Monday, December 07, 2015

A vote for the times

What happened today in Venezuela is truly momentous, better than the wildest hopes the opposition could have ever had a year ago. In the last 3-4 months the objective of a nice victory was getting clearer, but tonight the preliminary result announcing a 2 to 1 victory in seats? No way, Jose!

As I type this I am half drunk with the bottle I drowned on my own over the excruciating long wait of the night. No, I am no lush, I did the pilgrimage for a last vote to San Felipe now that I live mostly in Caracas. I have not gotten around to change my district (next in Petare to help Ocariz). But I had kept that semi cheap Chilean champagne that I did not drink in 2009 keeping it for when chavismo would be ousted. It had to wait 5 years in my fridge and me alone but willing. My stupor is accompanied by the streets which are suddenly awake with caravans of opposition supporters in this very chavista state which may be getting back to old former governor Lapi days.

They are right to celebrate as this election marks the end of an era, at last. Chavismo cannot recover from such as stunning disaster that not even Cuban "expertise" could avoid. There are still 17 seats to be decided, too close to call, but the opposition already has secured the 3/5 supernumerary majority and by getting a few of the 17 it may not reach the fabled 2/3 majority needed for certain laws but it will be strong enough to offer a credible resistance against a desperate regime. The future of chavismo is bleak, and it certainly does not pass through its current structure and mood. Implosion is in the future and speedy internal reform is a must if it does not want to disappear, if it wants to remain a leftist option in Venezuela. Appealing crassly to Chavez memory was a mistake, they killed the idol. Now they are on their own.

There is no need to inquire deeply in the causes of the rout. Empty shelves and 200% inflation say it all. As I wrote often, in the last two years the regime has had the chance to take some economic measures that would not have avoided the crisis but made it less politically damaging. But it did not. The regime was hostage to utmost currency exchange arbitration abuse and drug trafficking, all protected by the upper army cadres. What happened in the end was that the populist government lost contact with the populi. And that was that.

What comes next is an exciting page in our history and renewed blogging fervor from yours truly. Only one thing can be more interesting to blog about than the downfall of a regime: the birth of a new order.

Make no mistake, the road is still flush with ambushes. A narco regime was stunned by a defeat they truly never believed could happen. But as the international penal law starts closing in there is no telling what desperate measures they could be willing to risk. Keep in mind that in spite of the disaster, a 40% still voted for the regime. A quick renewal could mean a quick return.

Yet, the economic disaster will kill political support for whatever system comes next and even that 2/3 potential victory will require for the opposition to reach out to chavismo to avoid the worst, something that could even include an increased civil war. Yes, the daily number of violent death in the country are already the signs of a civil war waged between drug and corrupt gangs for their turf, both against the common citizen.

But how to deal with that is best left for the coming days. Tonight we must celebrate one thing: el pueblo spoke and proved that freebies and promises of freebies are not enough. In the end maybe democratic values are not the decisive factors when voting, but accounting is. And demanding accounting for the rulers is where democracy starts. Let's savor that moment when Venezuelans put aside political polarization, artificially created class and race divides and went all together, from negritos to catires, from tierruos to sifrinos, to say that enough is enough, that equality is not standing all together in line for a little bit of milk.


39 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:10 AM

    Thanks Daniel, you're the best.

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  2. What a night! At last, change. Now for Cuba's turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. But much more difficult. ...

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    2. Anonymous12:54 PM

      What would be nice is a funeral for two Castro's right now.
      It would leave Maduro without his puppeteers.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous2:35 AM

    Yay :)

    I'd like to point out something, though. Maybe 40% of votes counted were for the regime, but many of these votes weren't people voting for the regime. They were either bewildered into casting the vote for the regime by it's propaganda machine, coerced into casting a vote for the regime, or at times stuffed in the ballot box by the regime.
    The actual vote for the regime was lower than 40%. In a proper democratic election, the regime would struggle to obtain half of their vote.

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  4. Been stopping by here periodically since late 2003-early 2004, and have always enjoyed the information and insight.

    It has been a long time coming, but nothing lasts forever. Congratulations on the victory. Now at least there is a chance things can begin to get better....

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  5. Felicidades, mon ami. I hardly have time to pay attention to Venezuela, but yours is still the first I come to when I do.

    Enjoy today, but remember to be patient. Though that's a word of advice more for readers than you, as you have proven yourself among the most patient people I have ever known.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.
      That is why you are missed here. :-)

      Delete
  6. Hi, Daniel. Pas mal, he?

    In the afternoon I got a message from someone in rural Yagua: "we (the opposition) surely win here". A few hours earlier I call people in Los Guayos, where I went to school: relatives of mine were showing optimism for the first time in over a decade.

    So many people I know cried of happiness.

    We need to keep calm, of course. This is just one battle, albeit a very important one.

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  7. Be careful with the Champagne.. ;)

    http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/07-12-2015/opositor-se-intoxica-con-champana-vencida-desde-2005/

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  8. Lo primero es mejorar la economía. Se requiere terapia de choque: https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terapia_de_choque

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  9. Boludo Tejano7:57 AM

    That is one well-deserved bottle of champagne.

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  10. Charly8:22 AM

    Another thing to watch in the near future is where Marea Socialista intends to go; remain a gadfly in the PSUV or make a clean break. Overall, a ray of hope despite the fact that the cabal in power is still a bunch of thugs who have just won internationally their "democratic" credentials and will try to keep wheeling, dealing, abusing, etc. Just thinking that Godgiven Hair will have to sit in the back of the Assembly was well worth the lack of sleep.

