Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Leopoldo!

Today, after soon three month in jail and no trial in sight, Leopoldo Lopez, political prisoner of the regime has his birthday. With the added bonus that his wife has been banned for visit for a while because the regime did not like an interview she gave to ABC in Spain.

So, has Leopoldo Lopez self sacrifice been worth something?

The point here is that when you are dealing with a dictatorship there is no measure of success. That is, the regime remains or the regime folds, but the timing may be unaccountable to current events and apparent "plus scores". What you must do as an individual, is to do what you think needs to be done and hope for the best, keeping in mind that the grandest gesture has equal chances to topple the regime as the humblest of coincidences.

What Leopoldo unleashed February 12 and etched a few days later when he surrendered to the regime was a double whammy: an international acknowledgment that the Maduro regime is a crass dictatorship and that the Venezuelan opposition was duplicitous. That is why, that is the real reason why Leopoldo Lopez is in jail awaiting a trial that is not coming: too many people from both sides want him in. I do not mean to make some in the opposition sound that cynical, none really want Lopez to rot in jail there forever, but some are not adverse at him remaining in jail for a few months while they secure some form of deal with the regime, a deal where if possible they would figure as the benefactors that managed the release of Lopez.

Of course the regime wants Lopez, and many other, to rot forever in jail, or dead if they could get away with it. The main reason for that hatred with Lopez is that he represents all that they are not, educated individuals, rational, sensible, not seeking revenge for real or imaginary hurts, even good looking. That in addition he made it clear to the world that the regime is a dictatorship managed by thugs is, of course, unforgivable.

What is more troubling is that some in the opposition are not running over each other to make a grand stand and demand Lopez freedom or else. This, in a way, is harder to forgive. But the reason is also simple to understand: the revolt that Lopez represents is the one from a group of Venezuelans who think that they have no future, nothing to lose anymore. But inside the MUD there are people that have something to lose, little perhaps, but something nevertheless. As such, people like Ramos Allup, leader of the fading AD old party, are ready to do anything to lower social tensions. Not because it is good to lower social tensions, something we can almost all of of us agree on, but because social tensions are bad for him since he will never lead the outcome.

Thus for example these people claim that they need to lead a "dialogue", unfortunately for them, one that is missing key elements such as the people that actually expose their lives in protests, a dialogue that is going nowhere fast, where the only valid strategy, at least acknowledged by Aveledo this weekend, is to make the government stand up and leave once and for all. Thus we have irenic speeches where we are told, for example, that establishing a new truth commission brings us close to peace. That the regime bombs on day one such a commission by naming creeps like Amoroso or crazies like Serra should bring some sense to these heads but does not. Ramos Allup goes on saying that street protests brought nothing and thus we are forced into dialogue, when dialogue, for whatever it is worth, was only made possible by forcing the regime into it, albeit as the fake they are.

I have no present to give Leopoldo Lopez in jail except a few verses in French from Paul Éluard if you forgive me the metaphor associating living in jail with death, a few verses for those who refuse their preordained fate and embrace the consequences.

Un homme est mort qui n’avait pour défense
Que ses bras ouverts à la vie
Un homme est mort qui n’avait d’autre route
Que celle où l’on hait les fusils
Un homme est mort qui continue la lutte
Contre la mort contre l’oubli.

Paul Éluard: au rendez vous allemand


  1. Amazing post.

    As for LL ,indeed a most Happy Birthday.He shines his light, and that's enough, more than enough.



  2. Anonymous4:57 AM

    I came across this Wikipedia article on Human Rights in Venezuela.

    There hasn't been a single update to this article since February!! I checked the edit history and saw its not relatively active. Figured I'd pass along if you're interested in taking a crack at it?

    1. Wikipedia discredit is in large part due to Venezuela. Their refusal to edit left then totally unprepared when the regime set up its multiple propaganda offices that were paid, among other things, for rewriting all the Wikipedia pages on Venezuela economics, politics, history, etc... No one seriously informed on Venezuela will spend a minute consulting on Venezuela through wikipedia, though admittedly they have started putting little badges such as "lack of reliable sources" "controversial" etc... But they cannot cope with a propaganda onslaught unless they start actively editing certain hot topics.

