Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dialogue? Schmuckalogue!

UPDATED
I am not too surprised to see this morning "cafe CNNe" has a rather negative view on the refusal of the opposition assist the improvised "dailogue" offered by Maduro yesterday.  CNNE of all people should know better, they should remember all the "dialogue" offers in the last decade in Venezuela that never amounted to anything and that were ALWAYS a ploy by the regime to gain a few weeks until it could come down slamming again.

But let's not be chavista and delve in the past, let's look at this peace gimmick at face value. Let's start with the picture of the podium. Does this look as a peace conference or some Inquisition-light tribunal? From the tacky flower arrangements so prized in totalitarian states to the three giant Bolivar, two false, this is not a welcoming set up. This is a set up where the regime reminds that they are "bolivarian" and thus holder of the truth. Maduro by himself may not be that bad, but flanked on his right by Cabello who ordered the public beating up of representatives in Parliament and on the left by the vice president who has tried to break down private sector at every turn, there is zero credibility from the start. I let's not go into the attendance which was overwhelming pro Chavez just in case one of the few non regime guests would stray too far and could thus be easily drown in jeers.  There was of course a significant sprinkling of olive garb, just in case.


I did not watch it, tweeter yesterday and newspapers today were enough. No serious conference of anything, and even less for "peace" is convoked with a few hours notice, without making sure that all the main parts will attend or at the very least send an observer. No barricade delegate was there. No representative of the UNIDAD/MUD showed up though an extensive communique was issued as to the parameters needed before we could all even consider seating at the same table.  That does not mean that the opposition did not send a message, and it was one of urgency. Through the business association, Jorge Roig, and through the head of the main food business of the country, Polar's Lorenzo Mendoza remarkable speech, the opposition underlined that the regime could do all the politicking it wanted but that was not going to solve the economic program and was in fact aggravating it.

The reply of the regime was its usually improvised self, its constant search to gain time until the regime can come up with something, or the other  side gets tired: Truth Commissions for everything, including the economy...  To start today if possible.....

The problem here is quite simple. The regime in theory controls all. The army. The weapons. The Central Bank. The courts. The prosecution. The Ombudsman. The Parliament. The whatever... The opposition has nothing, three meager state houses, a quarter of town halls even if they include the biggest ones of the country. The opposition has thus nothing to offer. The opposition has no means to make a coup. The opposition can only protest. The regime wants the opposition to stop protesting. Thus it is up to the regime to offer something in exchange, first because it has a lot to offer if it were serious, if it were a democratic bunch of people, and second because it is the one that has to prove to the world that they are democrats. But they are not. How difficult it is to understand that? Starting with foreign press that thinks one can be neutral in Venezuela, that one can be be neutral in a dictatorship....

Just to show that it is not difficult for the regime to do a significant gesture that goes beyond the token, let me suggest a few items.

Call off the Nazional Guard. Have them posted, say, 100 yards away from the barricades and have only them move if the barricade moves. Give the barricades 24 hours to lift as soon as the first session of the Dialogue commission starts, but wait until that time without aggression or attempt at forcible removal.

If you do not want Lopez in house arrest allow him at least extensive visitor privilege until the trial starts. Treat him like a political prisoner and not a delinquent. Wait for the trial outcome to decide whether he is a delinquent.

Announce that from now on each state and city will gets its budget strictly according to the law, without delay, and let local authorities do their job.

Just those three items or similar are guaranteed to bring some modicum of peace as many people will be able to see a palpable improvement in the situation, enough to ask from them patience while a true dialogue can be installed for the other more vexing issues.

I am not holding my breath.

-----------------------------

UPDATE

Had I decided to hold my breath until the regime were to BREAK its dialogue intentions I would have fortunately not have had to wait for long.  We learned this afternoon that yet another march was brutally repressed in Las Mercedes/El Rosal AND that the second in command in Voluntad Popular, Carlos Vecchio, has had an arrest order emitted against him (and apparently even all the elected mayors of VP are in the short list).

Schmuckalogue it is.

33 comments:

  1. You might add ending the idiotic currency and price controls. Yes, that will make some items more expensive but if the alternative is no is no items at all, what purpose do these controls serve?

