Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scenarios for the post apocalypses

OK, now that I got your attention I got nothing. No one can. But it is time to state a few points that cannot be avoided in case anyone has a script to propose. In no particular order.

The opposition has no supreme leader. May this be good or bad the fact of the matter is that Lopez may have started the rioting but he was forced into hiding which looks bad. Capriles may try to look frontal now but he totally underestimated the anger in the street and this looks bad. Maria Corina tried to lead the riots, and is back in the street but she is too much of a lonely hero, which does not not look good.  Ledezma looks bad even if undeservedly. Aveledo has too much trouble keeping a minimum of coherency and does not look bad but boring.

The regime has no leader. True, Maduro is the front man but he is unloved, un-respected, incompetent, vulgar, Colombian and what not. Cabello fares worse and has roots only in the upper corrupt groups. And so on. Thus for chavismo it is easy to dispose of Maduro if need be. But that can only come after they settle for a successor. After all, no matter what constitutional manipulation they can come up with they cannot avoid a presidential elections more than a few months after Maduro departure.

The country is bankrupt. Whomever is in charge, Maduro, Cabello or Ledezma for that matter, coffers will be empty. Does any one truly wants to be in charge? Note that with a truce and a few months of better management and cutting off Petro Caribe and Cuba we could have a functioning country by the end of the year. But who is going to dare to do so inside chavismo?

There are no institutions left. That is, the regime has neutered so well the courts and the administration that it cannot even rely on them to support its dictatorship so inefficient are they (they are very efficient to dictate crazy laws but when they need to be applied it is another story).

Paramilitary groups are nearly independent. Those groups, colectivos, tupamaros, etc. were created by Chavez to give him his own security forces, red shirted storm troopers if you like. Even Chavez already had trouble controlling them. Maduro clearly has no control as seen lately. I doubt that anyone in chavismo (except a Chavez daughter, you know, for royalty inner reflex) can control them.  And much less the opposition. A confrontation with the army, whoever is in charge at Miraflores palace is almost a given.

I can keep going but you got the picture. I do not know how we can reach a conclusion but there is only one possible conclusion that can spare us the worse in violence: a transition coalition government.

Should the opposition accept?

After all the opposition risks to share the blame for something that they have no guilt for and have warned the regime for years. But it should accept under one non negotiable condition: the Cubans are out of the country and they have to accept no more than half the money they get now and for no more than 1 year. A pay off for they departure if you wish. We will never recover all the money we lent to Cuba but a further 50% annual tribute is a small price to pay to have them off our back and avoid a civil war.

All the rest is negotiable although a few principles must be agreed upon such as the return of the rule of law after removing laws whose sole intent was political control and repression.

PS: from my the first two comments I have not been quite clear. I do not need to edit but I need to add this codicil.

Too many chavistas have committed too many crimes to go unscathed into oblivion. The regime is far from considering any form of transition or coalition. This is far from being played. What I meant is that we can wish that after a few days or weeks someone inside chavismo will prevail and accept to sacrifice some of its major offenders so that the other ones have time to cleanse their record (or find comfortable and safe exile). That can only be done through a transition/coalition government which will be a political contraption to avoid civil war or outright bloody dictatorship which will be worse in the long run for chavismo.

The thing is that now it is not possible anymore to forgive all the looting chavismo has done, someone has to pay and those need to be sacrificed by chavismo. Otherwise eventually they will all hang. Latin America is not Africa, where even Rwandan murderers eventually find their way to international courts.


  1. Daniel, to think that a transition coalition government will work even a little is the same as to think that dialog with the government could work. They do no dialog or share, they want it all and they want it now for Cuba and they are shameless. The saddest think is that I can not see any workable solution right now. All this mess may take a long time to settle and all this conflic may destille new leaders among the young... and that will be good.

    1. Nora, as I started there is a myriad of scripts that can be written. And a myriad ways into which a "coalition" government can be conceived. For example, coalition could simly mean a technocratic government accepted by both side for a year.

      Also, I may not have been clear and will edit that entry slightly: any scenario that will occur is far from occurring yet....

  2. Daniel,

    I find it very hard to see any sort of coalition government working. There is simply no middle ground in most things. I find it much more likely for Venezuela to experience a short but very bloody spasm of violence which will be ultimately put in check by the military. This would be followed by a year of administration by a military junta, followed by elections. Possibly, the military would allow participation during this period by some of the Opposition and some of the Chavistas.

    I get that you are seeking non-violent scenarios. But, short of a "black swan" incident, I just don't see it happening.

    1. After Nora and you, appropriate amendments done, I hope.

    2. Daniel,

      I appreciate your clarification. However, I do wonder who within Chavismo you would find acceptable to negotiate and make deals with?

      Personally, I expect that, as the country becomes ungovernable and descends in to chaos, the big boys will all bail out and disappear to enjoy the fruits of their "labors".

