel, except for the part about repression.

    While I do not doubt that Maduro is willing to play that card, I don't think you'll see it because, unfortunately, I don't think a significant number of Venezuelans will be willing to take to the streets and confront this illegitimate regime.

    You live there, I do not, perhaps you do see the willingness, but from my perspective and what I see, read and hear, it looks like Venezuelans are not going to do Battle against this regime, UNLESS they perceive that the Military (or a decent portion thereof) are willing to take it to the streets next to them.

    And who knows what they (Military) think and feel. That's a black box with no windows.......

    Roberto N

    1. willingness to engage in repression does not mean it will succeed. but by the time it fails there may be a few dozens dead.

  6. Anonymous11:09 AM

    battle, if any, will only commence once the important things are taken away, facebook, twitter, blackberry etc....because keep in mind that for a Venezuelan its more important to have the newest smartphone (or other technology) then having food on the table

    Everyone knows the regime is corrupt......everyone knows all the bad shit happening here......everyone sees the proof....yet....nothing happens....every month inflation goes higher......even chavistas complain but are to ignorant to put blame where it belongs no matter how much proof and facts you put in front of them

    and unfortunately banging some pots or posting funny pictures on facebook about a "president" that cant ride a bike or putting your outrage on twitter doesn't make a damned difference

    Yes, Capriles advocates against a coup or even calling people to the streets.....but at some time one needs to realize that unless we go that way, nothing is ever going to change (except for the worst), as a matter of fact, I feel that we (the opposition) has already lost its momentum

    In april when you had close to 50% who voted against Maduro.....that was the right moment to take the streets cause its hardly possible to put 50% of the population in jail and have the other 50% to guard them :-)

    Regarding the military, as long as the regime is able to pay them....they will support this POS


    1. mike

      i think that you are exaggerating with the smartphone comment. 90% of the people cannot afford them whatsoever.

  7. It's quite simple, and Daniel said most of it.

    The bottom line here is that Venezuela's politicians are CORRUPT. They steal money, and they want to stay in power to keep stealing and feeling important. Then they will bribe anyone that needs to be bribed.

    The average guy, and the honest people can't do anything against that. I have dear friends there, educated, smart people. Or here in Miami. They know we're fighting monster, and it's all about $$$ and power in the end. The rest is CRAP. Whatever they talk. And they just won't leave unless there is a popular, massive outbreak in the streets. People have to get out and yell, by the thousands. Voting is irrelevant, as we've seen several times. It's a damn joke, rigged very time.

    So prepare for many more years of Chavista crap. Masburro doesn't have the carisma Chavez had, he's a bus driver with no education, or morality, but he is backed up by $$$$$$$$$$ interests, that's all.

    It's massive road protests, risking getting killed out there, or another 15 years of Chavismo.

  8. And Capriles needs to man-up. Grow a pair. He needs to call it as it is. Elections won't work. Masburro is a THUG, an cheater and a thief. With a power problem, on top of that.

    Capriles needs to gather ALL the opposition, and somehow convince the people to Protesta, in the streets. The TV and radio are controlled by the regime. It's a neo-dictatorship, pretending to be a democracy. But then they control everything, and steal elections.

    Capriles has to say that clearly, and much more strongly, through the internet and where ever he can.

    I doubt the people will bring down Maduro and the Chavismo thugs (hundreds), even if they are sick and tired of no toilet paper, no food in the markets, no clothes, etc. A lot less than ever, if at all. They know the "quality of life" has gone WAY down. Not to mention the 50+ murders every day, la inseguridad, etc.

    People, and Capriles, and everyone, other politicians who support Capriles reall need to get NASTY and pissed off. They are playing mr. nice guys on a no mans land, currupted to the core.

    That's not gonna work, unless they show some teeth and the people hit the streets. Could take 15 more years, regardless of the hardship and degradation of our country. We've seen this in Cuba and elsewhere.

  9. Maduro Blames Spiderman For Violence In Venezuela


    "Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has carried the torch from his predecessor Hugo Chavez with zeal, regularly denouncing the politics and culture of the United States. It comes as little surprise, then, that Maduro would have a peculiar explanation of what lies at the root of violence in Venezuela:


    1. NorskeDiv11:44 PM

      Spiderman fights the corrupt, I can see why Maduro would be alarmed by such a character. He must have been relieved at the end to find out Spiderman is a fictional character. That Batman guy must on the other hand be caught! He's a mercenary of the bourgeoisie.

  10. Anonymous12:58 AM

    Maybe it's time to have a coupe. If like to see an article on why Venezuelans are so passive. They would rather complain than act.

    1. Yes, a coupe would be nice. Do you suggest a Rolls or maybe a Jaguar?

    2. Monsieur, I think he meant a coupe as in "champagne coupe".

    3. Charly8:00 AM

      I think he really is talking rebellion, Congolese style maybe, like in "coupe coupe"

  11. Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory

    A national agency called Sundecop, which enforces price controls, said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa for 15 days, adding that National Guard troops would "safeguard" the facility.

    "The action in the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers responds to the state's obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people," Sundecop said, adding it had observed "the violation of the right" to access such products.

  12. Daniel, viste esto?



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