Friday, September 23, 2016

Options against the dictatorship

I am happy about yesterday annulment of the Recall Election. I know, it is perverse but I have my reasons.

First, there is no need to discuss anymore the dictatorial nature of the regime. Under Chavez there were elections at any turn. Now, there will not be elections, not even for dog catcher. The last argument that chavismo could use internationally "we never lost the boatload of elections we do" only works if you have regular elections.

The consequence of this is that any opposition group that does not call the regime for its true nature will lose quickly its supporters. These simply will fail to understand how faced with the truth their "leaders" do not react more assertively. I agree that increased polarization is dangerous, but at this point, what else can we lose?

Second, as a consequence from the above, the opposition alliance MUD needs to purge itself of its wishy washy elements. Either you support the regime (silence counts), or you oppose it. Again, dictatorial regimes can only be dethroned through unity (or foreign disaster like invasion). See the examples of Chile where all allied against Pinochet. Or even Mexico when all rallied behind the right wing PAN to kick out the eternal PRI and its "perfect" dictatorship. Never mind the exit of Fujimori where the unity of the opposition behind Toledo allowed international sanctions to be effective.

Third, and surprising, any negotiation to get out of the crisis is now more likely to be successful if the opposition unifies better, becomes more assertive. By blocking any election the regime in fact traps itself into a repression must that is not acceptable today in Latin America, at a time where even the Castros are starting to be questioned. Through negotiation we may not get quick regime change but a true negotiation which includes a real progressive release of the tools of power by the narco regime may be a better outcome for the country than ousting suddenly a corrupt elite that will immediately sabotage whatever the incoming administration will try. One reason why some inside the opposition are not as assertive as others is that they simply do not want to deal with the mess.

[NOTE: I am painfully aware that Venezuela is a neutered country. The sacrifices seen in Chile or Peru are not going to happen here. There are too many of us that can only be deranged for a looting party. There is a perfect French word without direct translation to characterize what I think of the bulk of the Venezuelan population: veule. a mix of spineless and coward. And I include there those that are keyboard warriors, calling for all sorts of action from the MUD that they have little intentions to lead themselves. Never mind the chavista colectivos who only attack under pay and military protection. Certainly there are steel soul heroes like Lopez but the indignation only goes so far.]

In front of all this what are the options?

It is time for the MUD to put its neck forward. It has been 24 hours since the CNE did what was foretold. Last night the only minimally acceptable answer for the MUD was "We are not accepting this. We knew it was coming and we have plans. We will not reveal them now because we needed first the details to complete them. Tomorrow we will tell you".

We had to wait a couple of hours until finally someone said something without any further immediate perspective. In short, the MUD is not sure what to do. I assume, hope, they have an idea, that the delay is part of a strategy.

Clearly, if the MUD does not react we are in for a full Maduro term with utter destruction of the country.  Never mind that the regime will use the two years left to destroy physically the opposition and plan for a totally fraudulent presidential election in December 2018. Or later, as the crisis is an open door for all sort of excuses.

Today, for good measure the high court TSJ annulled yet another key vote from the National Assembly. And yet this is where the resistance comes from. The National Assembly needs to vote the illegality of the regime, just as the regime decreed its irrelevance. How to do that? A few things, in no particular order.

Refuse to discuss the budget. Once this one is passed by a TSJ fiat, vote a resolution that any lender is going at its own risk, that the Assembly will not recognize debts contracted through that budget that are not duly monitored. Bankrupt the regime. You may say that the propaganda of the regime will put the blame of the famine on the opposition but I doubt it at this point. And the MUD can always say that they refuse to give money to thieves.

Reduce taxes, in particular sales tax and see how the regime can finance itself.

Claim article 350 of the constitution and start an organized campaign of civil disobedience. The beauty of that is that you do not need to obey the TSJ anymore.

Vote the destitution of the latest TSJ appointment as illegal and announce that the rulings do not need to be followed anymore by anyone in the country.

Vote the destitution of the current CNE board. That it will delay future elections? At this point who cares!


There are means that can be acceptable for the international community while the regime would be either pushed to capitulate or become a new Cuba.

But for this you need a unified opposition willing to face down the regime and stand the risks that come with such a fight. I do not see it, or at least not the unity required for this. Nor the vision.

I hope to be corrected, to be proven dead wrong.