    ReplyDelete
  2. ConsDemo,

    My thoughts as well, in order to see some positive numbers the negatives have to go lower.That's what shitty administration does.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:29 PM

    I think anyone that lives in a free Country would agree that no one has the right to repress people, torture, kill, and then ask for a peaceful meeting. ????
    I truly belive Venezuelans should have the right to chose what they like to eat, should be able to find their basics as we do, and they should have freedom. Many politicians should be ashame of themselves for no speak up. People talk about compassion but what compassion are we showing to Venezuelans. The Venezuelan Regime seems to speak about equality meanwhile they are all Billionaires. It s a shame ....I feel for those parents , for every one who is been humiliate it, meanwhile we are all here , some wanting to help and some saying that is ok, but we wake up and have the right to speak, to say what we want, they dont

    ReplyDelete
  4. Daniel, OT but funny: the only Belgian euro-deputy to oppose the EU resolution criticizing Maduro was the head of the extreme right, very racist party Vlaams Belang:

    http://www.votewatch.eu//en/situation-in-venezuela-joint-motion-for-a-resolution-epp-s-d-alde-and-ecr-motion-for-resolution-vote.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction: he was head, now he is just independent, but still extreme right.
      We got 85% of votes.

      Delete
    2. Both the extreme left and right have a tendency to support or at least be indifferent to authoritarianism regardless of who employs it because it is the kind of actions they would take if they were in power.

      Delete
    3. Not only the extremes but also with all those 'middlin' to perhaps a lesser degree..Authoritarian thinking is very insidious, and is in all of us in different degrees. Every time I believe that you have have to be an expert to be right, I am experiencing authoritarian thinking.One thing is to respect an experts advice, another thing is to see it as word.I invite you to sit down and meditate using your powers of creative imagination, in order to see just how this thought alone leads to more and more dangerous consequences.If ideologues control the media and are considered experts, the very people who are experiencing a reality will be dismissed.Once we begin to dismiss ours and other peoples experience and start relying on expert opinion,,, that's it!

      firepigette

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    4. If I am in danger, and I rely on my finely tuned and respected instinct, I will have more possibility to survive that if I try to rely on my far slower, and less accurate( in situations of danger) reasoning.

      People have 3 basic types of intelligence: mind, heart and body...each one is good for different things.We cannot use the mind where the instinct knows better,nor the instinct when the heart knows best.

      If more people understood that, we might not have had 15 years of disaster.
      firepigete

      Delete
  5. CNNE has been morally bancrupt for may years so no need to be surprised about that. Barqui

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Call the opposition opposition and no other names, government are adults and his one of 100 ministers try to behave yourself and respect all others vision If you want to discuss about peace you have to show it but not with the aggression as You do it now no bullets no teargas and beating harmless people. Start with unarm the motor gangs and control them first.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Conference of Peace? Gimme a break. How about the corollaries Peace and Justice? Hah!The gov't had no intention of working out any solution. Want proof? Try this twitter, today, from VP Arreaza, who sitteth at the left hand of Maduro: http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/02/27/izarra-de-verdad-tuitea-foto-playera-de-mentira-fotodetalle-chevere/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous6:40 PM

    At least the EU is saying something now

    NO ESTAMOS SOLOS: Parlamento Europeo le exige a Maduro el desarme inmediato de los colectivos armados

    http://dolartoday.com/estamos-solos-parlamente-europeo-le-exige-maduro-el-desarme-inmediato-de-los-colectivos-armados/

    Hans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do not expect the EU or US to lift a finger to help. Iraq has been given back to Al Qaeda, Egypt was given back to Muslim Brotherhood, Ukraine is being re-Sovietized... do you really think the US regime or the EU is going to really do anything about the repression in Venezuela?

      Delete
  9. Anonymous7:04 PM

    You are right about the hypocrisy and double-speak and laughable nature of the "peace" conference.

    And right that the government controls all the levers of power.

    The latter is why I'm curious as to why you think the government need concede anything at all?

    Are you so sure these protests are weakening them?

    Have you considered that the guarimbas are weakening the opposition instead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guarimbas pro or con is for another post.

      What is relevant here is that the ball in the government's court. They want to be considered as democrats? They should start acting accordingly.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Canada ain't buying it either...

    http://karygiannismp.com/spip/article.php3?id_article=2313

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Motion passed unanimously in the House of Commons, later today, thanks to another politician (Paul Dewar) who expressed himself, in my opinion, more concisely than Karygiannis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwo0D3Yrzlc#cdnpoli

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Eduardo Belletti8:13 AM

    With everyone in the photo dressed in black, along with the flower arrangements, it almost looks like a funeral rather than a conference.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous9:00 AM

    It is ironic that they have images of Leopold Lopez' great great great grandfather in the background while they are keeping Leopold Lopez in prison.