    3. The thing is that we are very innocently going with the idea that Maduro and Diosdado are who are running the government. They are nothing but puppets, the Castro brothers and their combo are the ones pulling the strings. They are already sending Cuba’s more mercenary soldiers to help keeping control in addition to the ones they already have in the country under the pretence of being doctors or sport’s trainers. They have been preparing for this day for a long time and they are ready. They depend on Venezuela being under their control for their own survival and they will not give it up so easily. The military is too corrupt and their hands are so dirty that I doubt they will turn against the regime. I see a long and painful bloody struggle and slow reconstruction in the long term. It took too long for Venezuelans to react to what everybody knew it was happening. There will no be fast and easy fixes for what took a long time to destroy…

  3. Anonymous5:10 PM

    With the appropriate government in place the world will step up to assist Venezuela. It might take some time, but it will happen for sure.

  4. Milonga6:05 PM

    Maduro is once again coming to Montevideo looking for a legalizing blessing by Mujica who owns an aura and authority as "old and wise" guerrilla left-wing leader. This happened as you may well remember when his "election" was being questioned. He was received here with Head of State honors and that was all Maduro needed to start his illegal presidency. This guys will never accept a transition. It is all or nothing. Look at Syria... Similar situation. Arms in hand of the government and its paratroopers. I am praying your script is right. I am not too optimistic...

    1. Maybe you could contact the Venezuelan exile in Montevideo and with your friends round up some activity?

      You know you want to do it, you are a quema-caucho at heart! :)

  5. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I think venezuela is different than syria. Would the Venezuela military strike it's own people? I don't know. Maduro is going to have to make choices he dies not want to. My father who is a successful business man with fabrication Enterprises has finally reached the point where he is about to lose everything. He had not given up yet. He is looking at an emergency exit plan. He lamented that he never could have imagined that in 16 years things could have become so bad. I appreciate your insight. Just like my family I encourage all of you to be careful.

    1. Way different!!! At least we do not have the sharp ethnic and religious divisions. Unless we consider chavismo a religious sect....

  6. kernel_panic7:53 PM

    I have two concerns now, the first one is related to how things will end up and I have come up with similar scenarios as you have proposed, but my second concern is related to how things will develop if there is a change in the governments policy (maybe because of a new government ;) ). My fear is that once the opportunity comes, however picks up el coroto will end up doing the same populistic BS that got us here in the first place.

    I think that the change the country needs is related to how we perceive our individual-society-state relationship, specifically, regarding the rights and duties each has with the rest, because were all too comfy waiting for someone else to solve our problems. As a society we need to start solving our problems on our own. The only things the state is obliged to guarantee are the basic rights (food, education, life, freedom...) and equal opportunities to all of its citizens. If we as a society demand the state to do anything else, and b*tch about it like little brats crying to our daddies for a gameboy, then theres no point on this struggle and we might as well be fine with what weve got so far: los pueblos tienen los gobiernos que se merecen...

  7. Your concerns are mine as well, Kernel_panic. It is a huge change in conciousness that is needed and I don't know that what has happen for the last 15 years is enough to wake up enough people to actually change the path of the country. I do not want to be negative, but the way of being of Venezuelans as chevere, el mas vivo, el mas aprovechador, el mas corrupto will not change easily.

  8. you are on the right track here Daniel, keep at it.
    You are an important part of the concensus that will eventually sweep the rubbish into the garbage bin and make bright new future for VZ. Already people are gathering, something will come of this internally.
    externally? Looking slow now, but the momentum will grow, and eventually the EU/US/UK will start to take note.
    No, there will not be any military pressure, no need. Political and economic sanctions will come into place. The oil sales will stop. Then what will Ma-Burro do? Keep subsidising sales to ALBA, that will last about a week before it self-destructs..

    I hope the collapse of the regime is swift and the people do not have to suffer too much more...

  9. Eduardo11:38 PM

    I think this government will fall rather than being overthrown. They might tighten the screws some more attempting to remain in power but with no money no credit and no "sugar daddy" in sight they can't do that forever. Slowly at first but then quickly the leaders will start scurrying like rats and relocating with their loot in Cuba and NIcaragua.

    1. Eduardo,

      That is my take on it as well. But, when the rats start leaving the sinking ship, the military will take over by default. The question is will the generals flee with the rest of the rats, leaving it to the colonels to deal with a broken country, or will they try to save the rotting corpse?

  10. Eduardo's last comment seems inevitable but one hopes some "repayment" will be exacted on these thugs.....eventually

  11. New government asks for massive US aid package to stabilize the country and re organize the oil industry? Could be another country but its about the oil and the corruption around it. With reasonable amounts of corruption, properly done its a win-win for most Venezuelans.
    We have been down this road so many times its hard to get excited. Venezuelans are strange. How can you have a revolution or civil war if only a few show up?

  12. Anonymous6:30 PM

    I write from Canada. I found your blog via an article on the website American Thinker. Thanks for sharing to us the current situation in Venezuela.

    I wondered if the following post-apocalyptic scenario could happen: a break-up of Venezuela similar to what happened in Yougoslavia in the 1990s with some parts of Venezuela becoming their own country like Zulia for example?


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