    On a last note, hope you Daniel keep posting from time to time. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stefan8:46 AM

    Thank you very much, Daniel. As to the facts, I wonder how there can be such a thing as a "too-close-to-call" situation when you have an electronic voting system. Even in countries with manual vote counting final results are published as soon as all votes are counted. Weird, isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:04 AM

      Too close to call = opposition victory, but by a margin small enough CNE can still hope to massage something out of it.

      Delete
  12. Hope arises.https://youtu.be/omI_QNUlyLU

    We at least can feel like something swims gently upwards

    firepigette

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  13. Amazing... MUD projecting 113 so that would be the fabled 2/3. My question is that if they are this groggy from the results, will they "allow" those last seats to go MUD. That would be the best result because it would practically give the Assembly the right to decide the government ministers and therefor allow them to get some real traction on the economic front. I think that as long as Maduro is still lurking about in Miraflores, people with real investment muscle won't want to invest out of fear of propping him up like the political cadaver that he is. I really don't think the PSUV support is even 40%. An Cabello can't even hope to make a move up the ladder with all the drug baggage he has. So... in times like these you sort of wish there was still that final "out" of the country where tyrants could go rest their days away with Franco in Spain or Fidel in Cuba. Or Trujillo. It's a bit of an unintended consequence of the universal jurisdiction conquests. The 17th or so we shall see what the plea bargain in NY will bring out... Congrats! Felicitaciones!

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  14. Anonymous12:19 PM

    sight! como dice la gente, lo ultimo que se pierde es la esperanza. Gobiernos como este se aferran al poder hasta lo ultimo, asi que dudo mucho que las cosas cambien en un futuro cercano... la lucha seguira por muchos anhos mas. Felicitaciones Venezuela, este es un buen comienzo! el sguiente paso es develover a Venezuela sus fueras armadas.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20 PM

      fuerzas armadas

      Delete
  15. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Congratulations Daniel.

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  16. Great victory and I hope the gov't does not cheat the 2/3rds win that they are holding up. My only thought on this is that the USA and Maduro/Castros negotiated something out. However, parliament or not they have not yielded any true control yet and the only way I can see that happening is if they did negotiate something allowing the murderous thieves to live on with their spoils. If so I hope Maduro through the old guard of the regime under the "bus".

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:14 PM

      Maduro is not the ultimate power. Rumor is Cabello tried to not recognized the results but some in the GNB and military did not let him change that. Collectivos were told to wait for the call to go attack opposition centers but then waited around and got a call to dispurse. Clearly a lot of was in flux last night.

      Up to the very last minute they were not sure how to react, they also did not think they would get stomped so badly also so there was panic.

      Delete
    2. I heard about the Cabello argument with the leader of the army telling him to accept the results. Which if the army did say enough is enough I guess Cabello and Maduro have lost control as army was controlling the collectivos too. Anything is possible and I hope the military has turned on gov't.

      Delete
  17. You have to love Bing Translator.
    "MATURE AND HAIR MUST RESIGN!"

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  18. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning, I am from eastern europe, 25 years have past since 1989 and there is still a lot of work to do.

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  19. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Daniel - thank you for your blog. Have been following off and on since I lived in Venezuela 2003 to 2006. Great news and I look forward to reading new insights as the country rebounds.

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  20. Anonymous5:07 PM

    So many times over the past 13 years I have been left without words for what has happened in Venezuela.. this is the first I feel that in a good way, a hopeful way.

    lazarus

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  21. Sorry to say, but many of the new MUD deputies are about to get bribed by Chavismo. And the Economic situation can only get worse next year, not to mention insecurity. Just touching base with reality, for those flying too high right now.

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  22. 1979 BP7:28 PM

    I have been waiting with Venezuelan for this moment. It finally came.
    Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Boludo Tejano9:32 PM

      1979 BP, today a Chavista troll commented at CC. The troll's approach reminds me of Chris Carlson of days gone by. In doing a web search, I found a comment of yours about Chris Carlson here at Venezuela News and Views: 1979 Boat People: Check out Chris Carlson's comment on Daniel's "VENEZUELA: CHAVEZ ON SILENCING MEDIA" article (Jan 26, 2010) in the INDEX ON CENSORSHIP web-site. This would be the link: Index on Censorship: RCTV.

      Delete
    2. 1979 BP12:44 AM

      Thanks for the link Mr. Boludo Tejano.

      Delete
  23. Mazal tov, Daniel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About time, ain't it? :-)
      Thanks for having been there.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Cheers and best wishes from Quebec. No doubt many troubles lie ahead, but savour this moment. A glimmer of hope after so much darkness. Many thanks, Daniel, for sharing your thoughts over these many years. I have not said much on this blog, as it is not really my struggle and I cannot advise. But tonight my heart is with you and the brave of Venezuela. Je vous salue.
    Johnny D

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  25. One word Unbelievable! Many of us have been waiting for this moment for 10+ yrs! I always thought the Oppo would win this one but by simple majority.. This was an absolute destruction in one shot of a Political party! It would have been better for chavismo to lose the Presidency instead of the AN.. The AN is where the real power resides.. What a HUGE defeat this has never happened in history of Politics, maybe Mandela in South Africa, not sure.. But a Dictatorship being ousted on votes was next to impossible.. Much of family have long left Vzla and the rest where in the process of migrating to US.. This might make them stick it out for a few more months though.. I haven't been this excitation and hopefull for Vzla since Chavez met his maker.. Felicidades Venezuela! Si se puede y si se pudo! Never thought this day would come anytime soon.. So happy for Venezuelans all over the world words cannot describe the feeling.. I'm still on adrenaline high from Sunday election victory.. The injustice the crime these ppl have committed must not be ignored and they must pay for their crimes! Some should go straight to the firing squad no trial! Viva Venezuela Libre carajo!

    ReplyDelete

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