Wednesday, May 11, 2016

1%, a world in a number

I have been very distracted by many problems and now I am overseas, among other objectives, to fetch medicines not available anymore in Venezuela for me and my SO (and others). But I could not pass on a brief comment on what should be called the 1 % affair that was held as I fixed to leave the country.

In short, the electoral board, CNE, established fictitious requirements to request for a recall election on Nicolas Maduro. The constitution previews that the requirement to force a recall election  on an elected official is to gather 20% signatures of the registered voters of the given electoral circuit. But the CNE in a crass delaying tactic decided that even though Maduro electoral district is the whole country the MUD alliance needed to get first 1% in EVERY state and THEN it would be allowed to collect the needed 20%. The objective was simple: the regime hoped that in very chavista, very dependent states like, say, Delta Amacuro, the MUD could not manage the 1% holy grail. There is, after all, the infamous Tascón List precedent of the 2004 recall election that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of folks, including yours truly. If this was scandalous enough by itself there were plenty of other road blocks set by the CNE, quite often of a very childish nature.

To make a long story short, after quite a long arm wrestling the CNE finally released a specific form (la planilla) to collect that 1%. Yet, in a rushed and improvised operation within three days the MUD collected around 8%. That is right, the regime truly thought that the MUD would have trouble collecting in 3 days in all states the fateful 1%. The MUD largely overtook that goal in every state, probably by the end of the first day.

Now, that was a political miscalculation......

Clearly at this stage, in spite of the December electoral loss, in spite of the worsening economical and scarcity crisis, in spite of galloping inflation, in spite of negative unanimous polling, the regime is still underestimating popular rejection of its policies, probably still riding on the illusion that Chavez-dreaming is enough to numb the masses though hungry nights. By putting so many obvious roadblocks the regime only angered further the people, hence the opposition stunning success. The reactions of the regime shows that the wake up call was harsher than in December, at least as I see it.

The problem for the regime is not that the opposition is all but certain to get the 20% signatures it needs. The problem is not that the opposition is all but certain to win the recall election since roughly any signature represents at least two votes considering the fear political context of repression in the country. The problem is that the opposition MUD could well get more signatures than the number of votes that Maduro got three years ago making the recall election a moot point... Such a humiliation would be worse than losing any election and could cause a regime instant debacle.

The problem of the regime has not been Maduro for a while: the military have been the real rulers since the 2014 repression. The problem for the regime if not how to replace Maduro but with what. Now, with that 1% thing it has become an urgent matter.

I see two options for the regime.

The regime "negotiates" a way out through either a recall election or a Maduro resignation where it accepts that a tolerable opposition figure runs to finish the two years left in the presidential term. I do not see why the opposition should accept this or how the narco generals would even bow to that limited amount of real politik.

The regime stalls and blocks the recall election  and Maduro resigns next year letting an appointed transition vice president finish the term.  Very perilous unless it is a national agreement and the said vice president is appointed like, well, now. Again, I doubt Cuba and the narco generals will be on board.

And there is always the option to kick the game board and establish an outright dictatorship.


  1. I trust your medicine hunt is going well for you OS! Things get worse in VZ, but you knew the government would do this!

    1. Daniel has been speaking out against the regime from its inception. Now, he is going through a difficult personal situation. A little courtesy, please?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I was trying to support him and his SO! I've been on Daniel's blog for years!

  2. Boludo Tejano8:00 PM

    I vote for the regime stalling and blocking as long as it can. The TSJ has blocked all legislation. Recall that Chavez stalled the 2004 Referendum vote as long as he could, which gave him time to set up the Misiones. But regarding Maduro resigning- don't know.

    While the military top dogs are Chavista, such as our friend Padrino, [perfect surname for a Chavista-supporting general.Central casting couldn't have done better.], I don't know how deep that support goes down the ranks. The recent goat-stealing episode indicates to me that a substantial part of the rank and file isn't getting any drug money, which means that the lower ranks may not support what the Chavista generals tell them to do. I see the military as divided, which will enable Maduro & Co to continue longer than many anticipate.

    1. The military are living an internal dictatorship on their own. Each officer had to call in order to provide a sample of his voice. The DIM or whoever analyse uses a gringo software package to break down anonymous contrarian messages and nail the culprit. Also got from an insider that when an officer is murdered by "hampa comun", a colleague is behind the hit. Nice world!

    2. Anonymous3:15 AM

      Hombre y Macho, no se dejen blablabla, nadie va a rescatar! siempre pendiente del Viento!

  3. The regime may not be able rely on its own army when thier soldiers have steal goats for food it's just another thing they have to worry about!

  4. Anonymous2:44 AM

    I just came back from a trip to Delta Amacuro. The Warao have no acess to food apart from vegetable of their conucos and if they can buy broken rice with some dark and dirty sprinkles they have to pay 1100 Bs for the kilo. The rice is distributed out of a sack of former Animal Food. Believe me they no longer vote for the Chavistas. But the election results will not reflect their will because I'm told that you can vote four times on the same machine if you want. HF

  5. The criminal thieves in power just want to buy more time. They need to make sure their entire families are set for life, possibly in another country. It takes time to steal as much as they want, and then hide it under different names in different banks and countries. Many are also working on changing their identities, and their appearance. (Unless they are utterly retarded). They risk losing all the stolen millions, plus jail time when Chavismo falls.

