|L'air du temps:|
Borges getting his nose broken
One way is to look at the main hard data and its effects. The reader on its own will be able to draw the general picture after the fact.
Jail for you
The driving force in this mega crisis is that under the concept of world justice and transparency a few dozens of the higher up in the regime know they will never be able to find peace and solace once out of office. Their fate for them is jail, tomorrow, in a decade, it does not matter. If they do not die first they will end up in jail. They know that.
See, they have stolen too much money, abused too many human rights, played too much on the drug traffic front. They are doomed and thus under no circumstance they can surrender power. Period. They will do what it takes to remain in office. Whatever. Second period.
I am not asking you to understand this, I am asking you to get this. If you do not get the implications of the above you cannot make sense of what is going on in Venezuela these days. Might as well stop reading now.
No food while we wait for oil price to rise
The awful economic crisis that is now open comment world wide has not its origin in the low oil prices. After all Venezuela has had downfalls in oil price before and we managed. For that matter the first two years of Chavez rule had oil price way lower than they are today and yet shelves were full of food and he did not need to create food distribution systems like those of today which reek of corruption and political apartheid while being ineffective, even in their political goals.
The real, the only reason for the food and medicine shortages today has been a more than dismal management of the economy over the last 17 years, not to mention its willful destruction to the profit of the new corrupt oligarchies of military origin. The productive apparatus of the country has been destroyed through a system of price controls, political harassment to business and corrupt importations to sabotage local production. Today, even if magically all restrictions were lifted, if security was magically restored to producers and workers, it would take at least 5 years for Venezuela to be able to insure food for its people at subsistance level. Period.
There is a clear understanding now that this situation can only be solved with a removal from office of the current leadership. The proposed means may differ from the opposition to radical left of Marea Socialisa, but all agree that as long as Maduro is in office he is unable/unwilling to take any real measure to face down the crisis. In fact, Maduro's political faction is trying to use the crisis as a way to control the country by deciding who gets food. The social explosion risks are worrying the army while at the same time they risk to wipe out the remnants of the private sector that will be needed to rebuild.
The saddest thing is that the regime puts its salvation on a return to high oil prices, which are at best for late 2017 when it would be too late for the country. But see if they care.
What is complicating the crisis is the inability of the rest of the world to come together to put adequate pressure on the regime. Or to support it for that matter.
During his tenure with a deep oil check book that Chavez had no problem using cash for corruption and waste on political patronage overseas, Thus we have, for example, small shitty island nations of the Caribbean which have no problem letting Venezuelans starve for their petty gains (note that neither Europe of the US have the will to help and put pressure on these islands, hypocrisy everywhere).
But countries that should know better are mired in contradictions. Let's start with the US which amazingly think that helping a Castro transition is less costly in the long run that to put pressure on the Venezuelan regime. Why? Because the US hopes that Venezuela will foot the bill for Cuba's regeneration. That this, a now turned idiotic policy may create two problems for the US where it had only one. This seems not to flicker in the outgoing administration who seems now resigned to let whoever is sworn in in January 2017 deal with it.
That or the US business hopes to pick clean the bones of Venezuela after the debacle. All is possible.
Another pathetic case is the fast unraveling of Argentin's Mauricio Macri support for the Venezuelan cause. 6 months ago Macri was dancing on his election victory stage with Leopoldo Lopez wife Lilian Tintori. Now for reasons that are not clear to any one, and probably not even to Macri, it is Argentina who seems to sabotage any bite in possible OAS resolutions/sanctions against the regime. Whatever reasons Macri may have, they are so far failing him badly and he is looking like a fool. Heck, even Susana Malcorra were his mistress in addition to his foreign secretary could not explain the blunders.
Where the voters are
All of this is enough to create a potent crisis brew. But the debacle of the pre-recall election maneuvers was a wake up call for a regime that has grossly overestimated its real support. Actually, make that a dramatic wake up call for a regime that has lost its political flair. Apparently the regime truly thought that in the country of Tascon extortion records, official blackmail and indentured social programs the opposition would have all the trouble of the world to gather 1% of the electorate to sign up for a recall election. It got 8 %. In three days. And could have gotten 20% with a couple more of days and advance notice.
This has been the trigger for the current paranoia. Since early May the regime has realized that they are electorally doomed, for the time being at the very least. No elections whatsoever can be held in what was under Chavez a plebiscitary system. In fact, as far as Maduro is concerned, we probably cannot even have elections for dog-catcher, ever.
All the regime maneuvers since mid May are designed to avoid an election until next year, in particular a Recall Election. In fact the regional elections are probably going to be annulled any time soon as the regime is certain to loose way more than half of the state houses. The Army certainly cannot accept that so many ex-military now turned corrupt governors may be democratically unseated. But I digress.
While the regime finds a way to ease our transition into fully developed election free dictatorship it needs to avoid a Recall Election on Maduro this year. All excuses are valid, even the stupidest ones. I am not going to narrate what the electoral board CNE is doing in detail. Suffice to mention the latest incident where the CNE has voided the signature of 600.000 folks on absurd technicalities. The perversity and outright provocation was clearly underscored by the discovery that many opposition politicians who signed on camera had their signature annulled. Capriles, for one, the main promoter of the recall election, had his form annulled because it was not clear whether the form spelled Maduro or Madoro. You cannot make up things like that. And to add insult to injury Capriles cannot fix the "mistake" while the regime got yet another week prolongation for those who wished to have their signature taken away. And with the Tascon method of blackmail you can be sure that a few are going to blink and revert their name while those who want to add theirs cannot do so.
I personally hope, for charity, that the CNE intention was provocation rather than sloppiness. But it may well carry a steep dose of sloppiness in the methods chosen to void a recall election. The regime feels so cornered, so weak, that it is acting on reflex, on survival instinct. Thus the legality, or even basic common sense of its measures do not matter anymore. We are past the time of fig leaves.
The fact of the matter is that the economic depression has been getting worse and this week we saw major riot trouble in Petare and Catia, two zones which should be, on paper, chavista strongholds. But people are hungry. And I mean, hungry. And no matter what Argentina as a fool, or the shitty Caribbean island states may try, the OAS may be about to apply the Democratic Charter. That or Venezuela being booted out of Mercosur. Whichever comes first, for starters.
The truly big question here is whether the army will accept to pay the price of political repression, the last remaining option for the regime.
Some, like general Zavarce seem ready. He deliberately had his men push Representative Borges toward a crowd of colectivos on the pay roll of Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez. They did not kill Borges but they did break his nose, probably for lack of time. All is now in the open on the Thursday assault.
Others like Cliver Alcala are not on board anymore even if his name is linked to narco traffic.
The decision on a recall election rests there, in what the army will decide. And for that matter the decision whether Maduro remains president. See, the problem is not how to remove Maduro, this is actually quite easy once a political agreement is reached and he is made to resign. No election needed. Maduro is not ruling anymore, he is the front man. Thus the problem is truly not how to get rid of Maduro but who to put in his place.
That is the Gordian knot.
Observe the goonery look of the colectivos on chavista payroll. Again, such things cannot be made up. Do not accuse me of profiling!
Para que se rechace de verdad la violencia y se haga Justicia, 2 de los agresores: Roberto Marcano y Franklin López. pic.twitter.com/xPOaYDqUaP— Julio Borges (@JulioBorges) June 11, 2016