Tuesday, February 18, 2014

VN&V and Leopoldo Lopez

Before this historical day gets rolling I though I should share the extent of my contacts, through this blog, with Leopoldo Lopez and Voluntad Popular.

The first time I saw Lopez was many years ago, during the massive protests of 2002-2003. He was young and the mayor of what in Venezuela is the closest to la-la-land and a bachelor and gently flirting with a few cute groupies after some march. Now he is a main leader about to make the ultimate sacrifice, the one that can make his career great or ruin him and maybe cost him his life. That is what I like in him, his capacity to grow, to lead from the front. Like all politicians he has his foibles, his weaknesses and has made his share of mistakes. But he went forward and tried to learn from them.

This opinion has been comforted through the years. It started when I was invited to talk to him when Voluntad Popular was barely a growing project until a few months ago when I toured  the offices of Voluntad Popular. Lopez has talked to all, has listened to all. And then he made his mind. Some may say that he is stubborn, that he does as he pleases, that his ego is bloating. Maybe, but I can vouch personally of something, before he makes his mind he has talked to a lot of people.

Another quality he has is that labels do not matter much for him. I have never registered with Voluntad Popular, but I was allowed to speak my mind the few times we met. He listens to people because they have something to say, not because he wants something from them. Well, of course he wants your support, he is a politician! But the point is that he will listen to you no matter what, even if his mind is already made so at least he will know better how to let you down softly.

Lopez has charisma, but more than that. When you visit Voluntad Poplar you can sense the enthusiasm and the devotion of his people. This also means something. I am not of the groupie mind set but I can see that people at Voluntad Popular are not groupies, they are bright things in a project they believe in.

So today as Lopez prepares himself for the momentous trial I need to express my support and sympathy. I am not sure that his political strategy has been the right one in recent weeks. I have my misgivings. But then again I know he has fully decided to take the risks and assumed them; and for this I respect him and support him today. I just wish I could be in Caracas today to dress in white and walk along the supporters that will come from across all political lines. Which is a testimony by itself.




34 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:56 AM

    My fear is that they will not come very far. And SEBIN will pick Leopoldo out of the group of demonstrants.
    Second thought there is also an PDVSA Demo today starting 1 hour ahead of Leopoldos Demo...
    Good Luck to Leopoldo and good luck to Venezuela
    Hans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hans,

      Everything worth it requires risk, and certainly there is risk, and maybe people won't get the results they want right now....but every authentic, brave act taken registers in the minds and the hearts of the people, and every real act adds up to when eventually something changes.The Masses are always lethargic, but when masses of normally patient and indifferent people start to move , they have more capacity to change things than anything else.firepigette

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Is there any truth to this??? Oficialista del Gobierno Bolivariano, del Ministerio de Justicia y Paz Interior, acaba de decir por la radio aquí en USA 1260 AM Caracol. Que las tres personas muertas el 12F No Eran Estudiantes. Que eran, un piloto, un carpintero y un tupamaro. También dijo que a la marcha de hoy convocada a "rajatabla" sólo han llegado como 10 personas y están convocando desde las 8 AM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can chose to trust something from Miami or a blogger that actually lives in Venezuela.

      Your choice.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:18 PM

      Which was why I asked you. Thank you for your response.

      Delete
    3. Sorry for the flippancy, but I am on edge today. Also I dislike when people sign "anonymous".

      Delete
    4. Anonymous1:52 PM

      I wouldn't trust anything an oligarch cockroach like Daniel says, for the record. Any more than you should trust any of the 'gusano' Cuban exile filth in Miami.

      People like Daniel really need to get slapped around by the military, that's the only think they understand. Maybe then they'll learn a little bit about obedience.

      Delete
    5. This attitude is why your anonymous! No balls required!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous3:16 PM

      Daniel's anonymous too, idiot. With less reason.

      Delete
  3. Lopez is making the molecules move. Whatever happens today, today will be momentous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Daniel,

    On Facebook Lopez calls himself a libertarian
    https://www.facebook.com/leopoldolopezoficial/info

    I don't know your POV or if you're acquainted with libertarianism, but what is your take on this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Libertario does not mean Libertarian..... Libertario is lover of liberty, within the state. Or something like that.

      Delete
    2. Political labels mean different things in different countries. You cannot go by a direct translation and assume the political ideology is the same in one place as in another.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Daniel & Roy. On his FB page Lopez uses the English word libertarian to describe his views. There are different kinds of libertarians. Some advocate limited govt while others, like myself, are anarchists. Maybe he is the limited govt type.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Daniel,

    Just wanted to put these links below to add pressure the US White House on getting more involved.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/intervene-and-help-all-venezuelans-suffering-and-fighting-freedom-dictatorship-and-being-killed/45zvJvHj

    Need to have 100,000 people sign to have an official response from the White House. We can make this happen with your and other networks.

