Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The good news bad news silly game

Before I am accused of being once again misleading, there is no good news in Venezuela, even if Diosdado were to be taken in chains today a la Noriega. The country is far too advanced in its decomposition for such an event to be positive on the spot. Witness of that are those people that still manage to bemoan that it is a mistake, that bothering Diosdado with such "attacks" only strengthen chavismo just when finally, just now, really, this time is the one, no kidding, we were going to win elections and reverse the whole thing. It is not that some people never learn, it is that they do not want to learn...

The thing is that this week confirmed that the tectonics of Venezuelan politics have been changing no matter what those in charge have been pretending. What has been a status quo of sorts since the eternal reelection referendum of 2009 is finally moving and we may finally be entering into the post Chavez era. For better or for worse, mind you. (1)

Inside the opposition the parties that chose the "accommodation" ways with chavismo have been weakened. the primaries of last Sunday have established that the dynamic opposition voter, the motivated one, the one that the opposition needs to rely on to win any election are now on the side of the political parties that want a more confrontational approach, that call the regime and outright dictatorship and want to deal with it as such.

If we refer to the electoral analysis of Eugenio Martinez (2) we get the following table (note: only some districts went to primaries and primaries always have low turnouts).

The main parties that want a more direct confrontation are Voluntad Popular, Cuentas Claras, Vente Venezuela, and ABP. Their total is roughly 217. The "dialogue" group of Primero Justicia, Accion Democratica and Un Nuevo Tiempo get 246. Copei and PV going either way according to circumstances, but likely toward confrontation (my attributions, of course).

In short, the protests of early 2014 and the repression that followed have had an impact and the staus quo parties have lost their hold. Capriles of PJ for one seems to have understood that clearly and looks like recovering some gut over the Cabello affair. And the regime is so afraid of Capriles becoming gutsy again that they promptly announced that they would sue him over "unfounded" accusations.

At any rate, for better of for worse, the hard opposition is now led by VP and the more "moderate" one by PJ. Though the trend is clearly toward a more confrontational approach.

This is neither good news or bad news for the regime as a much worse confrontation is in store within.

The Diosdado affair is a big problem for chavismo. Not that it is an ethical matter, chavismo is too far gone on corruption and drug trafficking and repression and violence to care anymore at this point. It is a matter of Maduro or Cabello.  One of them is too many. Maduro cannot defend Cabello for too long. But Cabello is still too strong to go away peacefully in the sunset. Cabello needs to cleanse his name if he wants to become sole ruler of Venezuela but even his closest allies may wonder about how good for them that may truly be. I am quite certain that a few of the close allies that until a few days ago still thought they could weather the ill winds under Cabello's protection have second thoughts now. Bargain chips are sought.


1) Since Chavez reelection of 2006 the country has been under the false impression that Chavez was basically invincible even though the constitutional reform of referendum of 2007 was lost. As such chavismo shut down its internal divisions at the cost of becoming a narco corrupt system while the opposition played a game of survival pretending that there was still a democracy in Venezuela. The death of Chavez did not change that structure except that the those disagreeing with it inside each side became more vocal inside.

2) Remember, VN&V is not doing its own analysis this time around and thus will have to rely on other numbers to emit opinions for which it cannot be held accountable.


  1. It is very heartening to see the more vocal oppos gain some traction, Daniel! good analysis, and I feel a bit more optimistic! thanks for the common sense details to shine some light.. Maduro should be nervous right now..

  2. I still don't understand why some US officials and the DEA would decide, now, to publish such a rotund accusation against the sinister Cabello beast. And in the WSJ, of all venues.
    Perhaps to attract even more "Sapos" to build a more formidable case?

    What their true objectives are for this and the recent " Vzla is a threat" statement remains obscure. We'll see if they DO something.

  3. Your analysis seems to be based on that Maduro has some power. His actions to me as an outsider suggest he is a puppet to a higher power, whether that be Castro or Cabello or who ever. If Cabello is the drug kingpin they claim then my guess is he is happy in his role and has little desire to be the president where he faces greater scrutiny. One thing is clear is that who ever controls this mess they want it to be a mess. They created the crime groups and from Chavez beginning he wanted crime to thrive. He wanted to create a lawless disorder and they have done so. For what exact reason who knows, I guess easier to run drugs and rape the country in a lawless mess.

    1. The corrupt Military is in charge. In dictatorships those who have the guns and the money have the power. Of course Masburro is just a puppet clown. NarcoCabello and many of his classmates, plus the top Oil enchufados with the cash. Ahi es donde esta el coroto en nuestra Petro-Narco Cleptocracia.

    2. Charles Lemos9:48 AM

      This all things must be blamed on Castro is tedious. It's isn't true. Venezuela is its own independent actor and Venezuela's troubles are uniquely Venezuelan. Socialist states in Latin America are varied bunch but Venezuela stands apart. It's failed state. Cuba isn't. Neither is Bolivia, Ecuador or Uruguay, all socialist of varying stripes. Take off the cold war glasses. Venezuela's problem is one that predates chavismo. It's corruption. No doubt corruption has increased exponentially under Chávez and Maduro but Venezuela has been a kleptocracy since at least the days of Juan Vicente Gómez if not prior. Gómez ruled Venezuela from 1908 to 1935. The Liberal Republic (1958-1999) didn't start out as inherently corrupt by the time Luis Herrera Campins and Carlos Andrés Pérez, corruption was the name of the game. Importantly, Chávez first ran on anti-corruption platform. But he exchanged one client for another. Instead of state assets serving an elite, Chávez distributed the assets of the state more broadly at first but over the course of his regime that became more tied to those who support the PSUV. It's still corruption.

      I don't disagree with you that Maduro may be a puppet. But then again Chávez choose Maduro as his successor for a reason. Chávez was almost certainly aware of Cabello's coming and goings, i.e. drug dealing, and it would be inconceivable that this didn't enter Chávez's calculus in his decision. The problem is that Maduro is ineffectual for one, if not downright stupid while Cabello is both ruthless and clever. And no doubt the economy has been mismanaged for quite some time, some of it even predates the Socialist Republic (1999-present) such as the absurdity of five cent a gallon gas but the drop in global oil prices, effectively a Saudi geo-political decision in an effort to slow Iran down, put the screws to Venezuela.

      Maduro obviously has power. He governs at the moment by decree.

  4. Charles Lemos10:03 AM

    So a total of some 730,000 votes. In a country of 30 million. Subtract the approximately two million foreigners that live in Venezuela and you have 28 million. Assume that half of age and eligible to vote and that's 14 million. What's clear to me that change via the ballot box isn't going to happen.

    I was thinking of this earlier when reading Tal Cual but it might be best if the opposition just cease to operate. Boycott the polls and just let the regime collapse of its own internal contradictions. Not sure if this is realistic but participating in a sham is pointless.


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