      I remember that I learned my lesson long, long ago. A certain "flanker" organized a campaign to force Wikipedia to ban blogs as reference links. I am not necessarily opposed to it as there are plenty of lousy blogs out there, and web portals even. But "flanker" took it against me because my blogs are informative and include many verifiable links, hence the danger for chavismo. He succeeded, no one in Wikipedia even replying to my letters in demand of an explanation. Since then for me Wikipedia is only good enough for technical stuff, general culture and non controversial topics well established. And this because I am lazy... And I certainly will not give a penny to any Wiki campaign, sorry!

      Thus I am not going to waste a minute of my valuable time at Wikipedia to fight, for free, a series of hired pen that will erase my comments within minutes. My blog, they cannot edit and intelligent people always find their ways to reliable information. If people trust more Wikipedia than, say, the Washington Post, then that is their problem.

    2. Scary stuff and it's got my dander up....going to get help from my uber geek family to investigate more.Horrifying really.


  3. Daniel. We appreciate your continuing the blog- even though you are burdened with personal challenges, and a tough business environment.. Here is an interesting article from Reuters...

    1. FYI: The recycling of cars and other scrap steel to make deformed steel bars for structural concrete reinforcing (AKA: "rebar") is normal and standard practice throughout the world. The Venezuelan government is announcing this as though they were the first ones to think of the idea. More bolivarian bullshit...

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced a 30% increase in the minimum wage and pensions to protect Venezuelan people from an inflation that reaches an annual rate of almost 60%.

    “Now, on the occasion of May First, I have decided to increase the national minimum wage and pensions to 30% to bring the salary and pension levels for our people,” said the president in a meeting with union leaders in Caracas.

    Maduro blames for the rising prices of consumer products to an “economic war” of enemies of the socialist government. Mauro often lashes out against employers for alleged practices of price hikes, hoarding and speculation.

    However, his critics say the endemic problem of inflation in Venezuela is proof of the failure of 15 years of socialist economic measures applied under the command of Maduro and before by his deceased predecessor Hugo Chavez.

  6. Jailing Leopoldo was probably the only smart thing the neo-dictatorship has ever done: They seemed to have realized he was the only real threat the opposition had for a leader.

    Or maybe they just got lucky. At any rate, it's obvious now that Capriles simply does not have the intestinal fortitude or brains to lead the opposition. Too populist, too soft, too religious, too dumb now "dialogando" with the dictators.

    This has been a Huge, Tremendous, if not fatal mistake.

    It buys time, calms people down, and encourages a meltdown of the people. A few "economic measures", as they are trying to do now, desperately, greasing more people with bribes, and incorporating more thieves into their den of thieves, from the "opposition", you can bet. Just look at Globovision, or any ministry and politicians still standing, after betraying every "democratic" principle they ever had, just to remain in power and for $$$.

    Exactly what Leopoldo did not want, and would not have tolerated.

    MCM? Very brave, and way smarter than Capriles, certainly with more.. ovarios.. and better vision. But a lady, after all, in a very "machista", under-educated country.

    So with Leopoldo out, Ledezma? Arria? Not popular enough, ZERO charisma.

    And I reiterate an unfortunate fact: the only way now we will get rid of this deeply embedded, disguised neo-dictatorship, further complicated by these utterly retarded "dialogos con la oposicion".. is via further deterioration of the Economy.

    There cannot be more murders, inseguridad, etc, unfortunately. We already beat that record. But regardles of how hard they try, the Economy will continue to collapse, which is, now GOOD.

    And the only way out. Le peuple en a marre quand il n'y a pas de pain.

    So I am torn every time I read about another huge fax pas, like raising the wages 30%, and then chicken goes up 300%.. brilliant political maneuvers like that..

    But it's actually good news, sorry to say, in order to keep the people pissed off and on the streets and knock out the dictatorship.

  7. Faux pas.. So talk about cliches like "Silver Linings" , it's probably gonna have to get even worse until it gets better.

    And, paradoxically, I hope it does. Even when we know the economic damage will take Decades to reverse. More Inflation? GREAT. More horrible economic news? PERFECT.
    Good news, more employment? etc.. bad news.


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