    So a couple more years in power are essential for Chavista Thieves to accomplish the aforementioned tasks.

    1. Mile High Ben2:22 PM

      You mean to tell me that they've been in power for sixteen years and only now are hiding their money and changing their names?
      Besides, how do you know this? and how do you know they need a couple more years to accomplish the "aforementioned" tasks??

    2. Pure logic, common sense, and knowledge of the Venezuelan people, after living there for 20 years.

      I talk to people, I still have friends living there. Among the few honest ones left, btw. (Although I'm not sure about all of them). Ask Daniel: Try to run an HONEST business in Kleptozuela, without at least bribing lots of people every month. Try it. It's impossible. Try living on a 12$ "minimum salary, or 10 x that. impossible. Just do the math, talk to people and now the country.

    3. Oh and "nouveaux riches" like the Venezuelan Thieves in power take time to understand the subtleties of international finance, and the intricacies of laundering money. Plus the saw what happened to many crooks already in the USA, or the Argentinian thieves. Venezuelan thugs are rich, but uneducated and inexperienced in such matters. But they are not stupid or masochistic. Some of them may be totally retarded, as I said before, but thugs like the Tareks, Cabellos, Rodriguez, Luisa, etc, are not stupid. And it takes time to plan all that, a possible move overseas with an entire family, and things just got dire and terminal in Vzla, not the case a few years ago with the oil bonanza and large Chavismo popular aproval. It's called common sense, the least common of all senses.

  6. Why wouldn't they hold onto power at all cost for as long as possible. They are living their dream lives and having stolen an estimated 300+ billion as much time between the theft and handing over control the better.
    I have no doubt that the regime has a mass starvation plan in place. Cuba has done it and so has most of the countries they associate with. Crush the will of the people as they have no recognition of any value of the people or their well being. The people think it is bad but they have seen nothing yet. Starve 5 million, see 5 million flee and barely feed the remainder much like Cuba did and the remainder will be happy just to eat the scraps they receive just like the people in Cuba. This regime sees no future that they are not in control of, the ones that think that way distanced themselves from the current regime to live happily with their stolen wealth.

  7. I am not qualified to comment on venezuela (as proven a few times already), but I think Cuban scenario can not be maintained for a long time; Venezuela is not an island, with crisis getting worse and worse the opposition of is getting increasinger, support of the army for the government is not certain.... my concern is that v-la (unlike f. ex. Germany after WW II) is spiralling down into anarchy which questions ability of whatever future government we can think of of improving situation in the country quickly....

    1. It is easier as not being an island as the people can more easily leave, which is what the gov't wants. Less mouths to feed and smaller army to keep the people in line, as it makes its drug money and steals resource money. The only hope Venezuela has over Cuba is that it sits on the worlds largest oil deposits and the only way the mega oil giants can get their hands safely on it is to get rid of this regime. If not for that oil the Venezuelan people would either move or be in for a life of misery.

  8. I am not qualified to comment on venezuela (as proven a few times already), but I think Cuban scenario can not be maintained for a long time; Venezuela is not an island, with crisis getting worse and worse the opposition of is getting increasinger, support of the army for the government is not certain.... my concern is that v-la (unlike f. ex. Germany after WW II) is spiralling down into anarchy which questions ability of whatever future government we can think of of improving situation in the country quickly....

  9. In other news: U.S. Trial of Venezuelan First Lady’s Nephews Could Start in November

    NEW YORK – U.S. federal prosecutors proposed on Thursday a Nov. 7 start date for the trial of two nephews of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores on charges they conspired to bring cocaine into the United States.

    Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, and Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30, appeared before U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty for a hearing on a prosecution motion suggesting the existence of a conflict of interest because the defendants’ respective counsel are being paid by the same individual.

    With the assistance of an interpreter, Crotty questioned the defendants for than 30 minutes.

    Both men assured the judge they understood the possibility of a conflict of interest and each declined the opportunity to consult other counsel.

    Campo Flores and Flores de Freitas entered the courtroom dressed in the dark gray uniform of the federal prison where they have been held without bail since Nov. 12, two days after they were arrested in Haiti and brought to New York by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Campo Flores, 29, was raised by Cilia Flores, a lawyer and veteran political activist who plays a major role in the administration of her husband, President Nicolas Maduro.

    If convicted, Campo Flores and Flores de Freitas could be sentenced to life in prison.

  10. Maduro better start packing his bags and transferring money to Swiss bankers , he can move next door to Papa Doc and the other dictators holed up in Paris

  11. Mega oil giants as boogy men is nonsense. They can get all the oil they want from Venezuela on the open market. They do not need to own the fields. However they expect to be paid for the services they provide like drilling wells and refining the oil and maintaining the equipment. The problem the politicians have is that the oil companies keep very accurate books and thievery shows up pointing to the politicians.


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