    Anthony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best thing the US can do for Venezuela right now is keep a safe distance. No need to give the Chavistas ammo with any signs of meddling from 'El Imperio'.

      Delete
    2. Concur with Miguel-O. The U.S. need only express concern and support the Venezuelan people, while making it clear that it is the responsibility of Venezuelans to resolve their own problems. Fortunately, this has been the policy of the U.S. for quite some time now and they are not going to change it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:42 PM

      los asuntos de estado son como los trapitos sucios de una pareja, eso se arregla en casa, EEUU no tiene porque intervenir en este desastre, esto lo armo el mismo pueblo venezolano!
      esto tiene un solo final... muchos muertos mas, los chavistas van a preferir matar y/o morir antes que perder el poder que tienen ahora.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous1:01 PM

      What is happening right now does not even register in the news here in the US outside of Latino news stations. The US has absolutely no interest or reason to intervene. Put more bluntly: The US does not care and has not cared about Venezuelan internal politics and this has been the case for well over a decade. Only middle east conflicts get their real attention.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous1:22 PM

      When the largest holder of Venezuelan debts talks about improve dialoge between the idiots and the US. You know something is going to happen. I think if the White House comes out strongly against the idiots, it will turn up the pressure on China to do something. I wish the leadership of this country would have the balls to call for an oil embargo via an executive order halting all oil imports and sell of oil by-products to Venezuela. That would surely help cause the fall of the idoits. Just my thought.

      Anthony

      Delete
    6. It is an error to think that the U.S. policy of non-interference in Latin American politics is equivalent to a lack of interest. The U.S. is intensely interested in what is happening here. For 25 years, the U.S. has pursued the policy of not interfering in Latin America to allow their neighbor states to the south the time and space to resolve their own internal political issues and to thereby mature politically and socially. The U.S. no longer desires "Client" states. They want responsible and mature partners, with whom they can create long-term strategic and trade relationships. That cannot happen if the U.S. intervenes. That would only perpetuate the cycle of political immaturity characterized by endless coups and dictatorships. Think of it as "tough love".

      When Venezuela emerges from this disaster, reorganizes and presents itself to the international community as a responsible adult, then the U.S. will engage once again... this time in a non-paternal role.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Do you know of anyone running live webcams of the march today?
    If so do you have a link?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:53 AM

      On previous days you could watch live from the street at...

      http://en.twitcasting.tv/vvperiodistas

      But you have to catch it when someone it actually broadcasting live. Although they do store all of their broadcasts on the site too.

      Limey

      Delete
  7. NicaCat11:33 AM

    Watching live coverage right now on CNN.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My Internet is dreadfully slow and thus I cannot watch any live cam or TV or anything. Here in San Felipe I am limited to Twitter. Look into those I follow or retweet and some advertise web cams. If I come across one I will make a point to retweet it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:56 AM

      Thank you

      Delete
  9. Anonymous12:00 PM

    My thoughts and prayers with the people of Venezuela Daniel stay safe!! This can like the fall of the berlin wall or bloody like Romania!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Live on NTN24 here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITZvaFkwXCE&uid=FK38lePM6zqQ2CYfQyqdHA

    Limey

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Has LL been arrested? Seeing some pictures of what looks like him being taken by officials.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Island Canuck1:00 PM

    LL has turned himself into the GNB.
    He is being taken away in an armoured car to DIM headquarters to be "questioned".

    This will push the demonstrations to the next level.

    I have a feeling t6hey will not keep- him long.
    Charge him & release him to await a "trial"

    They are probably hoping that he'll run to Colombia or the USA.
    He won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better yet, they'll give him "casa por carcel" (home detention) until his "trial" which will happen in 2090.

      Roberto N

      Delete
  13. Anonymous1:25 PM

    I think we will be hearing a lot more from Capriles now. As long as LL remains in custody.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous3:06 PM

    You forgot to mention many Venezuelan's find Leopoldo very handsome. And he is a direct descendant of Simon Bolivar.

    Personally, I have my reservations about him becoming the 'face' of this recent awakening as many Chavistas, due to very focused propaganda and his economic background, instinctively hate him. Those that might join in the protest are instead susceptible to more 'hatred of the other' emotive actions spread by the government propagandists.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi
    It feels so nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on regarding Really thankful to you for starting this.

    ReplyDelete

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