Caracas held on of its biggest rallies ever. The pictures of the Francisco de Miranda avenue packed cannot lie. And cannot be ignored. See previous post.
There were also many marches/rallies around the country, some very well attended (Merida to name one), some in more obscure places but where there had never been anything in the past, so even 50 folks is a huge deal there.
|In Tweeter, summary of the day!|
Desde Atenas, Grecia! @danielduquenal @moctavio pic.twitter.com/aYIUUyrEqCAnd in the late afternoon Maduro attended a lame counter march and launched himself into a rant, in cadena, that did not do him any good, proving that he is overwhelmed, to say it charitably.
— la catirita&el flaco (@DoraLlovera) February 22, 2014
Today was thus an inflection point in the rebellion since we must start calling this at the very least a pre rebellious situation, never mind that in Tachira this definition now applies as we wonder how long we need to wait for an assault on the local state house. Any objective observer, here or abroad, has to admit at the very least that there is a problem in Venezuela, that clearly the regime has lost its majority, and that Maduro cannot finish his term because he just cannot hold it all for another 5 years, even with a bloody repression.
But if there is clearly an inflection point in favor of the opposition to the regime, there is also a reality check. I would be remiss of my duties not to raise the point.
In San Felipe rally attendance was small, probably due in part by the attempt by Convergencia, the all but dead former local force, to vampirize it. So there were at most a hundred people. But that is not necessarily what worries me the most. Places like Yaracuy have become so backward, so dependent on the state subsidies, so mired in extensive lines for anything that it is difficult to expect a reaction form the people, whether they like Maduro being irrelevant. Yaracuy on week ends has a clear agenda: Saturday morning the weekly shopping, Saturday afternoon house chores. Saturday night party or visit relatives. Sunday hangover or visit relatives. Even on voting days it is difficult to pry them away of that ancestral schedule, unless it is a presidential election...
|At the ATM line|
|At Farmatodo line|
I do not want to sound pessimistic at all, I am just warning readers that this is not over yet. Maduro may be ousted tonight or he may still be there for a few more month. What I am telling is that if it is true that now, unlike 2002-2003, it is a national protest, a protest driven by a general despair more than any particular hatred, it is still too early to dismiss outright the survival chances of the regime. Whatever they do these days to hang in there will anyway be voided when economic collapse and hunger settles in 3-4 months. But during these 3-4 months they can kill a few more people....
|A better view of San Felipe rally, picked up from Twitter.|
About 5 minutes after I drove by.