|The new troika: majority whip (Borges) MUD secretary |
(Torrealba) and NA chair (Ramos)
The negative first.
Henri Ramos Allup is the secretary of Accion Democratica, AD, the old grand party of the pre Chavez years. From the wreckage he did save some of the furniture but at the cost of being a kind of little tyrant, happily purging a few, in a very chavista way. But the reader should keep in mind that chavismo is mostly coming from the AD low rung hacks that were kept in check for their hardheadedness, incompetence and the like. Once unleashed we saw the dramatic results over these last 15 years of looting and incompetence. I am not pinning on these transfuges the narco state: that one comes straight from Fidel Castro and the FARC who had no problem recruiting into the diverse lumpen that joined Chavez.
But what is perhaps the greatest fault of Ramos Allup is his unwillingness to clean up a little bit around himself. Namely, he has many direct and indirect relatives involved with or working for companies that have got sweet and questionable deals from the regime. This does not mean at all that Ramos Allup himself benefited on any of these deals (I think he married rich or something anyway, and I am certainly not in a position to address that issue). The problem is that such relations have been pointed out routinely by many people. Investigative blogs have been written about companies like Derwick or suspicious contractors, and Ramos Allup response has been to block you on Twitter, avoid answers, etc. Dodge the ball, defended on that by people like Rafael Poleo who should have known better.
It is thus with great concern that some of us watch the election of Ramos Allup at the NA chair. We are sure that during his one year tenure little progress will be made on certain type of urgently needed investigations (amen of other issues dear to this blogger).
The positive, if I must.
We need to understand the political moment of the country. The chair of the new National Assembly will be the punching ball of the regime in desperate need to create an enemy. Since Ramos Allup is already a despicable entity for the regime, the opposition has nothing to lose promoting him. Ramos has thick skin, he can take anything the regime sends his way.
Ramos Allup has what we call in Venezuela pico de plata, silver tongue. So, not only he can take what the regime sends his way, but he can reply on the spot, on the mark, knowing how to dose carefully how outrageous he needs to be to make a point. That much I need to grant him: he may be the best around for that quality, the one needed to begin that difficult and dangerous transition process we are facing.
Ramos Allup is elected NA chair because the majority inside the MUD is center left. No other party besides AD has a national figure in that group. The other "national" candidate, Julio Borges leads a more to the center group. Even though he has the largest party, Primero Justicia, inside the MUD his natural allies are missing because either he shooed them away or they did not get enough seats. So Borges will need to seat this one out, paying for some of his political mistakes like alienating Leopoldo Lopez people who should have never been voting for Ramos Allup. In short, whether we like it being irrelevant, Ramos Allup is one of the two lone national figures seating in the new parliament. And we cannot do without a national figure for at least 2016.
Ramos Allup has abundant experience in Parliament work. That is the only thing he has done all of his life. Dealing with the regime's PSUV bent on sabotaging ANYTHING we need a wily fox at the helm until the newcomers learn how to manage things. That is the way politics work, sorry.
It does not hurt that Ramos Allup has had time to make many friends over seas to the point of being an important voice of the Socialist International (currently one of its many vice presidents). Let me remind the reader that some of the strongest support for the MUD against the regime has come from many luminaries of the SI like ex Spain premier Felipe Gonzalez.
Finally I would not worry too much about his mark on the National Assembly direction: he is put there to face the required theater/play against the regime. The legislative work will be done by the rest of Assembly board. In particular it seems that Julio Borges will be the majority whip which means he will be the one setting the true priorities of the incoming assembly, as well as herding a majority that soon will show strain in holding its unity, a role Borges may be suited for.
So there you are, whether we like it we must recognize that Ramos Allup is a better fit for the political moment. But worry not, that political moment will vary very, very fast.
1) Ramos Allup blocks me on his twitter account, as he blocks A LOT of people according to my Twitter account. In short any one that seems to disagree strongly with Ramos is blocked. Not as very good sign for someone presiding a Parliament, and who needs not to read or answer to tweets. So, if you have a twitter account pass that info to @hramosallup before he gets into international ridicule for blocking his account. NOTE: I have NEVER insulted him, just questioned his familial dubious links.
For witness this tweet from someone blocked by Ramos Allup wishing he could read the message of conciliation and harmony that the new chair is supposed to have sent. (Sigh!)
Si tan solo pudiera leerlo https://t.co/kLYQV9fL9Z— Edgar Baptista (@edgarmanuel) January 4, 2016