  1. I agree with every one of the actions you describe should be taken....The AN must act...

  2. Charly4:35 PM

    I also was wishing for this outcome for quite a while and now it became reality but not for the same reasons as you Daniel. You do not want to get rid of Maduro, the "pagapeo", no you want him to continue doing his marvelous job so that down the line, when you look at someone right in the eye and whisper "I remember you where a Chavista, weren't you?" all you hear is a big noise and all you smell is a big stink. That is what you want and then you will have the freedom to chisel out Chavez's f*ck face wherever this military parasite happens to have been worshiped some time ago. End of the revolution! Back to civilization! I know it will happen but unfortunately I won't see it, cause we are packing our bags you know. Another few months, another horizon.

    The reason we are packing is exactly the one you mentioned Daniel. These people are "veules". This is a terrible verdict on your part. I wish there was a translation for the meaning of this word. And yet, there are still so many decent people in this country I can only wish them luck. Can't wait for Lucena to make a big noise and a big stink though.

  3. I am missing something. You mention all these measures the AN should or could take. The regime does not recognize any of them and operates as a dictatorship now, changing the constitution as it desires. They would simply ignore any of those actions. As for foreign countries working with or injecting capital they are already doing it on the basis the regime will either remain in power or risk losing their money. The loans from China etc were already carried out unconstitutionally and are at great risk of not being honored. The regime has not honored many debts since in power and yet selfish companies and countries have worked with the regime. Yes they are running out of excess money to steel but so what. The people have shown they are not going to take arms against the regime, that no one exists to date to lead them. The recall has been a joke from the start and is good it is gone but so too has the AN been a joke and so too will it soon be completely gone. The world will think the same now of Venezuela as it will when the AN is gone.

  4. Anonymous1:35 PM


    I don't believe the MUD said "wait until Monday" just because they have no "plan".

    They are not flying by the seat of their pants, much as many of those who support them tend to believe now and then.

    Let's not forget that the MUD has no reason at all to divulge it's entire strategy and that the situation may appear sort of "locked in place" but there are many currents under the surface of a very fluid situation.

    Now since the MUD has said they will give us the "hoja de ruta" for what comes next on Monday, then we wait til Monday and hope that whatever comes next it continues to build pressure, and to encourage such pressure from the "veule" Bravo Pueblo. Who knows, perhaps there is still some spine left after all.

    The pressure should be focused on the military by the civil populace. That PJ video that got those kids arrested struck a very sensitive nerve in Miraflores. A direct appeal to a military that has its own murky currents, and that is the only thing standing between Maduro and the abyss resulted in a reaction that was telling from its ruthlessness.

    Por ahi van los tiros, Daniel.

    Anon 242

  5. Boludo Tejano12:52 AM

    See the examples of Chile where all allied against Pinochet.

    Far from all Chileans allied against Pinochet. The 1988 Chilean national plebiscite had a simple Yes or No choice.

    Yes: The proposed candidate is approved. Pinochet takes office on 11 March 1989 for an eight-year mandate and parliamentary elections take place nine months after he is sworn in. The Junta continues to exercise the legislative power until the newly elected Congress takes office on 11 March 1990.
    No: The proposed candidate is rejected. Pinochet and the Junta continue in power for another year. Presidential and parliamentary elections take place three months before Pinochet's term expires. The newly elected President and Congress take office on 11 March 1990.

    The No vote won, 56% to 44%. One would think the vote would be a no-brainer: why not vote for resuming democracy? Even 15 years after the coup and Allende's death, memories of that time were so strong that 44% voted to continue the dictatorship. By comparison, Allende was elected in 1970 with only 36% of the vote. Allende's percentage in 1970 is symmetric with the 63% that the resolution, often called Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy, won in the Chamber of Deputies 3 weeks before the coup. Allende correctly stated the resolution promoted a coup. Patricio Aylwin was the principal author of the coup-promoting resolution, the leader of the 1988 No Campaign, and the first President elected after the Pinochet regime.

    Or perhaps you meant "all those opposed to Pinochet allied themselves in a unified group against Pinochet." Or something like that.

    Your posting is interesting, and will take some time to digest.It is as if you were sleeping for several weeks, and awoke with a vengeance.

    1. Speaking of Chile I was referring to the political pact that came before and AFTER the referendum to make sure the NO consequences would be respected.

  6. I cannot believe the oppositions plans in lou of a defeat on the referendum timeline is only to protest more and continue the process. In other words they have no alternative plan and the regime has to be laughing.


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