    ReplyDelete
  14. great great great grand uncle. but excellent point antway :)

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  15. Dialogue? Negotiations? WTF? As you say Daniel, this is just a ploy to buy time or deceive citizens as to appease their urge to protest. We've seen this in the past, an old trick that won't lead to any compromises by the government. You really think that the law of fair prices will be eliminated? Or you really think Colectivos will be disarmed? jajajajaja... give me a break. The only option the country has is to protest, show its strength in numbers and willingness to push on until the government rectifies.

    ReplyDelete
  16. And with TSJ Gutierrez saying Judges should use their consicence and laws whn making decisions...What a joke after it just came out that Juez Tovar was pressured into signing Leopoldo's capture order...Her admission was revealed and confirmed by her lifetime friend which she wrote to on a social app..The conversation has been made public..Check NTN24 for the story. TSJ and all judges are under direct orders from Maduro..Blanca Rosa Marmol, exMagistrada has said it all when she states there is absolutely no seperation of powers and the public is left defenseless. There is a huge scandal involving the Judiciary,.Lopez should be immediately released...

    ReplyDelete
  17. "The opposition has nothing, three meager state houses, a quarter of town halls even if they include the biggest ones of the country. The opposition has thus nothing to offer. The opposition has no means to make a coup. The opposition can only protest."

    Daniel, you say the opposition has nothing. The opposition has the ability to stop paying taxes. They have the ability to stop doing business with the regime & its supporters. This is more power than Venezuelans seem to realize.

    "Announce that from now on each state and city will gets its budget strictly according to the law, without delay, and let local authorities do their job."

    No, we have this kind of revenue sharing in the US. it has only resulted in federal domination. Better to sell off PDVSA, CANTV, Corporación Venezolana de Guayana, & the other socialist "enterprises" & deprive the Venezuelan national govt of revenue. Much of what I said last Sunday about the US applies to Venezuela too. See:
    The Broken Constitution (video)
    http://www.theinternationallibertarian.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-broken-constitution-video.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "No, we have this kind of revenue sharing in the US. it has only resulted in federal domination."

      Readers should note that this opinion is a far right-wing point of view that many US citizens disagree with. The elimination of Federal Revenue sharing by the Reagan administration has resulted in 30 years of decline in US cities, infrastructure and economic development. If Venezuela has revenue sharing which has traditionally worked for the country, when administered fairly, they should stick to it. Venezuela has less than 1/10th the population of the US and thus, revenue sharing should be quite manageable and work to the benefit of all. This is especially true when a very large proportion of GDP comes for a national resource, in this case, oil revenues.

      Delete
    2. Rich, don't get confused by terminology. In the US the revenue sharing program was replaced by block grants. It is still "sharing" fed revenue. How did the US govt get the speed limit reduced to 55? By threatening to cut off funds to states that didn't lower it. How did the feds get the states to raise the drinking age to 21? By threatening to cut off funds to the states that didn't raise it. I could go on but you get the idea.

      The decline of US cities is because they tax & regulate too much. Their schools are a wreck, crime rates are high. People want to leave. The govt builds the roads & highways that make the 'burbs possible. So the cities decline. Welcome to the real world.

      Delete
  18. I am glad someone has the courage to say the truth!! Last night I stayed awake watching Fernando del Rincon " Concluciones" aparently he gives both sides and then you make your own conclusions. Shame on him, I watched for 45 minutes of the hour, they were all Chavistas! Shame on him and CNNE,
    Daniel, Keep it UP!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Showing the poor reasoning skills of the chavista interviewed is actually a good thing CNNE does.....

      Delete
  19. Anonymous5:23 PM

    How are you getting your blog out? Here in Mexico, all of the correspondents and contacts from Venezuela have been cut off. We have no information about what is happening there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far I have not heard anything special today. I use TunnelBear and I can read anything.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Hola Daniel,

    Llevo leyéndote desde los 17 años (ahora tengo 22) y de alguna manera, mi conciencia política se ha formado gracias a ti. Escribí un artículo sobres las protestas actuales y el contexto histórico del chavismo para una revista en mi universidad y me la publicaron. Te la linkeo para que la puedas leer. En muchas formas está inspirado por lo tanto que he leído acá.

    Saludos,

    http://vagabondmagazine.org/protests-venezuela-part-1-venezuela-adrift-maduro-trouble/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ¡Lo que me faltaba! Que me conviertan en una especie de gurú...

      Gracias por el cumplido pero también me toca felicitarte por tu artículo. Lo twitee. Avísame cuando salga el 2.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:11 PM

      Wao Gracias Daniel! El tweet seguro catapultó los reads a la pagina. Te aviso cuando salga la segunda parte. Saludos!

      Delete

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